Raleigh approves 2,500-seat stadium for St. Aug's
Posted September 20, 2011
Raleigh, N.C. — For the first time in its 144-year history, the football and track teams at St. Augustine's College will have a stadium to call their own.
In a unanimous vote Tuesday, Raleigh City Council approved plans to build a 2,500-seat stadium around the college's track and field. About 100 students took buses to attend the meeting, where they cheered college president Dianne Boardley Suber's presentation to the council.
"We have a world-class track, world-class football field, a nice scoreboard, two perfectly straight goal posts and no place for anybody to sit and see them," Suber said.
The college had previously asked for 5,000 seats but scaled back after neighbors voiced concerns about traffic, noise and parking.
"Lights will be shining and they'll have three entrances for them to go in... There's no way it can keep off from our place," said neighbor Sarah Olive. "My street will not be affected, so they say, but I'm sure they'll be parking on it."
Mayor Charles Meeker mandated that the stadium have 50 feet of landscaping buffer around it, no concerts, no lighting higher than 80 feet and no more than 15 events per year. He is also requiring the college to offer free parking at the stadium to deter students and fans from parking on neighboring streets to avoid paying.
This is the second time in seven years that St. Augustine's has asked the city to build a stadium. In 2004, Suber asked the council to approve a 5,000-seat stadium, but agreed to a downsized, 2,500-seat version of the proposal. A location change, however, sent that plan back to the drawing board.
Suber said she's not giving up on getting 5,000 seats, but is willing to wait until she can prove that the stadium is not a disruptive feature in the neighborhood.