SBD/September 30, 2013/Colleges

Colorado State Believes New Football Stadium Will Increase Out-Of-State Enrollment

CSU has spent $690M in the past six years on new or updated facilities
Colorado State Univ. President Tony Frank said that the school's proposed on-campus football stadium will "help build a winning football team while advancing one of the school's highest priorities: attracting more out-of-state students paying higher tuition,” according to a front-page piece by Rachel Bachman of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. Frank and other supporters of the $246M, 40,000-seat venue "believe a new facility would attract better football players," leading to more wins and "more television appearances, thus raising the university's profile." They believe that the added exposure would "spur more applications from nonresident students." However, skeptical alumni and faculty "see the project as a boondoggle -- especially for a team that plays in a relatively low-profile athletic conference and doesn't sell out" its 32,500-seat, off-campus Hughes Stadium. Critics said that there "are no guarantees that a spiffy new football venue will bring in significantly more revenue, and that the additional debt to build it could hamstring CSU for years." Additionally, the school has spent $690M in the past six years "on new or updated facilities to make itself more attractive to students." CSU AD Jack Graham “pitched the idea of an on-campus stadium as a way to draw alumni back to campus and help differentiate" CSU from the Univ. of Colorado. While Frank said that he "remains skeptical that a new stadium can translate directly into an enrollment boom," he noted that the two "highest-traffic days on the university's website last year coincided with Colorado State's appearance in the NCAA men's basketball tournament" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/28).
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