Raleigh Postpones Action on Proposed Stadium for Shaw, St. Aug's
Posted March 20, 2007 8:24 p.m. EDT
Updated March 20, 2007 10:16 p.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — City Council members on Tuesday delayed a final decision on a proposed joint-use multipurpose complex in Raleigh that would serve as a football stadium to two local colleges.
The 10,000-seat facility would cost nearly $30 million to build. It could eventually host ticketed sporting events such as the CIAA championship and serve as a recreational center for both youth and adult activities.
It would also serve as the home field for Shaw University and St. Augustine's College—both CIAA schools in Raleigh without a football stadium.
Council members decided to delay a vote on the stadium for at least two weeks because the proposed site along Rock Quarry Road near Interstate 440 is not large enough to accommodate the facility with parking. A committee will revisit the proposal and also look at three alternative sites.
Wake County commissioners recently pulled their support of the project, leaving much of the financing to a combination of public funding by the city of Raleigh, federal grants and private contributions.
More than a third of Shaw University's football team showed up at the City Council meeting to see the proposal for the complex and to show support for it.
Proponents say a new stadium would boost attendance at home games, improve recruiting and prepare for further improvements in the quality of the schools' football programs.
"When we bring kids in for recruiting weekends, the first think they ask is: 'Coach, where are we playing at?'" Shaw University assistant football coach Robert Massey said.
Coaches have to tell recruits that home games will be played at local high school stadiums. Last season, Shaw's home games were at Garner High School; next season, they will be at Garner, as well as Enloe High School.
"We're losing students, whether it's students from Raleigh or the surrounding area. We're losing students because of facilities," Massey said.
"If we don't get this, this could hurt us -- the institution of Shaw as well as St. Augustine's -- years from now," he added.