It’s never a good thing for your college football program to play in a stadium that’s 61 years older than the team it hosts. Such is the case for South Alabama, where the Jaguars, born in 2009, play in Ladd-Peebles Stadium, born in 1948.
The school has completed a feasibility study into building an on-campus stadium, which concluded three things:
A) Ladd-Peebles Stadium’s 36,000-seat capacity is about 10,000 seats too large.
B) Building an on-campus stadium would require displacing the university’s intramural programs.
C) It would cost between $85 million and $115 million to build it.
From a letter South Alabama president Dr. Tony Waldrop sent to school supporters and media:
At this point in the process, it has been determined that:
The most viable and logical site for a stadium would be the location of the current intramural fields near the football field house, with the intramural fields being relocated to another area of campus.
The logical seating capacity for a stadium would be in the range of 25,000 seats, with the capacity for additional expansion in the future if needed.
The cost of a stadium, along with the associated infrastructure and improvements, would fall into the range of approximately $85 to $115 million.
The results of this process tell us that construction of an on-campus stadium is feasible. At the same time, we also know that construction of a stadium can only be achieved with the assistance of external financial partnerships and significant philanthropic support. We will continue to examine possible models for financing, but at this time the University has not identified sources of funding that would allow us to advance to the next stage of planning.
So, yes, identifying a need for a stadium is one thing. Finding the money to do it is something else entirely.