Nov. 18, 2011
SPOKANE, Wash. - The Board of Regents of Washington State University gave approval for an $80 million project that will add premium seating and a new press box on the south side of Martin Stadium.
The board voted to support the project at its meeting Friday at WSU Spokane. The regents' approval will allow construction to begin Monday, following the final home football game of the season to be played Saturday against Utah.
"I would like to thank the Board of Regents for their confidence in this project and President Floyd for his unwavering support," said WSU Director of Athletics Bill Moos. "I feel strongly that we are at a time in Cougar Athletics where we can truly make a statement and show that we can and will be competitive in the Pac-12 conference. The addition of suites, loge boxes and club seating, along with a new press box, provides our Cougar fans amenities deserving of a Pac-12 institution.
"Furthermore, it allows for new revenue streams which I believe are necessary to reinvest in scholarships and additional facility enhancement projects which are essential to attract top talent to our campus."
The renovation has the premium seating on the south side of the stadium, in part to take advantage of easily available covered parking for premium seat holders. The south side location also facilitates the construction of a new, state-of-the-art press box, which will also be located on that side of the stadium.
The project will be privately funded through donations, premium seating revenue and increased revenue from the recently complete Pac-12 television contract, which goes into effect beginning with the 2012-13 academic year. When fully occupied, the club seats, loge boxes and luxury suites are expected to bring in more than $3 million annually in net revenues at current projected price levels.
"We greatly appreciate the Board of Regents' support of this project. The investment in Cougar Football is an important step in program competitiveness. All of our sports will benefit as a consequence," said Elson S. Floyd, president of Washington State University.
Construction will begin next week with the goal of having the press box and premium seating areas largely completed by the beginning of the 2012 season.
The second phase of the Martin Stadium project would be construction of a football operations building behind the west end zone. That building would include a weight room, training facilities, locker rooms, coaches' offices and meeting rooms. In the summer of 2012, the university will assess the costs of that project and the potential revenues that could fund it. The regents would be asked to approve that construction and financing plan before it goes forward.