After many years of planning and steadfast perseverance, Howard Schnellenberger’s dream of instilling an on-campus Stadium on the Boca Raton Campus of Florida Atlantic University moved past the final approval hurdle with a unanimous approval by the Florida Board of Governors.
“FAU is becoming a ‘first choice’ university for an increasing number of students who seek the traditional American college experience”, said President Mary Jane Saunders.
It’s been 12 years in the making since Schnellenberger first set foot in the old Athletics complex adjacent to the swimming pool.
“We now look forward to an opportunity to compete with the very best in the state; those carpet baggers that come in and steal our athletes”, said Schnellenberger.
“The stadium is going to give us a new weapon to turn them back. We’ll send the carpet baggers back up north and keep the good athletes here.”
The stadium will be centerpiece of FAU’s Innovation Village. At a cost of $70 million, it will feature 20 luxury suites, 26 loge boxes, 1000 premier club seats, and 4,000 priority club seats; all with state of the art amenities.
Construction of the project is expected to commence in October 2010 and is anticipated to be completed and available for use in the fall 2011 semester.
“I am going to quit using terms like hopefully”, said Athletics Director Craig Angelos. “The steel will be finally ordered, and will now be delivered. Now we turn to the construction crews and can say it is 100% a done deal, so get working on it.”
More details surrounding the stadium’s completion timeline should become available by October 3rd. But, for now, September 17th is not out of the question as an opening date.
However, Angelos is ready to petition a later date if needed.
“I think everybody would like to make sure we open the stadium in it’s completed condition rather than trying to work around some of the construction still going on.”
This would include a possible pushing back of conference games back and then moving opening day into October.
But players like offensive lineman Max Karrick, who will likely start in the venue, know the importance of the game regardless when it is eventually played.
“It’s impossible to imagine how it’s going to feel, but I’m sure it’s going to be a driving force in the off season”, said Karrick. “You never want to come out and open your home with a loss.”
Video & Coach's Statement
Quick Hits on Stadium