USA Board of Trustees approves on-campus football stadium
2 June 2018
The University of South Alabama Board of Trustees this morning unanimously approved the construction of an on-campus football stadium.
Plans call for the stadium to have 25,000 seats and cost $72 million.
South Alabama says student tuition and fees will not be used to build the stadium, which could be ready for the 2020 football season. Instead, funding for the stadium will come from the athletic department, auxiliary enterprises, and public/private funding.
USA President Tony Waldrop said private philanthropy and other sources will help cover the costs of the stadium.
"It's a win for the whole community," he said.
Waldrop said the stadium will bring in revenue to the city and to Mobile County and will also contribute a "drastic increase" to the quality of South Alabama student life.
Student representatives at the trustees meeting offered that an on-campus stadium will bring convenience to students and will increase attendance of Jaguars football games.
USA's athletic director, Joel Erdman, said the city of Mobile is considering involvement to assist the university with the project.
Waldrop said he is hoping for $15 million to $20 million in public funding from both the city and county of Mobile.
In a statement to FOX10 News, the city said it is "optimistic" about the project:
“The City of Mobile was approached by the University of South Alabama to consider participating in a public-private partnership for construction of a new football stadium to be located on the university campus. The City is motivated to help USA achieve its goal and to continue its growth as an economic engine for Mobile.
The City is additionally motivated to secure a long-term home for the Reese’s Senior Bowl, the Dollar General Bowl, the Gulf Coast Challenge and future events that can promote economic development in Mobile. Those events are currently held at the city-owned Ladd-Peebles Stadium, an aging facility in need of significant maintenance and repair.
Negotiations between the City and USA are ongoing and we are optimistic that they will be successful. The project represents a generational opportunity for the City and USA, creating a world-class amenity to be enjoyed by students and citizens alike.” - George Talbot, Communications Director for the City of Mobile
The new stadium will be located where the intramural fields currently exist. To see a campus map showing where the stadium would be located, click here, and look for number 97 on the map in the top left hand corner.
In other business Friday, the USA trustees also approved a five percent tuition increase. The vote was unanimous.
School officials said the increase in tuition will help support staffing, research endeavors, updating aging buildings, and putting new technology in classrooms.
Students were also supportive of that vote.
"We want to see your institution grow," said Shaun Holoway, a senior at the university.