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Logan • Through this winter's numerous snowstorms and air-quality killing inversions, athletic director John Hartwell has watched the beacon of Utah State football continue to shine brighter and brighter.

Maverick Stadium's $36 million renovation project, which will make the Aggies' home as modern and functional as any in the Mountain West Conference, is on track for completion late this summer.

Ninth months into the construction — with about six months to go — Hartwell says Utah State will open the 2016 season on Sept. 1 against neighboring Weber State in a completed stadium.

"Everything looks good," Hartwell said this week. "We will have occupancy a little before Sept. 1, so we can get things ready for the Weber game. … Hats off the our partners, Okland Construction. I don't know if the weather has been totally cooperative but, through the rain and through the snow, they've kept working."

When construction is finished, the stadium will have a new press box, 24 luxury suites, 24 loge box suites, 700 club seats, a new-look concourse and a training area. Concessions and restroom areas will also be expanded and two new video scoreboards installed.

"The part of the project that's not getting as much notoriety as maybe it should are the two video boards being brought in," Hartwell said.

According to the Aggie athletic director, the north end zone scoreboard will be four times bigger than the one which now exists. The new scoreboard in the south end zone will be about the same size as the old one.

"They will be up and operational" for the Weber State game, Hartwell said. Utah State played its 2015 home schedule around the construction. It was a challenge, but the effort by the athletic department staff has paid off. Fans, apparently, were not turned off by any of the inconveniences.

All 24 of the new suites were sold "months ago," Hartwell said, and there is a waiting list for future seasons. All but two of the loge suites have already been sold. Hartwell believes that will happen "in short order."

Of the 700 new club seats, "a little over half" have been sold. But the sales push for those seats by the athletic department is just starting and Hartwell is "comfortable" they will be gobbled up before the Weber State game.

Beyond the improved experience for Utah State fans, Hartwell is certain the Maverik Stadium renovation helped football recruiting this year and will continue to do so into the future.

"We had the design on the books for more than a year," he said. "Before construction started, we were able to show [recruits] some images. But until they actually walked out on the field or stood in the [football] offices and saw the structure up-close and personal, it probably wasn't as real. In December and January, the super-structure was there for our recruits and their families to see." —

A closer look

• The $36 million renovation project at Maverik Stadium is on track, Utah State athletic director John Hartwell says.

• Highlights include a new press box, 24 luxury suites, 24 loge box suites, 700 club seats and two new video scoreboards.

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