FORT COLLINS, Colo. -
Colorado State University's president is recommending the university find the money to build a new football stadium on campus.
In a statement released Monday, President Tony Frank said he would encourage the Board of Directors to move forward with fund raising to build the stadium, estimated to cost around $250 million, but that careful planning would be needed.
"State general funds, student tuition or fees, or proceeds from any tax shouldn’t be used to finance the stadium," Frank wrote. "At this point, the clearest path that I can envision is $125M of philanthropic funds supported by stadium revenue commitments able to service $125M of debt."
Plans call for a 42,000 seat, $246 million stadium to replace Hughes Stadium, which is located four miles west of campus.
The Colorado State University Stadium Advisory Committee has already given its blessing for a new stadium.
"This is a way for us to reach all the kids out there and all the alumnae out there, to get them reengaged in this university," said Tyler Shannon, with Be Bold, the group supporting the new stadium. "I can't think of a better way to do that."
The project has been controversial with members of the community opposing a new stadium on campus, which is in the heart of Fort Collins.
"We do not believe it's feasible under any circumstance," said Deb James, with Support Our Stadium Hughes, the organized group opposing a new stadium. "My question is: Who is going to be sitting in those seats when half the community has been alienated?"
"I think there are ways in which new facilities can have a positive effect. The array of options by which to attend a game at a new stadium will be wider and more customer-friendly than at a facility that was designed and constructed almost 50 years ago. If we are able to pair successful teams with a new facility, I think the opportunity exists to not simply cover debt service and even controlled maintenance, but perhaps to provide some modest level of funding to athletics so as to limit the need for increased university subsidies," Frank wrote.