FORT COLLINS, Colo. -
Colorado State University's Board of Governor passed a resolution Thursday approving plans to build a new stadium on campus.
Plans call for a 42,000 seat, $246 million stadium to replace Hughes Stadium, which is located four miles west of campus.
The Board of Governor's want supporters to raise more than 50% of the money to build the stadium by October 2014.
"State general funds, student tuition or fees, or proceeds from any tax shouldn’t be used to finance the stadium," CSU President Tony Frank wrote in a statement released on the new stadium plan. "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."
Athletic Director Jack Graham said he was thrilled to get the approval. He hopes this will bring alumni back to campus and bring a national spotlight on the university.
"I deeply and profoundly believe this is in the best interest of the university, not just the interest of athletics and football," said Graham. "Let's face it, football in America is king, and if in-fact in the collegiate level we are a top 25 program, people are going to know Colorado State University."
The Colorado State University Stadium Advisory Committee has also 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.