Chris Van Horne, NBC 5 News
Horned Frog fans will pack Amon Carter Stadium for Saturday's home opener, and while part of the stadium is ready for football, the rest of the stadium is still a year away from completion.
Amon Carter Stadium's renovation is still a year away from completion, but the venue is ready for TCU's home opener on Saturday.
Crews have been busy for months with the $160 million project, which has come a long way since the December 2010 demolition but still has plenty of work remaining.
"It's a live construction site," said Chris Del Conte, TCU athletic director. "We're only going to be at 30,000 seats this weekend; that's what we have. The upper deck is not accessible. We're working six days a week and taking one day off for football games."
Only the first 20 rows on the west side of the stadium remain after the implosion. The second deck will be ready by Saturday but will have temporary bathrooms, concessions, press box and suites.
The main scoreboard on the north end zone is up and will be ready. And while lights are up on the west stands, they won't be necessary unless there's poor weather because all games will be played during the day for safety reasons.
Patience will be key for fans.
Parking may be the biggest hassle for fans. The construction has taken up some of the lots. Officials encourage folks to take advantage of shuttles to and from the game to help ease congestion.
But once inside, most fans won't be seating where they have in the past or where they will in the future.
"Their seats aren't going to be where they are the following year, but everyone knew," Del Conte said. "I think all the Frog Nation knew that this is one of those years where we're going to sit a seat where we've never sat before."
And while the team is looking forward to its new home, players say they won't be starstruck or caught off guard by the new surroundings.
"You know, we go out there every Sunday night. It's different," coach Gary Patterson said at his press conference on Tuesday. "It's going to be a cool stadium when it's done."
And when it's done, fans will notice the new improvements, Del Conte said.
"Pardon our progress; next year will be special," he said.
The Horned Frogs take on the Warhawks of Louisiana-Monroe at 1 p.m. on Saturday.