New JSU Stadium Coming

Jackson State University will soon officially unveil plans for a new stadium. The university recently made a presentation to policymakers about a new multi-purpose athletic facility.

Jackson State University will soon officially unveil plans for a new stadium. The university recently made a presentation to policymakers about a new multi-purpose athletic facility. Photo by Trip Burns.

Jackson State University will soon officially unveil plans for a new stadium. The university recently made a presentation to policymakers about a new multi-purpose athletic facility.

State Sen. Kenneth Wayne Jones, D-Canton, attended the meeting and told the Jackson Free Press that preliminary plans include a 50,000-seat state-of-the-art domed stadium that can accommodate football and basketball games as well as serve as a concert venue.

Jones said that he would work to secure JSU's request for $75 million from the state to help pay for the $200 million stadium, which would sit on one of four sites JSU is considering.

"I think the presentation was excellent. I commend them on their forward thinking," Jones said.

Eric Stringfellow, JSU's communications director, declined to comment about the stadium proposal when contacted this morning, but said the university plans to hold a news conference Feb. 27 to make a major announcement.

In 2011, the Legislature transferred control of 60,000-seat Veteran's Memorial Stadium to Jackson State on the condition that ownership would transfer the land to University of Mississippi Medical Center when JSU builds a new stadium.

JSU's isn't the capital city's only stadium idea in the works, however. In late January, the city of Jackson released the results of a $109,000 feasibility study for a new downtown arena. The proposed arena could hold between 9,000 and 12,000 people, depending on the event, with the possibility of future expansion for up to 15,000. The arena could also serve as a venue for multiple entertainment events, including sporting events, concerts, ice shows and others.

The big question mark is whether Jackson needs, or can support, two brand new sports arenas.

Jackson City Council President and Ward 6 Councilman Tony Yarber also saw JSU's presentation and said the city is ready to help the university however it can. So far, JSU has not requested assistance.

Yarber was dubious whether Jackson needs dual arenas, and the findings of the city-commissioned study could help justify the need—and economic benefits—of a Jackson State arena. He said a new stadium would enhance JSU's west Jackson campus and add jobs to the area.

"I think it becomes a win-win," Yarber said of the Jackson State proposal. "It helps us become a destination."

Comments

Duan 1 year, 2 months ago

I can't lie, I like my football in the elements - BUT

When you look at how bad we need facilities to host other athletic events - it would give us the ability to host some really big things in the Metro area!!!!!

Finally you can bring in the big time singers and host easily!

You can watch the State basketabll champsionships and not worry about seating in the coliseum.

Great great news!

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Knowledge06 1 year, 2 months ago

If this is true, the decision makes no sense. Why would JSU (and i'm a JSU alum) see the NEED to construct a NEW stadium when you have a stadium that only needs to be upgraded. The football stadiums at Ole Miss, MS State and USM were ALL UPGRADED from the original stadiums and those original stadiums were older than Veteran's Memorial Stadium. The State of Mississippi won't fund the expansion of Medicaid to help over 500,000 residents. What makes anyone thing that they will provide $75 million dollars to help fund a football stadium that will benefit ONLY JSU. Come on people. Let's be realistic hear. I would wholeheartedly support the upgrade of Veterans Memorial Stadium (WHICH WE ALREADY OWN) to include stadium boxes and the like but this proposal mentioned in the article is a fantasy. I know it's been said that UMC wants the area of the current stadium to expand but that's not JSU's concern. The administration of JSU would be foolish to return the stadium back to the State and end up with something far less than what they already have and far less than what they really want!

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Duan 1 year, 2 months ago

I like your point and you gave a great argument against it.

But the possibility of a dome - would REALLY open up a lot of possibilities/opportunities for events to come to the metro area.

I'm saying this as a Cleveland Brown fan too - Cleveland Brown stadium see's a grand total of 8 days of use out of 365 days a year. It's a big drain on the local economy, especially with the team playing like hot garbage.

With the indoor arena - a 50,000 seat arena - Jackson could put in bids for NCAA regional tournaments with college hoops, host Nike All-American camps, possible regional combines for the NFL - it is endless on the possibilities.

