Members of the Jackson State athletic community have talked about the possibility of building a domed stadium for years. That talk has turned into a report, and that report is now in. According to the Clarion-Ledger, the proposed 35,000 seat dome would cost anywhere from $250 to $280 and would need public funding.
And of course, it didn’t take long for politics to come into play.
“Mississippi taxpayers should not be asked to subsidize college athletic venues,” Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said in a statement. Our limited budget for IHL should be focused on preparing students to graduate from our universities with the job skills needed for today’s economy. Across the country, college athletics are supported through private donations, ticket revenue and sponsorships.”
JSU already has the highest seating capacity in the SWAC, as Mississippi Veteran’s Memorial Coliseium’s 60,492 more than double’s second place Southern’s Mumford Stadium. JSU, however, is selling the domed stadium as more than just a football venue.
The study, done by national consulting firm B&D Venues, would have to host other events that included conference championship games, concerts, meetings, corporate events and banquets.
To reach the projected $400,000 operating deficit, B&D estimated the dome would have to generate a minimum of 63 ticketed events with a combined attendance of at least 343,000. The primary revenue stream would be JSU’s annual $1.6 million lease payment.
We’ll be keeping an eye on this ambitious project.