DALLAS — The Louisiana State Bond Commission will consider a request Thursday for $75 million of revenue bonds to finance expansion of Louisiana State University’s football stadium in Baton Rouge.
The bonds would be issued by the Louisiana Public Facilities Authority on behalf of the nonprofit Tiger Athletic Foundation. The bonds would be supported by a pledge of revenues from ticket sales and seat licensing fees at LSU’s Tiger Stadium.
The proposal before the commission includes a cooperative endeavor agreement for construction of the facilities between the Tiger Athletic Foundation and the board of supervisors of Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College.
The commission will also hear a request from New Orleans for up to $200 million of taxable refunding bonds.
The city wants to use the proceeds to refund outstanding taxable pension bonds issued in 2000 and pay a swap termination penalty. The refunding bonds would also allow New Orleans to refund a 2011 issue that shifted debt service payments due in 2012 into the 2013 budget.
LSU athletic director Joe Alleva said the Tiger Stadium expansion project will help the university meet the demand for tickets.
“When things are going well, you can move forward or you can fall behind,” he said. “We are choosing to advance the athletics program so that it can remain a viable and successful part of the mission of our university.”
Tiger Stadium is “one of the most iconic venues in all of college sports,” Alleva said
The expansion proposal was approved by university trustees in April and by the Louisiana Public Facilities Authority board in June.
The expansion will increase the capacity at the stadium to approximately 100,000 from the current 92,542.
Proceeds will finance construction of 3,000 club seats above the existing south end zone seats. An upper deck with 1,500 general public seats will also be added, along with an undetermined amount of standing-room-only seats that will be made available.
Construction of approximately 60 suites in the south end zone will be financed separately.
Work will also include a new tennis facility and a new gymnastics practice facility, which will make room for locker rooms for the track and field teams in the Carl Maddox Field House.
Total cost of the expansion effort, including the suites, is $100 million.
Project schedules call for work to begin after the last home game of the 2012 football season and to be completed in spring 2014.
When completed, the new Tiger Stadium will be the seventh-largest football stadium in the United States and third-largest in the Southeastern Conference.
The Tiger Athletics Foundation has $120.3 million of outstanding debt issued through the Public Facilities Authority.
The foundation has financed renovations and expansions at the stadium with a $43.6 million bond issue in 1999 and a $90 million issue in 2004.