After a series of committee meetings and public forums, the next step in making an informed decision about the construction of an on-campus stadium at CSU may come with a hefty price tag.
In emails forwarded to the Collegian, it was revealed that university officials are prepared to spend $200,000 to $300,000 to bring in consultants who would help determine if an on-campus stadium is feasible.
The experts will draw up schematics, conduct impact studies and work out the details of the facilityâ€™s utilities and perform additional work â€” all to assist the universityâ€™s Stadium Advisory Committee in deciding whether itâ€™s a good idea to replace Hughes Stadium with one thatâ€™s closer to students.
â€œ â€¦ to not have this information makes it almost impossible, I think, for the committee or me to arrive at a thoughtful decision,â€ said CSU President Tony Frank in an email chain provided by Carl Patton, a professor in CSUâ€™s Department of Physics, who quizzed Frank on his on-campus stadium proposal in a back-and-forth correspondence.
Stu MacMillan, a Stadium Advisory Committee member, agreed, saying that hiring outside consultants is a basic step in the planning phase of any sizable construction project, including the on-campus stadium proposal.
â€œWithout knowing more, itâ€™s hard to make any kind of decision about location, or impact, or anything,â€ he said. â€œ â€¦ I come from the private sector, where Iâ€™ve been in development all my life â€¦ It makes sense in the world that Iâ€™ve come from, so it would make sense for this project.â€
But Frank admitted in his discussion with Patton that the consulting fees could be a bit more than his $200,000 to $300,000 ballpark estimate, especially â€œfor a project of this scope.â€
And he may not be off base.
Dave Plapi, a sports information director at the University of Coloradoâ€“Boulder, said the consulting fees for the planning phase of a simple expansion of CUâ€™s football stadium, Folsom Field, cost $120,000.
The project added 1,900 club seats, 41 suites and cost $42 million in total. CSUâ€™s on-campus stadium proposal calls for a facility with 40,000 to 50,000 seats and may cost around $100 million to $200 million.
The ultimate cost of CSUâ€™s project-planning stage will be determined after consultancy agencies are selected, which is slated to be by the end of this month.
â€œYou select the company based on their quality and then you negotiate the cost afterwards,â€ said CSU Spokesperson Kyle Henley.
Henley stressed that the project â€” including its preliminary period â€” wouldnâ€™t be paid for with state funds, including tuition dollars.
Frank echoed this in his email exchange, saying that a series of donors have pledged money for the planning phase of the on-campus stadium, regardless of whether or not it actually moves forward.
â€œBy allowing this to go ahead, I realize I create the potential for people to say, â€˜There’s just no way anyone would donate (or spend) that sort of money without knowing this is going ahead.â€™ Because that’s not true and it hurts the open dialogue, I’d rather not create that opportunity and that argues for me not to have gone ahead with this,â€ he said.
â€œOn the other hand, to not have this information makes it almost impossible, I think, for the committee or me to arrive at a thoughtful decision. In the end, I opted to go ahead knowing I’m opening up for criticism but thinking data were more important to a good conclusion.â€
Senior Reporter Andrew Carrera can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What: University officials are preparing to bring in consultants to determine the feasibility of an on-campus stadium
How much it will cost: Up to $200,000 or $300,000
Where the funds will come from: Donors, not state funds or tuition dollars