ASU plans a football stadium expansion | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, June 22, 2017

ASU plans a football stadium expansion

Posted By on Thu, Jun 22, 2017 at 10:52 AM

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Arkansas State University today announced details of a north end zone expansion in its football stadium in Jonesboro.

From the website, it will include:
 a new weight room and training/rehabilitation area, new team locker room, position meeting rooms, players’ lounge, academic rooms and team-theater meeting area. The Red Wolves Den, our new outdoor premium seating options, will create a unique experience for our fans; comprised of loge boxes and terrace seating with premium food and access to two cash bars
I've asked for details on the cost of the project and what revenue is expected from premium seat sales and other sources. It is hoped to be ready for the 2018 football season.

UPDATE: From Jerry Scott on my questions:
What's this project to cost? The cost is TBD. The construction documents have just been completed, and the Red Wolves Foundation is currently advertising for construction managers to provide a bid on the project.

What is the budget on revenue sources? I’m not sure I understand your question, but I think you’re asking how the project will be funded. If so, it will be funded by private sources through premium seating and naming opportunities.

In regards to the cost, that will also determine the timeline. We are getting pricing now and completion will all depend on financial structuring and Board of Trustees approval.

ASU is striving to attain viability at the top level of NCAA athletics, but it is paying a price.  According to an annual statistical compilation by USA Today, ASU spent $29.2 million on athletics and ran deeply in the red in 2015. It required $14 million in student fees and university support to balance that budget.

The University of Arkansas, by comparison, spends more than $100 million a year on sports and, so far, has not had to use university money or student fees to do it. But it also enjoys an enormous TV contract through the SEC.

ASU also has a private fund-raising arm, the Red Wolves Foundation, but it pales in comparison to the Razorback Foundation in raising money for premium seats and through direct contributions. In the most recently available tax return on Guidestar, the Razorback Foundation reported $40 million in revenue for 2014 and net assets of $52 million. The Red Wolves' report for 2015 showed $7.5 million in annual revenue and $4.9 million in net assets.

UA is in the midst of a $160 million upgrade (more than $220 million cost counting interest payments) to its north end zone, supported by a bond issue and sale of new luxury suites.

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