September 1, 2008
The calendar has turned to September and I know you are just as excited as I am that the fall sports season has arrived. All of our fall sports teams are sure to provide Cougar fans great excitement, as a new chapter in Cougar Athletics history will be written this fall.
This football season, when you enter Martin Stadium, you will be firsthand witnesses to history. Not only will the 2008 campaign mark Paul Wulff's first season as head coach of the Washington State University football program, it will be the first season that the Cougars will play in a venue that has undergone the initial completion of what is an ongoing transformation.
Last season, fans who visited Martin Stadium witnessed a sample of the benefits that the renovation offered; this season, fans will experience the full benefits of Phases I and II.
These benefits are designed to allow you to have a more fan-friendly game-day experience with easier access in and out of the stadium, more concession areas, and improved and expanded restroom facilities.
Along with the benefits, the importance of the completion of Phases I and II cannot be overstated. The stadium is unique in the fact that it is situated in the heart of campus, and its appearance as a world-class facility of Washington State University is critical.
Prior to when the renovation began in December 2006, the stadium's appearance, which included chain link fences and portable toilets, was not a desirable look for a facility with such a prominent location on campus. However, with Phases I and II completion, great strides have been made in this area.
Funding for Phases I and II was provided primarily through a facility fee placed on football tickets and a student fee, which was approved with overwhelming support by WSU students in March 2006. I want to extend a special thanks to Cougar alumni, students, and fans for their support because, without it, Phases I and II would not have become a reality.
And now I am asking for your support once again for Phase III. While Phases I and II provided the basic amenities needed for a NCAA football stadium, Phase III will provide the stadium the amenities needed to keep pace competitively with our Pac-10 counterparts.
Tentatively scheduled to begin construction in early 2009, Phase III will add premium seating to the north side of the stadium, including luxury suites, loge boxes, and club seats. It is budgeted at a maximum of $42 million and will be funded through revenue bonds and donations.
For several years, we have conducted the "silent phase" of our fundraising efforts and have received the support of many generous and dedicated Cougars. Our thanks to all of you who have helped get this project off the ground; yet, more support is needed. Before any of the Phase III construction begins, we must reach a threshold of funding to initiate construction. We will need help from you and every Cougar to generate the funding for Phase III as well as Phase IV.
Once again, thank you to all of you who have helped make what has been accomplished at Martin Stadium a reality, and what it will be in the future.