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City Council Approves Scaled-Down Version Of St. Aug Stadium Plan

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The Raleigh City Council gave the green light Tuesday to a scaled-down version of a proposed stadium on St. Augustine College's campus.

The Raleigh City Council voted to halve the number of seats for the proposed stadium from 5,000 to 2,500. The college said it needs a 5,000-seat stadium to be able to compete with other Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association schools.

"A college stadium would be hard to operate with those small amount of seats," student body president Jerry Draine said.

"I feel like St. Augustine was trying to bring another positive light to shine on our campus today. The vote today dimmed our light a little," student Shayne Halls said.

Most neighbors and Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker were opposed to the plan. Meeker proposed the 2,500-seat stadium with no concerts and no events after 7 p.m.

Dr. Dianne Boardley Suber, president of St. Augustine's College, said while college officials are willing to compromise on some lighting and sound issues, other suggestions were unreasonable.

"What do you do when a track meet runs over into the evening? Do you stop it at 7 o'clock because you have an arbitrary timeline on you?" she said.

Some people fear Suber's unwillingness to compromise will derail plans for a stadium in southeast Raleigh altogether.

"It's been flippant to the point that if I don't get what I want, then no one else will. Southeast Raleigh will not stand for that," St. Augustine's College alumna Theresa Barham-Peebles said.

Members of the Southeast Raleigh Assembly said it is not too late for the school and city to team up. They would like Augustine's College, Shaw University and the city to build a large sports/entertainment arena on Rock Quarry Road.

"We need to look at building a stadium in an area that allows for growth, economic growth," resident Hope Ethington said.

"I think we're at a point where we have to move forward. It's for the best for southeast Raleigh. Having a stadium in a location that's feasible is correct," resident Octavia Rainey said.

St. Augustine's officials would like to start playing in a new stadium by 2005.


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