Looks like Ray and Todd are going to have to reach a little deeper into their pockets. The facelift on their football stadium is going to cost more.
A lot more.
As a result, the goal posts have been moved in the fundraising effort – to the tune of about $35 million.
Just days after Arizona State athletic director Ray Anderson and Todd Graham, the school’s head football coach, each ponied up half a million dollars to give a boost to the fundraising campaign for the renovation project on Sun Devil Stadium, the overall private fundraising goal ballooned from $50 million to $85 million.
The school isn’t going to tap the taxpayer, so the money will have to come from private donations and revenue streams.
The entire project to renovate the 56-year-old facility, which won’t be completed until 2017, is now expected to cost in the neighborhood of $256 million, up considerably from the initial projected cost of $210 million. ASU is currently engaged in an extensive design process to finalize the construction plans.
Adding an 84,500-square-foot student athletic building at the north end of the stadium, not included in the original plans, is largely responsible for the budget increase, and ramped-up fundraising goal. To increase the amount of the reinvestment, the college has fled an amended capital development plan with the Arizona Board of Regents.
The Student Athletic Facility will be integrated into the existing stadium structure and will include office and administrative spaces, meeting rooms, support space, study rooms, storage and equipment space, locker rooms, lounge areas, athletic training areas, and conference areas.
“Every student-athlete who passes through here will know their commitment to ASU is reciprocated, not only through our coaches, trainers, and academic support, but also with our facilities,” said Anderson at yesterday’s announcement of the project expansion.
Todd Graham is in his third year at the helm of the football program, so he’s become pretty invested in the program. But Anderson, who came to ASU directly from his position as an NFL executive, has been on board just a little more than nine months – and he took a pay cut to take the ASU job.
Heck, his $600,000 annual base salary means he’s going to have to work for almost a year just to cover his financial pledge – and he doesn’t even know if he’s going to be around long enough to witness the re-birth of the old stadium. The guy that held the AD job before him hung around for just two years.
And Graham was the head coach at University of Pittsburgh for just one year before taking the Sun Devil job. His new job in Tempe was his fourth head-coaching gig in seven years. Do the math.
With all that in mind, who would have expected either Anderson or Graham to make a $500,000 commitment to just the latest stops on their career paths? But they did. And it will prove to be a great talking point for those out in the community knocking on other doors, asking for contributions from fans and alumni that have to respect how Anderson and Graham are walking the walk.
The renovation project is being called a “reinvention” by school officials and will be done in three phases, with work undertaken in the off-season so that the football team can continue to play in the stadium. Work began last spring when approximately 5,700 seats were removed from the north end zone.
That first step will be followed by the construction of concourse levels, updating and expansion of restroom facilities, modernization of concessions, electrical and plumbing upgrades, new club and premium seating, improvements in the lower bowl, modifications to the upper deck, and a new video board and sound system.
And that’s why it’s going to take a lot of committed donors like Anderson and Graham. Whole bunches of them.