ACU athletics announced that the university has surpassed its original goal of $30 million and will begin building the first on-campus football stadium. The Board of Trustees has given approval for the construction of the new Wildcat Stadium.
ACU will officially break ground for its new Wildcat Stadium on Friday, Feb. 19, following 11 a.m. chapel, during Sing Song weekend.
“The Board of Trustees and the Senior Leadership Team agree that moving forward with construction on the long-awaited football stadium is the best course,” President Phil Schubert said. “Already, we’ve raised more than our initial goal, and more than one-third of gifts to the football stadium have come within the past five months. We believe it is important to leverage this amazing momentum, as well as wise to avoid additional financing and construction costs, by beginning this project now.”
The university has raised $37 million to date. When the endeavor was announced in February 2014, it was originally projected that it would cost $30 million to complete both the new football stadium and the new track and field/soccer stadium. The new Elmer Gray Stadium was completed this past April.
“This is another huge milestone toward our effort to build one of the finest facilities in NCAA Div. I FCS football,” Director of Athletics Lee De Leon said. “We appreciate our generous donors, and the way in which they have stepped up over the last few weeks is phenomenal. While we still have more money to raise, we are thankful for how God is blessing this university.”
Schubert made the announcement Tuesday in an email to all ACU faculty and staff. He also stated that the total cost to complete both the Wildcat Stadium and the new Elmer Gray Stadium had risen to $50 million. Schubert explained that the rise in cost came from enhancements necessary to ensure the quality of the facilities is consistent with the rest of the campus.
The Board of Trustees voted to begin construction of the long awaited football stadium, while the university still needs to raise the remaining $13 million needed for completion. Schubert is optimistic that ACU will find the remaining amount.
“Many of our alumni, faculty, staff and friends have stepped up to make the stadium a reality,” Schubert said. “I continue to be amazed and grateful at the level of generosity we’ve seen, and I’m certain it will only grow as we officially break ground and prepare for our first home football game on Sept. 16, 2017. Wildcat Stadium will be a place beloved for generations, not only by the ACU community but by Abilene and West Texas as well.”