Hot on the heels of one of the most successful seasons in school history, the Baylor University Board of Regents have approved a measure designed to fund a $250 million Baylor football stadium to be built along the banks of the Brazos River on property belonging to the university.
The decision is contingent upon the Waco City Council making $35 million in funding available for its construction, but given the boon the successful football team has been to the local economy over the past few seasons, this shouldn’t be much of a sticking point in the process.
The measure will be voted upon during an August 7th city council meeting to discuss using incremental tax funding to raise the $35 million over the course of the construction timeline.
The Baylor athletic administration hopes the new facility will be ready for the Bears’ 2014-2015 season and anticipate it will seat 45,000 people.
It’s an outstanding move for a program starting to establish a greater foothold in a Big 12 Conference has evolved from one year to the next, and promises to continue doing so as realignment continues to move teams around the country.
With the addition of in-state rival TCU to the Big 12 mix, Baylor is acting at the right time to retain a new-found recruiting edge in the Metroplex and ensure they stay up “with the Joneses” in a football-crazy state which often determines the balance of competition in one of the country’s most competitive conferences.
Fans in Waco, and alumni of Baylor have been waiting for a quality product to support for some time, and if the Bears can just manage to stay competitive for two more seasons in the wake of Robert Griffin‘s departure, this could undoubtedly be one of those situations where the facility brings the recruits.
If so, Waco will continue to be hopping on Saturdays each and every fall going forward, and Art Briles will have no reason to start shopping his services.
That, in and of itself, is reason enough to make the investment.
H/T to CollegeFootballTalk and SportsBizMiss on Twitter.
Kris Hughes is the College Football Network Manager for Rant Sports and a member of the Football Writers Association of America.
Kris is also the host of Rant Sports Radio on the Blog Talk Radio Network Wednesday evenings at 8 Central Time.