The Ole Miss athletics department published drawings of expanded premium seating in the south end zone complex of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium Friday as part of what an Ole Miss media release called “a step-by-step plan for the renovation and expansion that will have Vaught-Hemingway Stadium completed by the start of the 2016 football season.”

The expansion of the south end zone is expected to be completed prior to the start of the 2015 season. The full expansion is scheduled to be completed prior to the 2016 season.

Athletics Director Ross Bjork said in the release the drawings were a necessary step in order to open sales of the new 770 club seating in the lower level of the south end zone.

The university indicated it has already sold more than 130 club seats in the south end zone, and that it’s also adding 30 suites in that end zone, all of which were sold out as of December 2013.

“The south end zone was chosen for the expansion of premium seating because it allows for the consolidation of premium seating into one main area of the stadium,” Bjork said in the release. “Existing infrastructure, such as a kitchen, elevators and access to parking are already in place to operate the new premium seating. There is a significant savings in construction cost by capitalizing on existing infrastructure.”

In addition to the premium seating, the release said the south end zone will also gain additional walking space, concessions and toilets as part of the expansion. The west side suites and press areas will also be renovated prior to the start of the 2015 season.

The south end zone expansion is expected to reduce the stadium’s capacity during the 2015 season with the installment of club seating areas, which will decrease visiting teams’ allotments that season. The university said it plans to add general seating through the enclosure of the seating bowl in the north end zone prior to the 2016 season, bringing the stadium’s capacity to more than 64,000 fans.

“A long-term approach guides our athletic complex master planning,” Bjork said in the release. “We’re not limiting ourselves. We are leaving room for Vaught-Hemingway to expand for future growth.”

A photo gallery featuring all seven drawings can be found here courtesy of Ole Miss Sports Information.

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