After spending five years repairing 79 of Waco’s most dilapidated run down homes, Fixer Upper’s home renovation power couple Chip & Joanna Gaines will be taking on their toughest task yet. A facelift for Baylor’s McLane Stadium.
“We tried our best to beautify our hometown of Waco, but it unfortunately remains wildly unattractive to most visitors, and even a good portion of the residents,” said Chip. “We figured we would give it one last go by updating our alma mater’s football stadium.”
Joanna, who is typically in charge of the design element of their famous renovations, has some unique ideas for the stadium designed to make it stand out and hopefully attract more fans.
“For starters, I’d like to replace all the doors in the stadium with sliding barn doors. They offer a unique way to separate the space, while maintaining an open feel. Plus, they add that vintage rustic feel that’s really iconic to east-central Texas,” added Joanna.
“I’m also thinking of converting the seats to white upholstered chairs to add nice clean feel and contrast with the rustic barn doors. We also have plans to install clawfoot urinals in the men’s rooms, suspended shelving roughly 8 feet off the ground in the concession areas, and a large marble-top island in the middle of the field where players and coaches will be able to gather and entertain during the game.”
However, the Gaines’ most ambitious plans involve replacing McLane Stadium’s various iconic tarps, which the stadium has adorned in varying capacities since it opened. For decades, Baylor’s football stadium famously featured a large tarp adorned with the phrase “THIS IS BEAR COUNTRY” (which Waco hasn’t been since at least the early 1900s) covering the endzone seating.
After the construction of the all-new McLane Stadium in 2013 during the height of Baylor’s rise under Art Briles, new tarps were added to the sidelines along the bleachers to create a the illusion of a brick pattern.
However, the Gaines’ have plans to replace the new tarps to hopefully freshen the look of the stadium.
“I’d like to replace the brick tarps with some beautiful shiplap, which will tie in nicely with our new barn doors and give it that rustic feel that’s iconic to east-central Texas,” said Joanna.
“When people walk into the stadium, I think the shiplap will be a great focal point for people to direct their attention towards.”
Chip, usually in charge of demolition and general handywork, is excited at the prospect of being able to complete the project by the end of the 2019 season. “Fortunately, Baylor football games are generally fairly empty, so we should be able to work on the project throughout the season without being impeded by folks sitting down to watch us beat the brakes off various 8th-grade football teams for the first few weeks.”
While the project is expected to be completed in a timely fashion, early estimates reveal that the project could cost nearly $250 million, almost the full cost of McLane Stadium’s initial construction.
WRNL has not yet received word on what the Gaines’ plan on reselling the stadium for upon completion of the renovations.