Football stadium in need of upgrade


Editorial Board

The Issue:

Coughlin-Alumni Stadium in need of renovation or replacement.

The Stance:

Coughlin does not reflect SDSU’s Division I Status.

With every football game, the need for a new football stadium becomes more apparent.

At the Sept. 22 Beef Bowl game against Texas State, 14,920 people crammed into Coughlin-Alumni Stadium. This was the fifth largest group ever assembled at the stadium. As enrollment at SDSU continues to grow, the number of football fans that attend Jackrabbit home games does too.

During the past few years, fans have had trouble finding a seat in the stadium. At every game, you can see rows of people lining the chain-link fence that surrounds the field. The problem is more evident this season; fans who would normally have set up camp in the Backyard either have to leave campus or fight the mob to catch a glimpse of the field because of the tailgating policy change.

Coughlin-Alumni Stadium is not just a problem for fans. The Jacks’ locker room is small and reminiscent of those seen in small-town high schools. The opposing team has to walk to the HPER center to find their locker room. The condition of our facilities makes SDSU look bad to future Jackrabbits and to visiting teams and their fans.

Athletics is already in a funding crunch because of the move to D-I; they have to raise money to pay for more scholarships, a bigger coaching staff for each of SDSU’s 21 varsity sports and more recruitment in distant locations. But something as visible to the outside world as Coughlin-Alumni Stadium should be near the top of the athletics department’s priority list.

SDSU has a few fundraising options outside of the traditional “let’s ask our alumni” campaign. SDSU could use the plan Alex Brown suggested at the beginning of the academic year as a compromise to the tailgating policy change and sell beer in the stadiums. The revenue could be used to renovate Coughlin-Alumni Stadium as well as future improvements on other athletic facilities.

The athletic department could also look to corporate sponsorships to help pay for a new stadium; this option worked well when the school was looking into how to pay for upgrades to the dairy bar.

They could look at how other Gateway schools have improved their facilities. Western Illinois University has a new stadium and their ticket prices are comparable to ours.

Augustana College announced on Sept. 25 that they will release plans to build a new football stadium. If they can do it, why can’t we?