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CSU Governors Give Nod to Frank’s on-Campus Stadium Recommendation

Grace Hood

Colorado State University’s Board of Governors have unanimously supported President Tony Frank’s proposal to begin fundraising for an on-campus stadium.

Today’s meeting didn’t attract the largest audience the university has seen when it comes to commenting on the proposed $246 million stadium. But it was perhaps the most uniform in its stance against the project, which would be built on the southwest corner of campus.

Once again, the public comments ranged from specific noise and traffic concerns to the role of athletics at a university.

But it was finances that were on the mind of Fort Collins resident Linda Vroman.

“If the concern is genuine for the financial condition for CSU, the most helpful effort would be fighting for the overturn of TABOR,” she said.

The new 42,000 seat stadium would replace the 34,400 seat Hughes Stadium four miles west of campus. CSU President Tony Frank has said that no taxpayer funds, state dollars or student tuition fees would be used to finance the new structure.

“The clearest path that I can see to go forward is a combination of philanthropy and debt financing based around revenues related to the stadium,” he said.

Right now Frank has put forth a plan is to raise 50 percent of the funds from philanthropic donors before CSU ever breaks ground on the project—and attached a two-year time frame to the campaign.

His comments were followed by an hour-long discussion among the Board of Governors, including this comment from Treasurer Ed Haselden:

“To the best of my knowledge this will be the largest single financial decision that has been made to date in the history of this institution. That’s not something any of us can afford to take lightly,” he said.

Ultimately Haselden and five other board members approved a resolution giving Frank permission to move forward. While university officials said constructing a new stadium is far from a done deal that does not describe the feelings of Save Our Stadium Hughes Founder Bob Vangermeersch.

After the vote he criticized the resolution for not being more specific on the definition of “philanthropic gifts.”

“Does it mean I have $125 million in my pocket and it’s in the bank and I can spend it? Or is it $50 million in hard cash and $75 million in promises?”

That’s a question that university officials will have two years to answer.

Meantime, opposition isn’t going away anytime soon. Vangermeersch’s SOS Hughes group will meet next Wednesday to discuss their next steps.

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