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Countdown to Frank’s CSU Stadium Decision [Updated]

Colorado State University

Colorado State University President Tony Frank is expected to issue a much-anticipated decision whether or not to build a proposed $246 million 43,000-seat stadium on campus this week.

Update 2:13 p.m.: The University has released a lengthy letter from CSU President Tony Frank in support of the on-campus stadium project. Details and updates have moved to this post, the letter from Tony Frank to the University community can be found here.

Update 8:30 a.m.: The Denver Posts's Terry Frei is reporting that the CSU Stadium will get a 'conditional' approval. They are reporting that President Tony Frank will make an announcement on Monday, KUNC has not received confirmation on this. You can read the report from Terry Frei or more on the expected announcement from the Denver Post.


If approved, the new stadium would likely be built on the southwest edge of campus and would replace the 34,400-seat Hughes Stadium, which is currently situated four miles west of CSU.

Frank tasked the 15-person Stadium Advisory Committee with conducting a feasibility study, which was completed in August. The guiding parameters for the proposed project are that it couldn’t be built on existing open space, impact on neighbors would be taken into consideration, and that no state dollars would be used to pay for the project.

The proposed stadium has been the subject of criticism from homeowners living near campus, as well as groups like Save Our Stadium Hughes. Questions have circled around all details of the project, from larger philosophical ones about whether the university should prioritize athletics in fundraising to logistical questions around traffic and noise issues.

But it’s the question of how the stadium would be financed—and whether it could attract the donations and ticket sales needed to recoup costs—that has drawn the most ire.

The 15-person Stadium Advisory Committee concluded in August that “adequate funding sources are available to build and operate the facility [.pdf].” The potential revenue streams could come from things like private donations, ticket sales, luxury seats and sponsorships.

But according to a recent Northern Colorado Business Report article, the consulting firm hired by The Stadium Advisory Committee may be too optimistic.

NCBR covered a Sept. 24 meeting in which Joel Maxcy, professor at Temple University’s School of Tourism and Hospitality, gave a presentation organized by Save our Stadium Hughes.

Maxcy said:

Only under the most optimistic circumstances will the net present value of the revenue streams generated by the new stadium exceed the cost of the stadium.

President Frank is expected to make a recommendation to CSU’s Board of Governors before its two-day meeting kicks off on Thursday, Oct. 4 in Fort Collins.

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