DALLAS - Colorado State University has only reached about half of its $110 million fundraising goal for a new on-campus stadium, preventing the university from advancing plans to build the $220 million facility, CSU President Tony Frank announced.
"As a result, I will not be bringing a plan of finance at the October meeting," Frank wrote in a campus-wide email in advance of the Oct. 2 Board of Regents meeting.
Frank recommended to the Board in October 2012 that CSU should move ahead with the construction of the new stadium if it could be done without impact to the general fund.
"I proposed the latter could be conservatively defined as funding half of the stadium with revenue bonds based on the lowest end of the low range of the new revenue projections and funding the other half via philanthropy," Frank wrote.
The cost of the athletic portion of the stadium facility complex was estimated to be $220 million.
However, donations to the stadium fund have only reached about $50 million, Frank estimated.
The fundraising shortfall does not mean that CSU's only option is to keep playing at Hughes Stadium at the base of the Rocky Mountain foothills on the edge of Fort Collins, Frank said.
One of the options Frank identified was what he called "Hughes 2050." That would entail issuing revenue bonds to upgrade Hughes Stadium with an eye toward playing there through 2050.
"Such a plan would involve substantial additional cost, but it would also provide new revenue to support revenue bonds and there might be more excitement among our donor base," Frank said.
Another option, Frank said, is to phase the current planned stadium in the proposed on-campus location.
"Under this scenario, the cost of the stadium is substantially reduced by the removal of items that we could (and would plan to) add back later if and as funds became available," he said. "This project would rely on funds already raised and the revenue bond capacity."
Another option, Frank said, could be a public-private partnership that allows the university to lease the facility over multiple decades.
"There is an argument that simply extending our time for fundraising will result in reaching our goal," Frank noted. "After two years of fund-raising efforts, I do not share this view, and I am concerned that in the face of rising construction costs, each additional delay in a decision - regardless of the decision - results in cost escalation and expenditures on temporary repairs at Hughes Stadium that do not serve our university well."