Apr 222012
Authors: Allison Sylte

If the on-campus stadium proposal comes to fruition, students who live in the Academic Village will see something radically different from what they do now when they look out their windows.

That is because the parking lot and greenhouses to the south of the building were selected by the Stadium Advisory Committee during its public meeting on Friday as the best available option for the estimated $100 to 200 million structure.

Moving forward, this will be the primary location factored into the committee’s considerations.

“This site really emerged for us at the top,” said Amy Parsons, the university vice president for operations, the Stadium Advisory Committee co-chair and facilitator of the site selection subcommittee. “We’ll be focusing the rest of our analysis on this general area.”

“That’s sort of the outcome of the site selection subcommittee,” she added.

This site was selected, according to Parsons, because of its central location to the campus and proximity to the soon-to-be-built Mason Street corridor. She added that it would require fewer initial costs and create the least disruption to current structures on campus when compared to the other locations the subcommittee had considered.

In addition to the preliminary location announcement, Friday’s meeting marked another first for the Stadium Advisory Committee: empty seats.

While the previous meetings have been standing room-only, Friday’s public meeting was held in a halfway-full Lory Student Center North Ballroom, which was almost evenly divided between stadium opponents and supporters.

“It’s 75 degrees. It’s a Friday night,” said CSU Athletic Director and committee Co-Chair Jack Graham regarding the less-than-average attendance. “I’d have been somewhere else if I could.”

But Carl Patton, a CSU physics professor and stadium opponent, had different thoughts.

“Maybe they knew this was just going to be a run or Monday or Tuesday,” Patton said, referring to the public input sessions held earlier in the week.

In addition to selecting a preliminary site, the committee also discussed the findings of the design and best practices subcommittee during its tour of the stadiums at Stanford and the University of Minnesota.

“We really wanted to try and figure out what makes a place special,” Graham said.

Jim Smith, the committee’s community representative, spoke at length about the University of Minnesota’s stadium, which netted $400,000 in revenue last year from a U2 concert alone, and hosted 260 non-football related events.

In addition, he said, the number of merit scholars attending the university has increased every year since the new stadium was included in campus tours.

“We learned a lot of common sense lessons while we were there,” he said.

Blanche Hughes, the vice president for student affairs, discussed Stanford’s stadium, which was renovated rather than completely reconstructed. It, like the University of Minnesota, hosts numerous non-football events throughout the year.

“It has a real intimate feeling, which we really liked,” Hughes said.

The next full Stadium Advisory Committee is slated for May 30 in the LSC North Ballroom.

Content Managing Editor Allison Sylte can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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