The north endzone of the Troy University Veterans Memorial Stadium is seen in Troy, Ala., Wednesday, May 30, 2012. (Messenger Staff Photo/Thomas Graning)

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Troy looks to get north end zone expansion project off the ground

Published 11:36pm Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Troy University’s plans of expanding Veterans Memorial Stadium are still in the fund raising stages according to Athletic Director Steve Dennis.

“We are making strides towards meeting our goal,” Dennis said. “I’m pleased with the progress we’ve made. We have a lot of projects on the table and are looking to our Trojan supporters to help get us there.”

The university announced in February that it had raised over $167 million towards its $200 million capital campaign goal. The campaign, called Building Beyond Boundaries, was started in 2008 as a means to help Troy invest in infrastructure and programs on several university campuses.

Preparations to construct a new facility in the north end zone are still in their infancy but head football coach Larry Blakeney is lending a helping hand in order to get the project on its feet.

“Now is the time to do something like this,” Blakeney said. “We have got to make an investment in football. We are behind in the Sun Belt with that kind of facility and it’s a point we need to deal with.”

One of the major upgrades for the football program would be the new locker rooms and coach’s offices that would accompany the new facility. Other amenities could include common areas and premium seating.

The Trojan football team’s dressing room is currently located on the bottom level of the Tine Davis Field House, which was built in the early 1970s when the team was making the move from NAIA to Division II.

Veterans Memorial Stadium underwent an $18 million facelift in 2003, which took more than a year to complete. Included in the renovation were the six-story stadium tower, stadium club seating, and AstroPlay artificial turf. The strength and conditioning and sport medicine facilities located in the tower were completed in 2004.

“The tower saved us for a while,” Blakeney said. “We need to paint a picture for kids coming in here as to what we have to present to them and we are falling behind on that.”

Other Sun Belt Conference schools have invested large quantities of money in their football programs recently.

Florida Atlantic opened its new $70 million on-campus football stadium in October of 2011. Arkansas State built a new complex for its coaches and players in 2002 and resurfaced the field with FieldTurf in 2006.

Louisiana-Lafayette constructed the Leon Moncia Indoor Practice Facility in 2007, which features a full-size football field with endzones and field goals.

Blakeney says that while the football program has access to quality facilities, the program itself has grown tremendously in recent years.

“The program in brimming over,” he said. “If we are going to do something, we need to do it right and show that we are serious about being Division I.”

While the amount needed to begin construction has not been disclosed, Blakeney and Dennis said all coaches have been asked to help in the fund raising process.

One project that will be addressed in the near future is that of replacing the playing surface of Veterans Memorial Stadium.

Dennis said the bid process will likely begin within the next week and once completed a timetable will be set to finish the project before football practice resumes in early August. It is speculated that the process of replacing the turf will take three weeks.

To donate to the capital campaign or to become a Trojan Warrior, call 334-670-3482.

 

  • Bill_OReally

    Maybe if they didn’t lose money every year they would have funds to expand. But when more of your money comes from student fees than ticket sales, the athletic program is nothing but a bucket with a hole in it. Not all programs, especially a school the size of Troy State, can afford or need to be DIA. Just like CHHS does not play Prattville, Troy should not be in the same league as Alabama or Auburn. Heck Troy shouldn’t even be in the same league as UAB!

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    • Scotty2Hotty

      Bill, what city do you live in?

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      • Bill_OReally

        Luverne….why?

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        • Bill_OReally

          I lived in Troy several years ago, but moved to Luverne. My kids went to school at CHHS and my daughter went to Troy. Anything else?

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  • Newnan Trojan

    What an idiot…You must be a Bama or Aub homer! Every university raises money for large projects…And If you havnt noticed around campus Troy isnt hurting for money. You must not live around Troy to not notice…second. Troy is the most successful Football program in its conference and is Far more successful than UAsB Program!

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    • Bill_OReally

      And where exactly are they getting that money? It sure isn’t from ticket sales or donations. Those cover less than 1/5 of the total expenses. So where is the rest coming from?

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    • Bill_OReally

      Troy is about to be left in the dust by the other teams in the sunbelt. The glory days of other teams in the sunbelt being worse than troy are over. Have you seen who ASU got for a HC? Even newcomer South Alabama will lap Troy before too long. That is just the way it is.

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  • trojanchad

    Bill if you do live in Troy and have this much hate for Troy University (you’re too ignorant to realize this has been the name for several years) and you’re a UA or AU supporter, why don’t you move to Tuscaloosa or Lee County? If you are in fact a Troy resident why don’t you move to Luverne? That’s what this town would be without Troy University.

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    • Bill_OReally

      You seriously think Troy is that much better than Luverne or Greenville? How?

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  • Bill_OReally

    Troy Athletics money ticket sales 2011: $689,998
    Troy Athletics money from student fees in 2011: $852,066

    UAB ticket sales 2011: $1,134,284

    What am I missing? Reality is reality.

    Want to see many interesting FACTS comparing Troy to other schools? Go here:

    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/story/2012-05-14/ncaa-college-athletics-finances-database/54955804/1

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  • Matthew Quigley

    Troy University certainly isn’t hurting for money, and even if they were, they could always raise tuition again. I guess a stadium expansion is as good a thing to sink money into as anything else. But why expand when you can’t fill the stadium now?

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    • Bill_OReally

      They’re one of the smallest schools even in the sunbelt yet they think they should have the revenue of a major university. Like I said, there is a reason CHHS does not play at the same level as Prattiville.

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  • Observer

    Just looking at the USA Today figures, there are too many colleges in D-1 who have no business being there. Any program which relies on subsidies to finance more than 10-percent of its budget should go in for a reality check.

    The State university located in Troy has never been able to fill Memorial Stadium with legitimate paid tickets and has rarely come close to capacity even with all the promotions and gimmicks to stuff seats for the television cameras.

    As for Troy being Luverne or Greenville without Troy State – so what! The same can be said of Auburn or Tuscaloosa . . . but do the cities of Auburn or Tuscaloosa give their state institutions a $1,000,000.00 cash subsidy every year plus water, sewer and electric utilities at cost or below? Auburn and Alabama keep adding to their stadiums – because they need seating to meet demand, not just to have bigger stadiums to impress recruits.

    Troy State could and should have remained a D-II school. It could have been competitive there. But, it will NEVER be competitive in D-I with any legitimate D-I programs.

    Troy State will put the arm on the City of Troy and the local schools to subsidize the new carpet and the next expansion – but if they are true to form, Troy State will make an effort to see just how many times it can put its name, colors and trademarks on everything in the stadium. If Troy State wants to be a legitimate D-I program it needs to raise its own money and buyout the City and School system’s thirds of the stadium.

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  • WDM

    They need parking space for the students a lot more than more seats in the stadium which they can’t fill now.

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