Panel recommends against Univ. of Memphis stadium for now - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Panel recommends against Univ. of Memphis stadium for now

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - A University of Memphis athletic panel recommended that the school not build an on-campus football stadium for now, and president Shirley Raines issued a statement Wednesday saying she agrees.

"It is not affordable," Raines said in her statement.

"We will not be building an on-campus stadium at this time. But now is the time to come together as fans of the Tigers, and make our football program as strong as it possibly can be."

The university's Board of Visitors athletic subcommittee said in a statement after a two-hour meeting Tuesday that building a stadium "is not practical at this time" because of economic concerns. Raines had approved a stadium feasibility study last fall while stressing the school's priority should be academically oriented construction.

According to a version of the report obtained last week by The Commercial Appeal, a 40,000-seat on-campus stadium could be built for roughly $120 million, with stadium revenues producing about $100 million.

Raines said after weighing the recommendations of the school's business and finance officer and other advisers that the time is not right to build an on-campus stadium. She said students want the stadium but not if results in student fees.

Memphis already is building new residence halls with more than $125 million in delayed maintenance on existing campus buildings, and Raines said Gov. Phil Bredesen's proposed budget has no capital money for higher education in Tennessee.

 

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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