Board OKs 2-month stadium evaluation process

Football at Colorado State UniversityThe CSU System Board of Governors has approved a plan from President Tony Frank to spend the next two months examining four different stadium options for the Rams football program and other campus activities.

CSU has been exploring since early 2012 the possibility of building a new on-campus stadium to replace the nearly 50-year-old Hughes Stadium. Over the next two months, CSU will ask two committees – one comprised of community leaders and the other of campus representatives – to assess two scenarios for continuing play at Hughes Stadium and two for building an on-campus facility.

Long-term solution

The goal, Frank said, is to find a path forward for CSU that provides a viable long-term venue for football as well as a location that can host other major campus activities, including commencements and convocations, high-profile speakers, other sports activities and more.

In addition, a key priority is to move forward with a proposal that takes into account the impact of the project on the university’s general education fund, which primarily finances academic programs through a combination of tuition paid by students and state appropriations.

One stadium, many uses

“Having a multi-use facility we can use for the campus community is something we are after,” Frank said. “That goal has to be achieved, though, within the context of minimizing the impact on the general fund.”

Further details about the assessment process will be available next week and posted online. President Frank will take a final recommendation to the Board of Governors at their December meeting.

 The four options include:

  •  Maintain Hughes Stadium – Look at the minimum investments required to keep Hughes Stadium functioning at its current level, financed via bonds issued at one time rather than ongoing temporary expenditures. No new revenue-building capacity would be generated.
  •  Hughes 2050 – Examine what it would take to invest in improvements to Hughes Stadium that will allow it to function as a high-quality home for Rams football until 2050.
  •  Phased On-Campus Stadium – Explore a phased build-out of an on-campus stadium within existing resources that will allow the University to add on to the facility as the institution grows.
  •  On-Campus Stadium Public-Private Partnership – Pursue a public-private partnership to support construction of an on-campus stadium.