On December 4, 2006, the long-awaited renovation of Martin Stadium began. I cannot begin to express how critical this project is to the future of Washington State University and WSU Athletics. The renovation will add to the vitality of not only the WSU football program and Cougar Athletics in general but the entire University.
This is the first renovation of the stadium in 27 years, and it would not be possible without the support of WSU students, alumni, and Cougar fans. Your support is sincerely appreciated. Thank you.
Although construction on the stadium started in early December, the work on this project started well over two years ago. A team of experts -- from the fields of architecture, construction, finance, banking, facilities management, marketing, communications, and fundraising -- has crafted the strategic plan which drives the entire project. Our thanks to this dedicated group, too.
The benefits of the initial renovation phases will be immediately apparent to everyone. You will appreciate 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. Additional phases of the renovation are planned. These future phases will expand the capacity of the stadium and add premium seating areas while retaining what makes watching home football games so special for Cougar fans. All these improvements will make the best game-day experience in the Pac-10 even better. Revenues from ticket purchasers and students will allow us to issue revenue bonds in the amount of approximately $22.5 million. This will cover the expense of Phases I and II of the stadium renovation.
Phases III and IV of the renovation will further enhance the overall facility and increase the number of seats including several types of premium seating. These improvements will enable more fans to enjoy Cougar football, assist in recruiting, and provide opportunities to increase operating revenue for WSU Athletics; all of which will enhance the competitiveness of Cougar football, and benefit all WSU student-athletes and sports programs. We have started the "silent phase" of our fundraising efforts and have received the support of many generous and dedicated Cougars. More support will certainly be needed, but we are off to a great start. Our thanks to all of those who have helped get this project off the ground.
Designs for Phase III are expected to be completed in early 2007. Once we have final designs, a construction timetable, and University approval, we will post renderings of the stadium on the website (martinstadium.org) and in other communication vehicles.
Completion of Phase III design will also allow us to move forward with the sale of premium seating and prepare for the public phase of fundraising. We will need help from you and every Cougar to generate the funding for Phase III and Phase IV.
Please take a moment to peruse the website to learn more about the project. More information on the improvements and how you can help will be forthcoming as we roll out our plan.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the ticket holders, students, and donors for your tremendous support. The renovation would not be possible without you. Your generosity is truly making a difference for WSU now and into the future.
If you would like more specific information on how to support the stadium renovation effort please call the WSU Athletics Foundation office at 1-877-IMA-COUG, 509-335-0220, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.