Your Golden Panthers have been focused on Kansas all summer long, but before we turn our attention to the heartland's top team, let's finish the August edition of the FIU Stadium Tour. Please click to enlarge each photo for a better view.
Follow Odebrecht King Rudy (white pants), Allison (only girl in the photo) and myself up the ramps and let's visit the concourse and club suites. On the right is a shot of the SE ramp from just outside the Panther Club. All the FIU Stadium ramps have an Orange Bowl feel to them, without the urine and beer smell.
As we went up the ramp that day we got a good view of the four steel pillars that will hold up the new jumbotron video scoreboard. Here on the left, to the left of the white pickup you can see the scoreboard pillars.
As we get onto the concourse, if you remember from one of our earlier tours, I gave you good people a view from the worst seat in the stadium, which is located on the SE side. Now take a look at the view of the field from the worst seat in the stadium and tell me if this is actually a bad seat. Here's the picture on the right.
This next 2 photos (below left) from the SE concourse is for CJ and where he will be sitting -- a shot of the FIU Student Section which will be located in the east end zone. The bleachers for the student section are right on top of the visitors locker room. The 2nd photo is the view from the top of the student section.
And here (below, left) is what the suite looks like when you walk in. The entire club level and suites have been turned over from Odebrecht to FIU. So the university has some interior decorating to get to.
Let us go up on the roof of the club suites and to where the camera perches are located. The following photo below left is taken from where ESPN would set up its camera IF the worldwide leader showed up on Sept. 20 to televise the stadium opener against USF. Or when they show up for any other telecast.
Heading on down to the south seats. We got a few more pics to show. The first photo on the left you can see our stadium tourists standing on the first row of seats in the south stands. You good people that have your seats here will be able to hear most of what is said on the FIU bench. Earmuffs for the young ones.
Here are a couple of shots from Max's seat on the 8th row of section 114. The first shot on the right is yours truly sitting in row 8 and the second shot is the view from row 8 looking down at Allison and Rudy.
As we finish our tour, here on the left is a pic of where the Golden Panthers will emerge from on 2009 game day once the fieldhouse is complete. The wall in the middle of the photo is the exit from the FIU locker room.
And finally, here is a rough drawing of what the lobby of the fieldhouse is going to look like with the FIU Hall of Fame in there. Again, this is a sketch, so some things may change from this drawing.
We'll move on to the season on the next post with a season outlook.
Check out the Miami Herald's FIU football preview tommorrow (Thursday) morning. Look for 35 cents in between the cushions of your couch and pick up a copy. Besides FIU, there are also previews on the Dolphins, the NFL, UF, FSU and high schools.
**Remember, just 2 1/2 more days to get your FIU/KU predictions on here in order to play our 2nd Annual Win A GPP Blog.
Predictions for Saturday's game must be in before 6:59 p.m. (GPP time) and you must pick FIU's score each week before that week's game in order to qualify for our 2 prizes.
For rules and regulations, in the U.S., Canada and worldwide, read the "Who's Getting On The Bus?" GPP post that is located 2 posts down from this one.
**Said I was going to give you a look at the mini-Panther eyes on the crown of the helmet and here they are modeled by Wayne Younger. The eyes are not that big to be a distraction, but it's something different. Enlarge the photo for a better look.
Gold & Miri: Can someone or Pete please post a picture of the new Roary?
GPP: Working on that. Asked FIU media relations yesterday and they don't have one, but we'll get one on here from the marketing dept. soon.
FIUfantastic: Is Pete going to Kansas? How high will the jumbotron be installed? Are they going to have it lower for this year and then raise it up when the upper deck is installed?
GPP: Flight leaves Friday morning at 5:40 a.m. -- only early flight that was non-stop to Kansas City. I'm sure I'll be sleeping on the plane. The jumbo will be high enough for all to see. Don't have exact measurements, but you won't need glasses. The entire stadium has been built to expand -- when you see those free-standing mini-pillars on the concourse, those are the supports for the beginning of the second deck.
Ultimate FIU Fan: 1) How long does it take to install and prepare for operation, a Jumbotron scoreboard?
2) All the "touch-up" work like the Panther Club floor AND ceiling; the brick-campaign area; the "completed" bathroom still needed work; etc. None of that is done and we're playing in a little over 3 weeks! What is a reasonable timetable?
3) Finally, all outside aesthetic areas outside of the stadium (i.e. grass, walkways, etc.). How long does that take?
GPP: Ultimate, I know school recently started around South Florida, but you're already giving me homework. I don't have a No. 2 pencil, but let's see about your questions: 1) The Jumbotron is scheduled to go up on Sept. 12 and will be tested that day. The Golden Panthers already did their poses for their video profiles on the jumbotron earlier this month.
2) All the touch up will be done before Sept. 20 both Odebrecht and FIU have said so. In fact, there might be a dress rehearsal open practice during the bye week so that fans can test run the stadium. Nothing has been set yet, but if it does happen you'll know here.
3) The grass has been laid all around the stadium with the exception of the fieldhouse area, because that's still under construction. The areas under the seats will have pebble flooring like the Orange Bowl. All the club suites and the Panther Club has been painted, now it's just a matter of bringing in the toys and the booze.
**The KU bloggers asked the GPP to participate in one of their blogs, so here it is: KU/FIU Blog
**Haven't had a GPP Worldwide Readership Update of late until tonight when Belgrade, Serbia logged on and joined the Prowl. So our GPP readership scorecard is: 31 STATES the GPP is read in: ALA, ARI, CA, COL, FLA, GA, IDAHO, IL, IND, IOWA, KAN, KY, LA, MASS, MD, MICH, MIN, MO, NEB, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, TEN, TEX, VA, VER, WIS.
11 COUNTRIES: Australia, Brazil, Honduras, Hungary, Italy, Panama, Serbia, Spain, Thailand, United Kingdom, U.S.A.
1 DISTRICT: Washington, D.C. and 1 TERRITORY: Puerto Rico.
Before we get ready for kickoff, here's a stadium question: