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Fresno State gets $1.5 million gift for Bulldog Stadium upgrades

Fresno State has an ambitious goal to raise $40 million for Bulldog Stadium upgrades.

NCAA Football: Hawaii at Fresno State Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Nearly a year ago, Fresno State started the process of upgraded the 36-year-old Bulldog Stadium with one of the first add-ons being a new high-definition scoreboard.

This past Thursday, Fresno State athletics director Jim Bartko officially introduced the Bulldog Stadium campaign with the goal of reaching $40 million. Half of that is expected to come from private donations and the other half in stadium naming rights for Bulldog Stadium.

This is a bold move by Bartko and the athletics department but the announcement started off great with a former anonymous student-athlete kicking off the fundraising with a $1.5 million gift.

“It was a tremendous opportunity to bring together over 50 donors and Bulldog fans who came to understand more about the Bulldog Stadium Renovation Project,” Bartko said at Thursday’s announcement. “The room had a remarkable energy and I know as we take this presentation up and down the Valley, we will have continued success like we did last night.”

Here is the timeline for the upgrades that the school announced in a press release.

- Summer 2016 (current) - The first phase of the stadium renovation is smaller in magnitude, a $300,000 upgrade to the existing perimeter fencing and branding that will enhance the visual appearance. That is currently underway in the Bulldog Stadium district.

- August, 2016 – Architect selected

- November, 2016 – Board of Trustees approve project concepts

- October, 2017 – Hit that $40 million fundraising target to get the project off the ground

- November, 2017 – Board of Trustees approve financing plan

- January, 2018 – Phase II construction begins (renovation of restrooms & concessions)

- January, 2019 – Phase III construction begins (seating bowl modifications made, new west side premium seating and press tower erected)

- Fall, 2019 - Renovated stadium opens

- January, 2020 – Phase IV begins based on fundraising (football facility constructed in south end zone)