NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — It appears Old Dominion University is off the hook when it comes to paying for its new stadium with only private funds.
ODU’s SB Ballard Stadium at Foreman Field is home to Monarch football for now, but the facility is deemed too old to expand. Plans are in the works for a new stadium. But first ODU has to hire a design consultant, and that process has apparently been held up by the state budget battle in Richmond until this week.
A state budget provision adopted by the Senate last week drops the requirement for privately funding the stadium. According to a published report, no public university in Virginia has ever been made to build a stadium or arena with private funds.
10 On Your Side spoke with students and alumni on campus Thursday, and everyone is excited about plans moving forward and the prospect of a brand new stadium for ODU’s growing football program.
“Everybody loves football at ODU, and I mean student tickets sell out super fast,” said ODU Graduate Lexie Noble. “So, I guess if we had a bigger stadium, more students could go to the games.”
Governor Terry McAuliffe has until Sunday to amend, veto or sign the budget. ODU has plans to hire a design consultant for the new stadium, which is set to have 30,000 seats.
One student thinks that would adequately accommodate the growing football program: “Going up to Conference USA and becoming a BSA school, I know it’s going to taking a year to completely go through it, but I think we’re going to be a good program, a team to reckoned with,” said Matt Holman.
Student fees, athletic and new stadium revenues are expected to pay for the building costs.
The university declined comment on this latest development.