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robbier 1 year, 2 months ago

Duan, MS is excluded from hosting pre-determined NCAA site games due to the fact that Stars & Bars is a part of our State flag. The same NCAA who's integrity is being ridiculed across the nation as we speak.

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joedawg80 1 year, 2 months ago

Surely the taxpayers of Mississippi are not expected to give JSU $75 million for a football stadium! If JSU wants a football stadium, they can do exactly as Mississippi State and Ole Miss has done! They raise the money themselves and pay for it. Mississippi State is in the process of expanding Davis Wade Stadium at a cost of over $90 Million, but not one dollar of that is coming from the taxpayers of Mississippi. The funds were raised through private donations to the Bulldog Club and selling bonds to be paid back by the Bulldog Club!

This kind of nonsense needs to stop and stop now. We don't have enough funds to cover Medicaid, much less build a football stadium. Get a grip JSU!

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keviet29 1 year, 2 months ago

A dome college football stadium? lol Come on jsu, be realistic.

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swalker 1 year, 2 months ago

. With the Veterans Memorial Stadium being in the path of economic development it will be soon razed. I think JSU is making a good step forward but need to consider some things before finalizing a deal. Maybe if the proposed Downtown Arena and Jackson State University Arena merge as one then it will be more realistic. It seems that what Downtown Jackson Partners has already proposed for the Downtown Arena and Jackson State Arena right there splitting DT Jackson and Jackson State will be the perfect fit.

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Knowledge06 1 year, 2 months ago

JSU upgrading Memorial Stadium would be economic development. UMC can do what they need to do without the Stadium area. Actually they are already doing it. There will not be a Downtown Arena because there isn't a population base nor the money to support it. It's just a distraction. The Coliseum can be UPGRADED to accomplish the same thing an Arena would.

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Knowledge06 1 year, 2 months ago

FOOD FOR THOUGHT:

Texas Southern (In Downtown Houston, TX) is playing in a new $110 million dollar, 22,000 seat stadium in Houston. They only had to invest $2.5 million dollars. Why? They share the stadium with the Houston Dynamo Soccer Team. The Houston Dynamo ownership paid $75 million dollars on the project, the City of Houston & Harris County paid $10 million dollars and the City of Houston also provided the land with an estimated value of $15 million dollars. By the way, Houston is the 8th largest City in the U.S. So don't compare that one.

Alabama State University (in Montgomery, Alabama) is completing a new $62 million dollar, 26,500 seat football stadium with luxury suites and stadium boxes. But guess what? This was made possible because of and Oct 2006 Settlement Agreement (Knight vs. Alabama) that ordered a $600 million dollar 30 yr campus renovation plan for Alabama State that includes $250 million dollars targeting new construction AND the NEW STADIUM financed through bonds. The lawsuit was similiar to the Ayers case in Mississippi except the plaintiffs got the carve out for the stadium. So you can't compare this one either.

JSU does not have any of these situations going for them. The bill granting JSU Memorial Stadium states that JSU can make IMPROVEMENTS to the facility and that it would only be given to UMC once JSU occupied another stadium. So JSU can remain at Memorial Stadium as long as they want. JSU should make the necessary Improvements to Memorial Stadium and move onward and upward!!

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goldeneagle97 1 year, 2 months ago

I like the idea of merging JSU's stadium with other plans to bring an arena downtown. I'd like to see all parties involved to join forces and make this happen. As far as the Vet is concerned, tear it down & let UMC take over the property.

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rltaylor28 1 year, 2 months ago

JSU needs an on campus stadium, in fact we can support it. For the record of State of Mississippi have give funding for every stadium in the State of Mississippi accept for JSU. We want a stadium that was design for JSU not a had me down that Ole Miss and Mississippi State stop playing in.

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swalker 1 year, 2 months ago

I understand what you are saying but if you are going to spend Millions of dollars in upgrades why not consider building a new stadium one that can attract other venues for the city as well as be a part of a seperate venue in the same facility. A project of this magnitude can generate revenue for the city and transform a great amount of city blocks into something beautiful. At the same bring satisfaction to JSU and DT Jackson

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swalker 1 year, 2 months ago

The only thing that is wrong with what JSU is doing is asking the state for $75 M that is to much to ask for. I think they can go a different route by doing a public/private donations and taking out bonds for the project. Also, they can scale the dome stadium down a bit to make it cheaper to build such as the amount of seating scale back to 40,000. As I stated earlier adding the DT Jackson Arena to their plan will help them get money a little quicker. This way government, city, private and public can pitch at it.

