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Chair backs: Five sections of bleacher seating on Mackay's west and east sides would be turned into chair back seating. Bleacher sections would remain in the end zone and the east side's second deck.

big project on his agenda, one that has long been on the Wolf Pack's wish list.

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to get into the suites. Nevada would add outdoor suites on the west side of the stadium and convert the east side boxes to patio style boxes.

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The Wolf Pack did a feasibility study last September and also surveyed 2,600 fans to gauge the appetite for a Mackay Stadium renovation. Nevada almost pulled the trigger on a more moderate renovation in years past, but has waited until now to try and turn this more ambitious dream project into a reality.

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Many of the bleacher seats at Mackay Stadium could be replaced with a club level and permanent chair backs. (Liz Margerum/RGJ)

Mike Samuels, the Wolf Pack's associate athletic director for marketing, said the renovation is about providing fans a "variety of experiences." It could a big step in solving Nevada's attendance issues.

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More suites: The Pack has 60 skyboxes, but there's a waiting list Adidas Hustle Basketball Shoes Online

In 2012, the Wolf Pack netted $2.17 million in football ticket revenue (or $361,710 per game). A sold out Mackay could nearly double that total. Modernizing the stadium could open the gates to more fans.

In 1996, Nevada added 48 skyboxes to Mackay Stadium, which was the last major renovation to the stadium. Hickok called that move a financial "game changer." This renovation could do the same thing.

But Nevada's administration, now led by athletic director Doug Knuth, is working on a plan to change that. The Wolf Pack is deep into the process of the first major renovation to Mackay Stadium since 1996, a push called the "Senior Renovation Project," which Nevada officials have called a "game changer."

Nevada has a handful of facility projects on its to do list, including a football/all sport practice facility, a basketball practice facility and a tennis complex. But Hickok said this renovation is a top priority.

"You can buy a suite if you want that experience, you can buy club seats, you can buy chair back seats or you can buy bleacher seats," Knuth said. "We're trying to create a menu of options for our fans."

"We haven't had any significant stadium enhancements and renovations since 1996, so it's been a while," Hickok said. "You look around the Mountain West and you see some of the facilities that are in the conference and it's time. We need to do our own part and we need to make a move like this."

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The Senior Renovation Project has been widely discussed the past couple of years and is sorely needed at Mackay Stadium, which was built in 1965 and could use a remodel. Nevada's senior associate athletic director, Rory Hickok, has been at the forefront of the push to upgrade Mackay Stadium.

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"It's important for us because right now we enjoy two extremes in seating," Samuels said. "If you're a fan, you either have a suite or bleacher seating and we want to provide a variety of different options."

"Right now, the football stadium is used six times a year," Knuth said. "With this stadium club, we can rent that out for anniversaries and wedding parties and business holiday parties, birthday parties. You can have a graduation party at Mackay Stadium, which would be kind of cool. That's a neat feeling and at the University of Utah the banquet space in the stadium was sold out pretty much year round."

"I think it's at the top of the list," said Hickok, adding that he's hopeful a business partnership will fund the majority of the financial cost. "It's an opportunity to have something our fans and our community can reap the benefit of. It's a project that will generate revenue for us as well. For me, it's a must have."

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"It has to be done," Knuth said. "It absolutely has to be done. I've challenged the staff and everybody at the university to get this accomplished. Everybody is on board. This is a great project and we've challenged everybody to really push hard and push forward to get this thing done by the 2014 season."

is trying to make Mackay more modern and give fans more seating options. The renovation tentatively includes:

Knuth, who was Utah's senior associate AD before being hired by Nevada last month, said the Utes' club level section was sold out during game days. A secondary benefit is the fact the club section could be rented out during the offseason to give the Wolf Pack an additional financial boost.

The Senior Renovation Project would actually decrease Mackay's capacity, which is currently at 29,993.

The new Mackay

"We've been pretty deliberate and pretty methodical about it," Hickok said. "We wanted to do it right and we wanted to be thorough in our research. We just wanted to make sure of everything. You only have one chance to do it. Let's do it right, do our homework and communicate with the fan base and hear from them. I think we've done that and as a result pretty confident in this project."

When Knuth took over the athletic director job last month, he promised a bright future and a big picture vision. This is the first Adidas Boost Atr

Wolf Pack fans who have marched into Mackay Stadium every fall the past couple of decades have had just two seating options: either sit on the cold, hard bleachers or schmooze your way into a skybox.

8M renovation of Mackay Stadium could be

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Mackay Stadium hasn had a major addition since 1996 when 48 sky boxes were added. The stadium could get a major renovation soon. (Theresa Danna Douglas)

The project, which comes with a forecasted $6 million $8 million price tag, would add new suites, a state of the art club seating level and chair backs Adidas Climacool Golf Shoes in at least five sections to Mackay Stadium, the 48 year old home to Wolf Pack football. The money would be raised through private fundraising.

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The financial impact

Club level: The renovation would transform the west side of the stadium, which would include theater style seating. That level would include a full kitchen, hospitality and catering and entertainment options.

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The Mackay renovation would take 6 7 months in construction time. The club level would replace the open space between the bleachers and skyboxes on the field's west side. The club would extend back to the West Stadium Parking Complex. Knuth also wants to add more suites since they're in high demand.

Instead of trying to boost the number of seats at the stadium, the Wolf Pack Adidas Retro Basketball Boots

Several steps must be taken before the renovation project gets approval like putting out construction bidding rights, securing financing and getting an OK from UNR president Marc Johnson but Knuth is optimistic the renovation will be done for the 2014 home opener against Southern Utah on Aug. 30.

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