WACO (July 20, 2012)--Baylor University regents have voted unanimously to approve construction of a $250 million on-campus football stadium along the Brazos River.
The approval is contingent on the Waco City Council giving final approval next month to spending $35 million Tax Increment Financing Zone funds in support of the project.
Baylor hopes to have the 45,000-seat facility ready for the 2014 football season.
The Bears now play at Floyd Casey Stadium, which was built in 1950 and has maintenance issues.
Baylor football drew intense attention last season as quarterback Robert Griffin III won the Heisman Trophy.
On Wednesday Griffin signed a four-year, $21 million contract with the Washington Redskins.
“The momentum that has formed around the football stadium and community events complex is spectacular,” said Baylor President Ken Starr.
“We are humbled that our vision for this facility has been embraced so enthusiastically by generous and dedicated Baylor alumni, and our faithful partners in the city. The project has captured the imagination of those who can envision the transformative effect that something of this significance can have on our University and on our community," he said.
The contractor for the project is a partnership between Austin Commercial-Flintco LLC, which have worked on such Big 12 football facilities as Oklahoma State’s Boone Pickens Stadium, Oklahoma’s Gaylord Family Memorial Stadium and TCU’s Amon G. Carter Stadium, Baylor said.
Kansas City, Mo.-based Populous, which has designed several stadiums, including Yankee Stadium and the new football stadium at the University of Minnesota, is the architect.
“This project will serve as a catalyst for driving development in the riverfront area, which will generate strong, positive, long-term economic benefits to downtown and the city,” said Reagan M. Ramsower, Ph.D., senior vice president for operations and chief financial officer at Baylor.
“Baylor Stadium will be the most modern, fan-friendly college football facility in the nation, and it will ensure that the Bears are a major player in college football for decades to come,” said Ian McCaw, director of athletics at Baylor. “I am grateful to Baylor’s lead donors, Board of Regents, President Starr and Senior Administration, along with the leaders in the City and County for making it a reality.