Bragg’s renovations aren’t as obvious as expected

Photo courtesy: FAMU Athletics

Bragg Memorial Stadium’s first phase of renovations was completed just in time for Florida A&M University to defeat Fort Valley State in the first home game of the season. Loyal Rattler football fans anticipated the $10 million dollar renovations to make some noticeable changes to their home stadium. However, not much looks different and the building still displays the look of the stadium that was packed before COVID-19.

The first phase began in February with leading contractor, Ram Construction and Development, who focused on the east side of the building. Renovations moved quickly, and construction was ahead of schedule. Although they added handicap accessibility to the bathrooms, much of the other amenities look the same.

The recent renovations included the replacement of seats and steel beams, water blasting and some repainting — all things that were not too noticeable to the average eye at the first game. The renovations were a lot more subtle than what many expected.

Although if you were to take a closer look, you would notice the old rusted white steel beams were replaced with black steel beams that look stronger and certainly sleeker. The stadium’s seats still look the same, just with a lot less rust and a more polished look.

These were the first adjustments made since 2018, when the stadium was revamped with a new scoreboard and AstroTurf that replaced the grass surface. The stadium was built in 1957 and it took the university 26 years to start its first round of renovations. Since 1983, nearly 40 years later, Bragg Memorial Stadium had not been renovated and just like many of the other buildings on campus, it was time to make some changes.

Facilities such as Bragg should have been renovated years ago, since athletics is a big part of the University’s finances. Over the past several years, FAMU has made significant changes and additions to their facilities. Although the buildings hold historical significance, renovations are necessary to maintain the structural foundation of the buildings. Not to mention, students deserve to live and learn in an environment that is maintained.

Hopefully, it will not take the University another 40 years to renovate this facility with the subtle changes it had this time. The stadium will undergo its second phase of renovations after the completion of the fall football season. The west side is expected to receive the same renovations and look as the east side. Although the building does not have a physical difference externally, internally the building will have a better foundation for years to come.