A couple hundred people crowded into Colorado State University’s North Ballroom on Wednesday night for what will be the advisory committee’s last official meeting until fall. The biggest news to come out of the meeting is still not whether or not the school will or will not build a new on-campus stadium, but how much they plan to spend if they they decide to build.

CSU President Tony Frank won’t make a decision about whether to build an on-campus stadium until August, but the university has preliminarily budgeted to spend about $246 million on the proposed project. That figure comes in above athletic director Jack Graham’s early projections of $100 million to $200 million, but he said “We have confidence we can raise the money.”

Supports including the group BeBold and Graham say that building an on-campus stadium would unify the CSU community, positively impact the Fort Collins economy and attract more quality coaches, players and in- and out-of-state students. While opponents of the project, unified largely under the group known as Save Our Stadium, Hughes, argue that Hughes Stadium is a great and historic facility that could attract even more attendants after a series of improvements.

If built, the stadium would fill an area between Lake and Pitkin Streets near CSU’s Plant Environmental Research Center. Populous, an architecture firm specializing in designing sports facilities and convention centers, has proposed that CSU build a stadium that boasts 42,806 seats and is flanked by an alumni welcome center, recruiting center, bookstore and microbrewery, among other features.

Throughout the summer, the committee will continue to investigate whether it’s feasible and most appropriate to renovate Hughes Stadium.The committee also will continue to gather feedback from students, faculty and staff, alumni and community members.

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