The WSU Board of Regents met Tuesday to discuss the proposed $80 million renovations to the south side of Martin Stadium.
The money will be spent on renovations for the Southside Project, according to a memorandum regarding the plan. The first part will entail improvements to premium seating and the press box. The cost and design of the remainder of the construction, the West End-Zone Project, will be determined at a later date.
The stadium renovations will be partially funded through Pac-12 television contract funds, according to the memorandum. The regents will meet Nov. 18 to make their final decision.
President Elson S. Floyd said every other institution in the Pac-12 has completed or will complete a major expansion of its football stadium. Floyd said it is important for WSU to maintain that level of competitiveness.
“It’s not keeping up with the Joneses,” he said. “We’re just making sure we have the facilities that will impress and make our program competitive.”
Athletic Director Bill Moos added his support to the funding for the renovation. Moos said Stanford University, whose football team defeated WSU 44-14, recently completed a renovation of their stadium. He said four years ago, the team averaged three wins a year. Now, they are in the running for the national championship.
“This is Stanford,” Moos said. “This is not any old traditional football powerhouse. With that, all the rest of their programs continue to rise and be competitive across the board with the additional revenue and exposure they’ve been able to realize.”
Moos also provided Oregon State University as an example. He said there were five players on the Oregon State team who WSU tried to recruit. He said while they loved WSU, they ultimately chose OSU for their facilities.
According to an overview of financing plans provided at the meeting, it is unknown how much money will come from the Pac-12 television revenue. A bank line of credit will be used to pay the initial costs of the construction. The second part will be paid through the issue of 25-year bonds with an interest rate of 4 to 4.25 percent. Any money left from the additional $80 million will contribute to the West End-Zone Project.
Vice President for Business and Finance Roger Patterson said construction will start on the stadium on Nov. 21 if the cost is approved at the Nov. 18 Board of Regents meeting.
According to the memorandum, the press box is scheduled to be complete by August 2012. The Southside Project is set to be completed in time for Apple Cup 2012.