At this point in the process of CSU building an on-campus stadium, we can likely rule out that it’ll be called Stryker Stadium.
A mere 24 hours after President Tony Frank green-lit CSU’s on-campus stadium, local billionaire philanthropist Pat Stryker released a statement saying that she hasn’t —and might not — help fund the project.
This isn’t good news for Frank’s massive undertaking, and a bad omen for the future of CSU’s on-campus stadium.
Stryker is a Fort Collins resident who is on the Forbes list of the richest Americans (her net worth is a cool $1.4 billion) and just so happens to be one of CSU’s biggest private financial backers.
Her list of donations — that add up to more than $30 million for CSU — is huge, as you can see from our front-page story. In 2003, she pledged $15.2 million to help spruce up Hughes — the very stadium Frank wants to retire.
Essentially, Stryker’s influence on this university and this community is immense. One could even argue that she runs this town.
In Frank’s email on Monday, he made it clear that an on-campus stadium wouldn’t be in the cards unless he could get a minimum of $125 million in funding from private philanthropists. It would be a pretty safe bet to say Frank was hoping to knock on Stryker’s door.
Stryker’s choice to possibly not give money to a university that she has historically doted upon could have a long list of implications. Does she not approve of the project? Does she want to see Hughes stick around? We may not know — Stryker is known to stay out of the limelight.
What we do know is that this statement doesn’t bode well symbolically — as well as financially — for the future of an on-campus stadium.
Hopefully we won’t start catching Frank at plasma donation centers around town as he makes up for the loss.