Rutgers University officials last week said the school will maintain the $102 million budget on its stadium expansion project and not increase the $72 million borrowing plan that officials approved in January.
While overall costs in adding 13,000 new seats to the facility have surpassed Rutgers’ approved spending plan, university spokesman Greg Trevor said officials are reviewing how best to revamp the expansion project in order to keep expenditures in line with the $102 million budget.
“The scope of the project might have to be altered,” Trevor said. “That’s what we’re looking at right now and we hope to have some resolution to that ... we’ll have a better idea of that by the end of the summer.”
The first phase will add 1,000 new seats to the stadium in time for Rutgers opening football game at home on Sept. 1. Trevor said that phase is on budget and on time, but bids on the second phase have surpassed the school’s current spending limits. The Star Ledger reported last week that some bids have come in as high as $18 million over budget, according to two unnamed sources in the article. Trevor said officials are still reviewing those bids.
“There are still some bids coming in, so it’s still being analyzed,” he said.
The overall expansion will bring the stadium’s capacity to nearly 56,000, with construction completed by the fall of 2009. While Rutgers will sell $72 million of debt backed by increased ticket sales to help finance the additional capacity, additional support will come from a $30 million financing campaign led by New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine — who said he will donate $1 million of his own funds — and another $10,000 from Sen. Raymond Lesniak, D-Union.
The fundraising initiative came about after an earlier plan fell through. Under that plan, the state would have granted the university $30 million through a long-term, no-interest loan.
The stadium is located on Rutgers’ main campus in New Brunswick, which has a total undergraduate enrollment of 26,691. The university has a wait list of approximately 11,000 fans looking to attend games, according to officials.