Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership - Higher Education

Committee Member

Robert C. Knoeppel, Committee Chair

Committee Member

D. Matthew Boyer

Committee Member

Michael Godfrey

Committee Member

Mindy Spearman


Intercollegiate athletics are an integral part of colleges and universities in the United States and have been for decades. Large athletic facilities expenditures began in the interwar period, the period between the two World Wars, with widespread construction of on-campus stadiums. Currently, athletic facilities expenditures are experiencing a second nationwide spending spree that began around the turn of the century. This study considers the types of athletic facilities, motivations for those facilities, and financial models used to pay for those facilities at the University of Georgia. The study concentrates on facilities constructed solely or primarily for football during two chronological periods: the interwar period and the 2000-2017 period. This study proceeded as a case study examining the University of Georgia's football facilities, with two embedded cases, the chronological periods. During the interwar period, the University of Georgia constructed Sanford Stadium, an on-campus football stadium that held seating for 30,000 people, a significant total at the time, particularly for the South. During the modern period, the University of Georgia has engaged several football facilities projects. Sanford Stadium has undergone five significant renovations and expansions. Additionally, several student athlete facilities have been constructed, renovated, or expanded, including Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall, the William Porter Payne and Porter Otis Payne Indoor Athletic Facility, and the Rankin M. Smith, Sr. Student-Athlete Academic Center. The motivations for the construction of Sanford Stadium included the need for increased seating, the national increase in on-campus stadium construction, the desire to provide fans and athletes with modern amenities, and the goal of increasing the stature of the University of Georgia. Steadman Sanford was the individual most responsible for the planning and construction of Sanford Stadium. In comparison, the motivations for modern intercollegiate athletic facilities construction at the University of Georgia center around recruiting/the arms race, revenue production, improving the athlete and fan experiences, increased functionality, and the need for more seating in Sanford Stadium. Sanford Stadium was constructed through loans that were guaranteed by alumni. Modern athletic facilities projects have been funded through a variety of means, including bonded debt, athletic department reserves, and large gifts. The conclusions arrived upon as to the types of facilities, motivations for facilities, and funding models for facilities at the University of Georgia for the two periods are primarily consistent with what we already knew about those three questions. However, Georgia also appears to be a unique case in several ways.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.