Colorado State University, which is exploring the feasibility of a new stadium on the university’s main campus, will have two public input opportunities next week to allow community members to ask questions and make comments about the proposed stadium concept.
The meetings – which will have an identical format and content – will be at 5:30 p.m. on April 16 and 17 in the Fum McGraw Athletic Center’s first-floor auditorium. They will include presentations from university staff and outside consultants on the criteria for site selection, feasibility factors for an on-campus stadium, potential uses outside of football and CSU’s master planning process. The meetings will also include an opportunity for audience Q&A and public comment.
Available members of the Stadium Advisory Committee, a 15-person task force formed to study the feasibility of a new stadium, will attend both meetings. Community members are asked to attend just one meeting.
“These are opportunities for campus neighbors and community members to learn more about potential sites under consideration for a stadium, potential alternative uses and to get a better sense of the master planning process that we use at Colorado State,” said Amy Parsons, vice president for University Operations and co-chair of the Stadium Advisory Committee. “We look forward to answering questions and collecting additional public input as we begin to more closely examine details associated with potential sites and stadium design.”
In January, President Tony Frank created the Stadium Advisory Committee – which includes representation from student, faculty, staff, alumni and community stakeholder groups – and asked members to provide a recommendation by the end of the semester on whether CSU should consider pursuing construction of a new stadium.
Charging the committee to work in a thoughtful, inclusive and transparent manner, Frank has also set out a series of guidelines that must be met if the stadium project is to move forward. These include:
• CSU won’t consider putting the stadium on existing open green space, including the intramural fields.
• CSU won’t consider putting the stadium in front of significant existing view sheds so as to protect views of the mountains.
• All recommendations from the Stadium Advisory Committee must take into serious account any impact on neighbors in areas adjacent or near a new stadium.
• State appropriation, tuition, fees or taxes will not be considered as funding sources for a stadium project.
The next full meeting of the Stadium Advisory Committee will be at 7 p.m. April 20 in the Lory Student Center North Ballroom. The Stadium Advisory Committee meeting is open to the public.
In March, several sites were identified as potentially being suitable for a new stadium. Additional information about the initial sites will be presented at next week’s public forums. Links to presentations on site selection and other stadium-related issues are available at www.colostate.edu/stadium.
“All of the potential sites have impacts, challenges and opportunities that we need to fully understand and evaluate before we make a recommendation,” Parsons said. “The committee will take what we learn from these public meetings and use that information to further refine the sites that are under consideration. Members of the public will have additional chances to comment as we work with our consultants to narrow down site options and conduct more detailed design analysis.”
In a related matter, CSU also announced today that it has retained Populous as an architectural consultant on the stadium project. With offices around the globe, including Kansas City and Denver, Populous is an architectural firm which specializes in arenas, stadiums, ballparks and convention centers. The firm has designed more than 80 projects for U.S. colleges and universities, including TCF Bank Stadium, an on-campus stadium completed in 2009 for the University of Minnesota. TCF Bank Stadium is the first football stadium to achieve LEED Silver Certification. The firm is also designing a new on-campus stadium for Baylor University.
“Populous has tremendous experience designing stadiums around the world, including for many U.S. colleges and universities,” Parsons said. “Their input and experience will be extremely valuable to the Stadium Advisory Committee as we begin to look more closely at what a new stadium at CSU might look like, what amenities could be added, what additional uses could be considered and, ultimately, what the project might cost. This is all vital information that the committee must have so we can make an informed recommendation to President Frank.”
“This is the beginning of a very important journey for every student, alumni, fan, athlete, educator and administrator at Colorado State University,” said Scott Radecic, Populous senior principal. “We also see this as the beginning of a special process, because it is at the core of what we do best, and that’s creating a spectacular, memorable experience in a setting where college football belongs.”
Populous will work closely with ICON Venue Group, stadium consultant, to complete a preliminary stadium feasibility study. Populous was selected through a competitive process and will be paid with private dollars. Key criteria for selecting an architect were expertise in complex, public construction projects – including experience with stadiums – as well as a proven ability to support the work required to complete a feasibility study.
Staff from Populous will be part of next week’s public meetings. Information about the Stadium Advisory Committee and upcoming meetings is available at www.colostate.edu/stadium.