Rendering of on-campus South Alabama stadium

Rendering of on-campus South Alabama stadium

MOBILE, Ala. -- The University of South Alabama Board of Trustees on Saturday unanimously voted to approved phase two of construction for the on-campus stadium.

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South Alabama football stadium site

South Alabama football stadium site

It's part of a plan to have the football stadium open by the 2020 football season.

Phases of construction will be done simultaneously.

This phase includes the stadium bowl, press tower, athletic administration building and utility infrastructure

The university is hoping to begin construction by January.

Athletic Director Joel Erdmann said, "There is a public perception on what is called a traditional college game day and the majority of those traditional college game days are on college campuses and the campus comes alive and uses its geography, its buildings and it's a parking lot and it's green spaces, where instead of 20,000-25,000 people going off campus, they're coming onto campus." 

The stadium's estimated cost is $74 million. According to the university, funding and debt service on bonded indebtedness incurred to construct the stadium will come from a combination of the athletic department, auxiliary enterprises and public/private funding and not from tuition. 

South Alabama President Tony Waldrop said, "I've said very adamantly over the whole time that we've been working on this project, no tuition dollars will go toward this project and I'm delighted to say my bosses, the board of trustees, have concurred with that decision."

Board Chairman Ken Simon added, "We don't want to saddle either students or the next generation leadership with a lot of debt. So we had a very careful plan that's been laid out that doesn't involve any tuition. We've gotten a tremendous community support. We got support from private owners we got support from the county."

USA recently announced a $2.5 million sponsorship from the Mobile County Commission, which will create the Mobile County Center for Academic Success, to be located within the stadium's administration building. The university says discussions are ongoing with additional sponsors and donors.

video featuring animated 3D renderings showing a "fly through" of the planned South Alabama stadium was shown Saturday night during the USA game against Louisiana-Monroe, played in Mobile's Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

All content © 2018, WALA; Mobile, AL. (A Meredith Corporation Station). All Rights Reserved.

Investigative Reporter

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