It appears that a vote for a proposed South Alabama stadium funding model is drawing closer, with supporters looking to make their case for the concept.
The University of South Alabama is proposing a new on-campus football stadium that, if finalized, will allow its program to shift home games from the off-campus, 70-year old Ladd-Peebles Stadium. The university is hoping to begin construction this year and open the facility in time for the 2020 season, but it is also seeking to obtain funds from the City of Mobile and Mobile County.
Both allocations will require votes, but the university has asked the city for $10 million and the county for an additional $5 million. Part of that proposal allows for major events currently held at Ladd-Peebles Stadium–including the Reese’s Senior Bowl, Dollar General Bowl, and the Gulf Coast Challenge–to take place at the new South Alabama stadium rent free. In addition, South Alabama would provide the city with $2.5 million to put toward renovating the 40,000-seat Ladd-Peebles Stadium into a 6,500-seat high school venue.
A vote on the proposal could come as early as next week, and Mobile mayor Sandy Stimpson is showing his support for the plan, per Mark Heim of AL.com:
Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson calls the funding proposal, which may be voted on as early as July 10, is win for all parties involved.
Stimpson joined me and Lee Shirvanian on “The Opening Kickoff” on WNSP-FM 105.5 to talk about the proposal which would allocate funds toward the construction of South Alabama’s on-campus stadium. The school has asked the city for $10 million and the county for $5 million.
In exchange for the city’s $10 million, South Alabama would agree to contribute $2.5 million toward renovating Ladd-Peebles into a 6,500-seat high school stadium.
“The $2.5 million would come once South Alabama occupies its new stadium, so it would come in a lump sum at that time,” Stimpson said. “It would go toward the refurbishing or the rebuilding of Ladd – or whatever that may be.
South Alabama’s football program has played at Ladd-Peebles Stadium since it launched in 2009. The new stadium would seat around 25,000.
Rendering courtesy University of South Alabama athletics.