I know this seems like a simple question, but does anyone know for certain what Byrd's true seating capacity is?
As far as I've known recently (up until just a bit ago), the current capacity of Byrd is 54,000.
It is 54,000, according to various sources, like the Baltimore Sun (June 3, 2013), the Washington Post (August 5, 2013), the Philadelphia Inquirer (September 22, 2011) and the Washington Business Journal (November 20, 2012).
Now, if I go to the UMTERPS site, click on "Athletic Facilities" and then click on the picture of Byrd Stadium, I get an article about Byrd. At the end of the first section, it contains this paragraph that discusses the Tyser Tower renovations:
The recently completed $50.8 million upgrade to Byrd began in November 2007 and included the expansion of Tyser Tower along the South concourse, allowing for the addition of 64 suites. Additionally, new mezzanine seating for 440 patrons was added, as well as a University suite for 200 guests. There are new work areas for the television, radio and print media, coaches and game-day staff, as well as improved seating for disabled customers.
However, I'd seen this article before on the site. And in this apparently-older version, there's an additional paragraph that comes after the paragraph shown above, but this paragraph is omitted from the current version of the article:
In addition, the recent expansion, which increased the stadium's capacity to 54,000, included a state-of-the-art scoreboard on the west concourse, which was unveiled prior to the 2008 season.
So from what I can see, the original version mentioned the capacity as having increased to 54,000, and the current version simply removed that reference.
Oh, and one other thing ...
The current "preseason notes" for the last two years (2013 and 2012), which you can reach if you go to the football page on UMTERPS and click on the "Stats & Guide" link, state that the capacity of Byrd Stadium is ... 51,802.
I don't know if I (and the Post, and the Sun, and everybody else) missed an announcement about the change in capacity, or if the preseason notes simply ignore the capacity of the luxury suites (which seems like the most likely possibility IMO, although a bit odd). Or perhaps there's another story.
I hadn't known that the capacity was apparently not 54,000 until another I stumbled onto it on Wikipedia. I'd gone to the Byrd Stadium page and found that another user made an edit regarding Byrd's capacity, and linked to a Maryland vs. William & Mary preview from 2012 that indeed lists Byrd's capacity as 51,802. Oddly enough, their preview for the Maryland vs. ODU 2013 game lists the capacity of Byrd as ... 54,000.
So, in short, I don't know why there are lots of articles that say the capacity is 54,000, but the preseason notes say it's 51,802, and the page about Byrd on the UMTERPS site had the paragraph referring to the 54,000 capacity scrubbed from the page. I'm a bit confused.
Can anyone explain what's up? Thanks in advance if you can.