CSU president says university should build new stadium on campus
If President Tony Frank has his way, Colorado State University will build a new stadium on its campus, possibly without the use of funds from tuition, fees or state support. Frank recently recommended to the Board of Governors that the university build a new stadium either at a pared down cost of about $195 million or up to $220 million if a public-private partnership is used.
Frank said his proposal will “have the likely outcome of a positive fiscal impact.” Part of the project would be infrastructure upgrades that would likely cost about $24 million, according to the city of Fort Collins, where the university is located. The university had previously studied renovating the existing stadium, but the costs would have meant taking $30 million to $60 million from the general fund for the nearly 50-year-old stadium.
Frank has recommended that CSU issue $195 million in revenue bonds for the construction of the facility. Donations would pay for debt service payments on the project. He suggests not using bonds that depend on the backing of the state of Colorado, but rather on the academic credit rating of the university. That would leave the university financing the project over 30 years at a 4 percent interest rate, or annual payments of $12.1 million.
The university president said officials had explored the possibility of a public-private partnership for the project, but did not find a suitable partner. He did, however, say the university would not rule out a private-sector partner to help assume some of the risk if the revenues fall short of projections in exchange for sharing part of any excess revenues that would be generated and needed to cover the finance costs.