County next to discuss USA Stadium

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) – Next up: Mobile County.

While most of the attention has focused on the City of Mobile’s participation in building a new football stadium on the University of South Alabama campus, the County Commission may ultimately determine the fate of USA’s project.

“We simply, at this point in time, do not have the resources to do the stadium without support from the city and the county,” said USA President Tony Waldrop Tuesday. The university is asking the city and county for $10 million each.

Thursday, county commissioners could discuss the proposal at a conference meeting. Currently, USA’s ask of $10 million is not on the agenda for Monday’s County Commission meeting, but could be added.

Mayor Sandy Stimpson says the city could actually save millions of dollars by helping USA build its stadium. Stimpson says Ladd-Peebles Stadium needs $6.7 million in immediate maintenance and $33 million in maintenance over the next 20 years. Stimpson says by helping USA fund its stadium, the city could then tear down 70-year-old Ladd-Peebles and save millions in maintenance. The idea seems to have gained traction with many members of the city council.

A $10 million donation to USA by the county, however, would seem to have no equivalent “financial savings.” The county collects a 1% sales tax and a 2% lodging tax, neither of which would be significantly impacted by USA moving its six games a year from Ladd-Peebles to a new on-campus stadium.

Sensing a lack of support on the commission, USA may have reduced its request from $10 million to $5 million. al.com reported that the request was cut in half, however, a county source told News 5 that “officially” has not happened.

South Alabama’s proposed 25,000 seat stadium would cost $72 million.

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