Whether you like it or not, the stadium is almost certainly going to happen. With this understanding, how can students, faculty and locals ensure that the highly contentious stadium’s impact on our lives is minimal, with its orchestrators held accountable?
Tony Frank has insisted that the stadium will not touch the student money in the general fund, but he has also altered the plan in the past. When the $125 million fundraising goal was not met, Frank secured the Board of Governor’s approval to build the stadium and seek alternative methods of finance. It is unsurprising then, to see trepidation from observers of the process in regard to the bond sales.
For point of reference, the 2011 bond package that paid for a partial renovation of the Animal Science Building, the Lory Student Center renovation, and the Durrell Center renovation cost $124.5 million. The plan for the on-campus stadium, to be decided Tuesday, will include raising $220 million in revenue bonds, sold at a 4-6 percent interest rate over 30 years. While the numbers by themselves are intimidating, the larger issue is the long-term financial burden that the investment would place on the University’s budget. It is impossible to see the full effects of such a massive fiscal commitment, and that uncertainty is yet another valid concern about the stadium.
Skepticism is furthered by indications from the administration that the stadium would be scaled down, yet no such changes seem to have been accounted for.
We, and all those whom the administration made promises to, expect that those were more than empty words. We expect that the general fund will remain untouched. We expect the University will pay for all the stadium related costs to the city of Fort Collins. The frequently voiced benefits of the stadium could come to fruition, but with such a gamble, the rest of us want insurance.