Auburn athletics may be on hold due to the coronavirus but the school is moving forward on a new football facility.
Speaking to reporters late last week, Tigers athletic director Allen Greene confirmed that plans will still be progressing on putting shovels in the ground on a brand new football palace on the plains.
“Right now we are full steam ahead on the football facility,” Greene said Friday, according to AL.com. “Obviously, as things change on our campus and in our country and around the world, we will audible as we see fit, but we have been given the directive to move forward full steam ahead.”
Auburn AD Allen Greene on how the COVID-19 cancellations are affecting Auburn athletics and its budget: "Large, small, medium, those are all relative speaking. But we do expect some financial impact."
— Nathan King (@byNathanKing) March 20, 2020
The Tigers have been progressing on a new football building for some time now and have raised over $30 million for it as of last November. While that money is typically earmarked when given, it will be interesting to see just how quickly the school can get things finished off in the wake of both the COVID-19 outbreak and what would assume is a significant economic depression across the country.
As Greene alludes to, the budget hit to the school figures to be notable. While funds from the university don’t directly impact a capital project that utilizes private funds, falling as much as $3 million short in conference distributions is typically enough to have larger reaching effects.
The program is still a little bit of away from that at the moment though. There is still a need to select a site on campus and finalize its design. Those two items are likely what Greene is referring to when talking about going full steam ahead. Once that’s done, then construction can begin and in a year or two there might be a new building for Gus Malzahn and company to show off to recruits.
Who knows what the future holds but it seems the planning for it isn’t slowing down anytime soon on the Plains.