SBD/August 10, 2012/Colleges

Ole Miss AD Ross Bjork Says He Is Confident Renovation Plans Are On The Right Track

Around $65M has already been raised for renovations at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium
One year into the Univ. of Mississippi's “ambitious $150 million campaign to raise money for an overhaul of its most prominent athletic facilities,” AD Ross Bjork said he feels the effort is in "a really good spot," according to Kyle Veazey of the Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL. Some $65M in cash and pledges “has been raised toward the Forward Together campaign, which was unveiled to fanfare a year ago.” The first phase will “build a new 10,000-seat arena to replace the nearly 50-year-old Tad Smith Coliseum and will also fund infrastructure and amenity improvements at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.” The second phase calls “for a bowling-in of the north end zone at Vaught-Hemingway, lifting the stadium's capacity to over 70,000.” The campaign’s website states that the giving total is near $60M and most “has been associated with capital gift agreements, the per-seat donations similar to personal seat licenses that are more common in professional sports.” A little over $5M “has been raised as gifts not connected to seats.” Bjork continues “to project a goal of the 2015-16 season to open the new basketball arena.” To hit that schedule, the project “will likely need to enter the design phase in the coming months.” Bjork said that conversations “are continuing about potential naming rights for the new arena” (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 8/9).
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