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Tuskegee students design Birmingham stadium through NFL partnership

April 24, 2024

NFL stadium design TU student team
TU student design team (Top row L-R): Marco Aubin, Jordan Pettway, Chanse Huff, and Journi Goodman.
(Bottom row L-R): Jordan Lamar, Arielle McElroy, Justin Scott, and Koby Bush.

Contacts: Thonnia Lee, Office of Communication, Public Relations and Marketing
                    A’Maiya Allen, NFL


Tuskegee University students from different majors worked together to complete a reimagined design of Legion Field Stadium in Birmingham, Alabama. The project is part of a partnership with the NFL and the Robert R. Taylor School of Architecture and Construction Science that was announced last fall.

The students participated in this multi-disciplinary initiative that created opportunities for students to focus on design, leadership and collaboration. The students designed the stadium with a focus on the fan and player experience, architectural design, engineering and construction. Students worked to complete the project throughout the semester and their experience culminated in a presentation of their proposed plan at the NFL league office in New York with league executives and members of the American Institute of Architects.

The students presented a proposal of renovations to Legion Field Stadium that included 65,000 seats, 100 luxury suites, a retractable roof, retractable fields and seats to accommodate soccer, and track and field events. The stadium is designed with solar panels, a modern water harvesting and cooling systems, a community village and garden for high end concessions contributing to the stadium’s sustainability. A hotel has been incorporated in the design as a destination location.  This unique NFL pilot program is a multi-disciplinary initiative creating opportunities for students across several schools and a part of the league’s larger goal to engage with HBCU campuses through its Campus Connection program.

“This is exactly the kind of experience we want our students to enjoy,” said President Charlotte P. Morris. “Giving them real-world experience in an industry they are working to join, gives them invaluable insight into what they should expect and the success they can ultimately accomplish.”

Professor Roderick Fluker, Associate professor of the School of Architecture and Construction Science and a faculty advisor, was impressed with how well the students worked together.

“We were really impressed with the knowledge and professionalism they exhibited throughout the process and certainly the final results,” he said. “Through the design process the team was able to research and implement stadium design innovations while also being sensitive to an urban neighborhood context.”

In addition to architecture, the disciplines they represent included construction science, mechanical engineering, sales and marketing, and supply chain management. 

Jordan Pettway, a senior Sales and Marketing major from Mobile, appreciated the exposure.

“The NFL Case Study opened my eyes in so many ways,” she said. “I was able to work alongside the team learning about different aspects of their fields of study. The stadium design came to life piece by piece and I honestly could not believe my eyes when I saw what we created together in the end. This is an experience I’ll never forget.”

Senior Architecture major Chanse Huff agrees. “This project has broadened our perspectives far beyond our individual majors. My greatest takeaway is the power of true teamwork.”

Walter P. Cooper Sr., who leads the university career center, said interacting with NFL leaders gave the students an experience that exceeded expectations. “Students engaged with NFL representatives working in a variety of capacities affording each student invaluable exposure to various career pathways within the NFL. We look forward to growing this partnership to expand to other special projects with the NFL.”

The objective of the NFL’s HBCU Campus Connection program is to form relationships with students year-round through collaborative initiatives including lectures, speaking opportunities, case studies and various events promoting career development. Since 2018, the program has reached over 2,000 students.

 “We are proud of the innovation and creativity the students displayed while suggesting solutions to a real issue within the NFL,” said NFL Senior Vice President of Football Operations Arthur McAfee III. “Through the Campus Connection program and our partnership with Tuskegee, the NFL’s commitment to HBCU’s extends beyond the field by driving awareness around career opportunities and providing access to the business of sports.”


© 2024 Tuskegee University

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