FCS Jackson State wants a $200 million stadium

Spruce Derden-US PRESSWIRE

A planned on-campus domed facility will host Tigers football and basketball, as well as non-university events.

Jackson State athletic department officials unveiled plans for a 50,000-seat, $200 million domed stadium to replace Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium. The program is looking to sell its 62-year-old stadium to the University of Mississippi Medical Center as part of a planned expansion. Funds from the sale are to be used to partially fund the new stadium.

As Jackson State Vice President of Business and Finance Michael Thomas told a crowd Friday, funds for the extravagant new facility will be drawn from a number of sources, including private donors, sponsorship sales, and the state government:

Thomas said JSU will try to get as much financial help from the state as it can for the construction of the stadium. House Bill 1589, which would allow the state to issue up to $75 million in general obligation bonds to help fund the stadium, is currently in the Ways and Means committee.

"There's going to be some private dollars, there's going to be some public dollars, and some dollars are going to be funded through the anticipated revenue from the project," Thomas said.

Some of the anticipated revenue includes selling the stadium's naming rights, as well as luxury boxes within the stadium.

The new stadium is expected to be on or near the Jackson State campus, though a final location has not yet been determined. The domed facility will also act as Jackson State's basketball arena and be used for other university and non-university events. The announced 50,000-seat capacity is more than double Jackson State's 2012 average home attendance, but is also 10,000 seats smaller than Veterans Stadium. No other Southwestern Athletic Conference program has a football stadium larger than 30,000 seats.

The $200 million price tag is more than double what Florida Atlantic ($70 million) and North Texas ($78 million) -- both FBS programs -- paid for new facilities in 2011. It is more than triple that paid by Akron ($61 million) and Central Florida ($55 million) in recent years.

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