The Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency Board on Thursday approved $10 million in funding to spur the renovation of Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) Bragg Memorial Stadium.
The IA board is made up of a dozen Leon County Commission and Tallahassee City Commission members.
Leon County Commissioner Nick Maddox and City Commissioner Diane Williams-Cox, a FAMU alumna, both passionately championed the proposal, which is expected to inject as much as $26 million into the local economy.
“This vote was very important to the City of Tallahassee and to FAMU,” Williams-Cox said afterward. “The economic impact that this project will bring to our community speaks volumes to how important FAMU is in helping the city move our priorities forward for all our residents.”
President Larry Robinson, Ph.D., expressed his sincere appreciation to Blueprint board members for supporting this investment in the renovation of Bragg Memorial Stadium and FAMU Vice Presidents Shawnta Friday-Stroud, Ph.D., Kortne Gosha and William E. Hudson, Jr., Ph.D., for working together on behalf of FAMU.
“The return on this investment will include positive economic outcomes for citizens on Tallahassee’s southside; excitement for persons who attend athletic events in the venue; and inspiration and pride for those who understand the cultural significance of all that occurs inside and around the stadium,” Robinson said.
For many years, Bragg Stadium has hosted football games, commencement ceremonies, concerts and other events that have brought thousands of people to Tallahassee. FAMU annual homecoming festivities attract some of the largest gatherings in the region and produces a $2 million annual economic impact.
This spring, as the pandemic took its toll, Bragg Stadium was the site of two major food distribution events. Additionally, Bragg Stadium is home to the area’s largest free COVID-19 testing site, which has served more than 45,000 people since April 25.
While the pandemic has forced suspension of the 2020 football season, FAMU has been gearing up for the University’s move to the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) in fall 2021. The change enables the University to capitalize on more natural geographical rivalries, and games are expected to attract even more travelling fans, boosting hotel and other revenues in Tallahassee each fall.
Gosha, vice president and athletic director, had those developments in mind when he thanked IA board members for “this major investment that protects a treasured community asset and is a step forward for FAMU Athletics. This is a monumental day for our university and athletic program.”
“We will move quickly to launch the project in preparation of the 2021 season,” Gosha pledged.