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Two-Month Extension For CSU Stadium Study Approved

Grace Hood
CSU grad Ben Morgan speaks in favor of an on-campus stadium as CSU President Tony Frank listens in the foreground.

Colorado State University President Tony Frank will get more time to study four potential paths forward regarding CSU’s stadium. In return, he’ll create community and campus leadership committees, create a web site to gather more feedback from the public, and compare and contrast the options.

“We’ll assemble a document — think sort of the blue book that comes to voters before elections. [It] compares the options and tries in an objective way to list [an] apples to apples comparison,” he said.

CSU's Board of Governors approved the plan to give Frank more time to study the options. In his remarks, Frank outlined four potential paths forward. Those include rebidding the new stadium as a public-private partnership; building the new stadium in phases; paying to modernize the existing stadium; or keeping the old stadium as is with basic upkeep.

Frank has stated “great concern” about keeping the existing stadium, citing donor disinterest in paying for maintenance costs.

“It’s not as simple as saying we failed to raise the funds… therefore let’s get busy and fix up Hughes. There’s a $30 million bill associated with that,” said Frank, referring to needed repairs to the existing off-campus Hughes Stadium.

Fundraising for the new stadium has been lackluster. Frank reported that CSU had raised about $50 million toward a goal of $110 million needed to break ground. CSU’s Board of Governors gave the go-ahead in 2012 to raise money from private donors before breaking ground on a new stadium.

Public comment at the meeting was largely opposed to the idea of a new on-campus stadium.

“I’m worried about falling attendance and how you pay the bills without butts in the seats,” said Tom Linnell, who affiliated himself with the group SOS Hughes, which is opposed to the on-campus stadium.

Jean Yule, a CSU alum and Fort Collins native, said CSU has been dismissive of public opinion against the new on-campus stadium, citing 60 percent of respondents polled by Triton who said they disapproved of the idea.

“We need to reverse this colossal failure and heal our tattered university relationship. It’s time to get real and work with what we have making it even better,” she said. “Hughes with its ideal location has so much to offer that’s unique. Let us embrace it and renew it.”

Frank said after studying the options, he will make a recommendation to CSU’s Board of Governors in advance of the December meeting.

“I would suggest at that point in time, it’s appropriate for us to make a decision on this process,” he said.

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