Friday, July 23, 2010
FAU OPEN AIR 30,000-SEAT OWLS STADIUM
BACK ON TRACK
Florida Atlantic’s Board of Trustees have unanimously approved a plan for funding a new football stadium, the largest sports venue to be in Palm Beach County, and the State University’s Board of Governors is expected to give final approval in September with construction planned to start later that month.
A loan of $44.6MM is expected from Regions Bank and application has been made for acceptance as a Build America Bond, for which the federal government pays 35% of the interest payments, as part of last year’s stimulus bill. The loan will be paid off with stadium revenue, student athletic fees, sale of naming rights, fund raising and at least $1MM in funds each year from playing away games.
While the lender cannot seize the property or go after the university to collect on the loan, it can take the operating revenue of FAU Finance Corp, a direct-support organization formed by the university, that is assuming the debt. After seven years, Regions Bank would have the right to call for full payment of the loans but FAU could reduce the outstanding debt on the stadium to $30MM in seven years and then perhaps refinance it as a bond.
Total cost is $63.5MM, the balance after the loan coming from FAU and its fundraising foundation. The construction project would employ 200 people and generate about 1000 jobs overall during the construction process.
Also included will be a team store, 1076 premium club seats, 4448 priority club seats, 16 air-conditioned boxes and 2 0 luxury suites for lease. With palm trees at both southern ends zones the phrase used for scoring will be “Between the Palms.”