Local officials move ahead with plan to fund $20 million in Doak repairs
11 P.M. UPDATE
After lengthy debate Thursday evening, the Tallahassee/Leon County Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency voted to move forward with a proposal to fund $20 million in infrastructure repairs at Doak Campbell Stadium.
The request was met with vocal criticism from several members of the community who urged the public funds be used in other areas, but the board of city and county commissioners voted 9-3 to support the project.
According to FSU officials, the $20 million would be used to repair structural problems inside the stadium. Another $100 million is being raised by Seminole Boosters to fund stadium renovations and enhancements.
This was a preliminary approval; a final vote will come at a later meeting.
FSU coaches Mike Norvell, Leonard Hamilton, Sue Semrau, athletics director David Coburn and Seminole Boosters CEO Michael Alford all attended the meeting to support the request.
"For the last 70 years, our football weekends have been economic drivers in this county," Coburn said, adding that the Seminoles have high-profile home games scheduled in the coming years against Notre Dame, Alabama and Georgia..
"These are games that bring national television networks into this town to cover them. These are games that generate massive print media coverage all over the country. The kind of coverage you can't buy for this vicinity."
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Florida State officials will appear before the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency this afternoon seeking $20 million for repairs to the infrastructure of Doak Campbell Stadium.
The agency, which is comprised of commissioners from Leon County and the city of Tallahassee, originally planned to invest that money into a proposed convention center on the FSU campus, but university officials now are asking for the funds to be spent on needed repairs to the Seminoles' football stadium.
To bolster their cause, FSU officials have asked donors to send emails in support of the project and to even attend the meeting today wearing garnet and gold.
Here's the text of the letters sent to some donors:
Last month, Florida State Athletics and Seminole Boosters announced a vision for improvements to Doak S. Campbell Stadium that will include an array of seating, gathering, and socializing experiences within the stadium. These experiential features follow the latest trends and proven concepts in stadium venues around the nation to enhance event attendance and draw in participants from a broad cross-section of likely attendees.
The entire project is estimated to cost approximately $120 million. Of that amount, $20 million is specifically for long-term upgrades and safety improvements that are necessary to maintain the underlying structure of the 71-year-old Doak Campbell Stadium. The remaining $100 million is intended to support the actual gathering and seating experiences.
As you may be aware, FSU has a total annual economic impact of $10 billion. Of that amount, $1 billion is directly related to people who visit our community for reasons related to FSU. Continuing to invest in the stadium is a key driver to the vibrancy of Tallahassee and Leon County.
President Thrasher articulated the need in an opinion piece that appeared in the Tallahassee Democrat over the weekend, which can be found HERE.
One hundred million will be financed through ticket sales and private donations. We are seeking the remaining $20 million through the local one penny sales tax program with the focus of these dollars being on long-term maintenance and structural safety of the existing structure. As one of our most loyal supporters in Tallahassee over many years, we are urgently asking your help.
On Thursday, May 27, 2021 at 3:00pm FSU will be presenting before the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency on our request seeking $20 million for the stadium. Here is what we need from you:
1 Please send an email to our local City and County Commissioners urging support for the FSU stadium project.
2 The meeting will be held on Thursday, May 27 at 3:00pm. If your calendar provides, we are urging Boosters to attend the meeting wearing their garnet and gold and being prepared to voice their support for FSU's request. The meeting will take place at Tallahassee City Hall at 300 South Adams Street in the City Commission Chambers.