$80M Martin Stadium upgrade approved, set to start

$80M Martin Stadium upgrade approved, set to start

Credit: KING

$80M Martin Stadium upgrade approved, set to start

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by Associated Press

KING5.com

Posted on November 18, 2011 at 5:44 PM

PULLMAN, Wash. -- The Washington State University Board of Regents gave final approval Friday for an $80 million project to add premium seats and a new press box on the south side of Martin Stadium.

Construction will begin Monday, following the final home football game of the season Saturday against Utah.

The athletics department plans to have the press box completed before the first home game of next season. The luxury seating should be completed soon after.

"I feel strongly that we are at a time in Cougar athletics where we can truly make a statement and show that we can and will be competitive in the Pac-12 Conference," said Bill Moos, Washington State's athletic director in a press release.

The project will be paid for with funds from ticket sales, increased television revenues and donations, the university said. Estimated annual debt service for the stadium project is $5.4 million, the school said.

The addition of suites, loge boxes and club seating is expected to bring in $3 million more per year, Moos said.

A major financing component is increased revenue from the recently completed Pac-12 television contract, which goes into effect beginning with the 2012-13 academic year, he said. Washington State's share from that contract will range from $10.4 million in 2012-13 to $22.4 million in 2024-25.

There is also a second phase of the Martin Stadium project which involves construction of a football operations building behind the west end zone. That building would include a weight room, training facilities, locker rooms, coaches' offices and meeting rooms.

The school will assess the costs of that project next summer, and decide if they should ask the regents for permission to more forward, the university said.

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