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To build, or not to build? CSU stadium debate heats up

6:56 PM, Apr 12, 2012   |    comments
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A group called "Save Our Stadium Hughes" has brought a Colorado State University alumni and expert on intercollegiate athletic issues to campus to speak on why an on-campus stadium should not be built.

Dr. David Ridpath is now an assistant professor at Ohio University.

"This is not a good idea - Hughes Stadium is still a viable stadium," Ridpath of the current CSU stadium that sits roughly three miles west of campus said.

Ridpath and athletic director Jack Graham aren't in agreement.

"A new stadium is going to happen - this is not a maybe this is going to happen type of conversation," Graham said in January.

He said his goal was for the stadium to be built by 2014.

CSU spokesperson Mike Hooker says the process of what will happen is underway.

"This is not a foregone conclusion, this is a legitimate study into whether this would make sense," Hooker said.

So far, three sites have been recommended by a subcommittee of the stadium advisory committee. Recommendations will be passed along to CSU president Tony Frank at the end of the semester, Hooker says.

Those sites include an area near the Pitkin-Meridian intersection, an area near the CSU practice fields, and another site west of the railroad tracks that run through campus.

"The only problem I see with Hughes is it's just in the wrong place," Tim O'Hara, a CSU alumni who supports an on-campus stadium, said.

He says an on-campus stadium would engage not only students but alumni, as well as help bring the university prestige.

But Ridpath warns of an intercollegiate arms race CSU just can't afford.

"You start paying coaches more, like we already have, you start putting more money into recruiting - like we already have," he said. "I just firmly believe, through my research and a lot of other people's research that's out there, that the promised return on this stadium will not happen."

The on-campus stadium is estimated to cost $100 to $200 million, and the promise by Graham is that it will be paid for by private funds.

On Friday, Ridpath will speak at 7 p.m. in the North Ballroom of the Lory Student Center at Colorado State University.


(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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