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Knowledge06 1 year, 2 months ago

There are 9 schools from the Football Championship Series (formerly Div 1-AA) that have built or are building football stadiums over the last few years. NONE of those stadiums have a seating capacity over 30,000. As a matter of fact, ONLY 1 has a seating capacity of 30,000 (Alabama State's new stadium). The other 8 have seating capacities of between 8 and 15,000. Further, there are only 4 football stadiums in FCS that have football stadiums with seating capacities above 50,000 (JSU, TSU (they play in the NFL Titans Stadium), Penn (in Pennsylvania)and Yale. I say this to continue saying that the proposal IS NOT REALISTIC!!! NONE of you commenting hear can show where this money will magically come from. SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!

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Duan 1 year, 2 months ago

Knowledge06 - I feel your argument - but a domed facility would be more practical, than upgrading an outdoor stadium for a grand total of 12 days of use? You have 6 Jackson State home games and then MSHAA playoffs - Belhaven doesn't use it, Millsaps doesn't use it, the Private Academy system doesn't use it for their playoff system.

I'm telling you - Cleveland (Browns) fans and the city of Cleveland are beating themselves over the head for building an outdoor stadium? It just does not get any use, besides the few home games a year and maybe a Kenny Chesney concert every once in a blue moon. A high school game here and there and then maybe one college game.

For a place like Jackson - a dome facility would make it beneficial for numerous opportunities - but if you just upgrade an outdoor stadium - it s going to be the same thing.

The University is looking for a revenue generator.

I commend you for playing devils advocate and explaining why the project isn't realistic - but I just like the fact the new President set the bar that high and anything short of that is better than what we have now.

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JSUAlum1963 1 year, 2 months ago

@knowledge - Let provide you some facts. 1. The existing facility is in the path for the Medical Corridor which will extend from UMC to Jackson Medical Mall and beyond. There is support for this corridor at JSU, UMC, the legislature, the Lieutenant Governor and the Governor. 2. While the other campus stadiums don't have that capacity currently (MSU is adding about 10,000 seats), they also don't have the metro population (Hinds, Rankin, Madison, Copiah, Simpson) of 545,000. 3. There are a lot of events that the city and state lose because of not having a facility of this size to accommodate as per Jackson Convention and Visitors Bureau (the Coliseum only has 6,500 seats and because JSU's Veteran's Stadium is open air, it is subject to weather and limits planned engagements). 4. I have seen the numbers and the plan as seen by me and others such as the list mentioned above, is realistic. 5. This will not just be a sports facility so the comparison can't just be with other sports facilities. I have other points, but will leave it for now at these. This is great thinking and planning for the future.

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Knowledge06 1 year, 2 months ago

JSUAlum1963 I understand your point. However, WHERE IS THE REAL MONEY? You have great THEORY but you still haven't shown where the money will come from. You fail to realize that since the State of Mississippi will not expand Medicaid as part of the Affordable Care Act that hospitals like UMC will expend more money on indigent care that they will not be reimbursed for. This will significantly harm these grand visions that people have dancing in their heads. No one commenting hear can show where the money will come from. I'm still waiting for that answer. Inquiring minds want to know!!

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JSUAlum1963 1 year, 2 months ago

Look toward the JSU press conference on the proposed stadium.. Info on revenue sources will be provided. When you see the money, I hope your support will follow.

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swacbob 1 year, 2 months ago

Solid points 63, I am in full support of this project! Everybody wins!

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Jroc 1 year, 2 months ago

Sounds great! However, (w/all do respect) no professional baseball or football teams have built domes it what I believe to be decades.

Domes damage players - along w/ a plethora of other complications. These days if a club chooses a domed stadium, it is done so as a retractable roof / natural grass facility.

It's great to receive a "new" stadium; but not if it takes us back to the early 80's - technologically.

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