The Arkansas State University Board of Trustees
today approved a ground lease with the Red Wolves Foundation
which will take the responsibility for building $29 million worth of improvements to the football stadium.
The Foundation will raise private money (some of it in the form of contributions for premium seating at football games) to pay for the project. The school hasn't yet released the details of borrowing, if any, by the private foundation to do the work, annual debt service costs and revenue expectations from premium seating.
A news release said the foundation will build a 66,533-square-foot "athletics operations facility" and premium seating and other improvements in the north end end
zone of the stadium.
ASU President Charles Welch touted the work as benefitting more than football, but also addressing Title IX issues on equity for women's sports. A spokesman explained later that the work wasn't solely for football but training, rehab
and weight-room facilities will be used by multiple sports and coaches in women's sports will get improved offices.
ASU competes at the top level in college athletics. Its most recent NCAA report showed $43 million in annual spending on athletics. It draws $5 million from student fees, $8 million from direct institutional support and another almost $15 million in "other" revenue (about $4 million from campus funds and $11 million from the Foundation),