MOBILE, AL (WKRG) — The year-long review to determine the feasibility of a new football stadium for the University of South Alabama Jaguars is nearly finished with some bittersweet results.
According to USA President Tony Waldrop, the committee tasked with exploring the possibility of a new football stadium has determined the best location would be on-campus. The best spot is said to be the current home of the intramural fields near the football field house.
The disappointing news is the cost requirement for building the new stadium. Waldrop says it would cost $85 million to $115 million, which is too high for the university to move forward with planning.
…construction of a stadium can only be achieved with the assistance of external financial partnerships and significant philanthropic support. We will continue to examine possible models for financing, but at this time the University has not identified sources of funding that would allow us to advance to the next stage of planning.” — Tony Waldrop, University of South Alabama President
The seating capacity would be 25,000, which lower than the current home of the Jaguars, Ladd-Peebles Stadium at 33,000 to 40,000. Average attendance at a USA game is just under 20,000.
The capacity would of course be drastically lower than the two big SEC schools in the state, University of Alabama and Auburn University; their stadiums seat 101,821 and 87,451, respectively.
USA, a member of the Sunbelt conference, is more comparable to the University of North Texas’ 30,000 seat stadium that cost $80 million or Florida Atlantic’s which also seats 30,000 and cost $70 million.
The exploratory group visited comparable stadiums and engaged in talks with “expert consultants” to determine where and how to build the new stadium.
Though the stadium has been deemed a “feasible” undertaking, there’s no guarantee it’s going to be built. The cost is a daunting endeavor for the university.
“Although funding is clearly the greatest challenge, our due diligence in examining the many options for a possible on-campus stadium have provided answers and data that are of great benefit. We will continue to explore all options as we move forward, and I will update the University community with any future developments.” — Tony Waldrop, University of South Alabama President