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With the possible exception of the Florida Capitol, Doak Campbell Stadium is one of Tallahassee’s best-known landmarks.

This huge and impressive brick structure currently houses nearly 80,000 fans, while the university center that surrounds it is home to several academic departments, including FSU College of Motion Picture Arts, FSU College of Communication and Information, and Dedman College of Hospitality. . . It houses offices, classrooms, meeting space and the FSU Visitor Center.

Keeping this structure up to date, safe and welcoming to visitors from all over the world is of vital importance to Florida State University and Tallahassee.

When it was built over 70 years ago, the Doak Campbell Stadium was ridiculed by our rivals as a “set of fitters”. Over the years, investments from Seminole Boosters and private donors, as well as state and local government, have transformed the stadium into one of the largest continuous brick structures in the United States.

This incredible facility – an incredible economic engine that brings in $ 100 million to the local economy – simply wouldn’t exist without the continued support of our local community.

After: FSU asks Blueprint to invest $ 20 million in taxes for football stadium project

After: In emails: Could Blueprint dollars fund the renovation of the Doak football stadium at FSU?

But the truth is that many features of the original structure remain today, hidden from view by the astonishing masonry that surrounds it. This infrastructure is now in dire need of attention.

Due to the impact of the facility on the local economy, FSU reached out to local government officials to help with renovations to this Tallahassee landmark.

Our request is for structural and safety improvements only, including improvements to foundations, electricity, lighting, drainage and halls of Doak, as well as improved balustrades and attachment of projecting beams.

While the bulk of funding for improvements to Doak comes from non-government sources, it is critical that we complete the new vision with the help of Blueprint. This request is not to transfer dollars from another project. When more than 60% of Leon County voters approved the master plan, a percentage of those funds were set aside for general economic development efforts, while other dollars were directed to capital projects. specific. The money we are asking for comes only – and rightly so – from economic development funds.

Some people may ask, “Why not a convention center?”

In a post-COVID world, now is not the time to expand in-person meeting space for conventions and large gatherings. In fact, going ahead with this project may create an economic risk for our local community. When donor and taxpayer money is at stake, we must choose the wisest and most conservative path. To this end, we seek funding for an investment that has the highest degree of likelihood of giving our investors – in this case, taxpayers – the best return on their money.

Therefore, we are asking for help with much-needed renovations at Doak to ensure that the structure is healthy, safe, stable and will last for many years to come.

An investment in Doak Campbell Stadium – home of the Florida State Seminoles football team – is compelling.

Typically, an investor wants their money back in five years or less. In this case, there is $ 51 million in direct spending by visitors over a seven-game home football schedule and a total economic impact of $ 100 million. This means that the $ 20 million in funding requested for Blueprint’s economic development would translate into a return on investment in less than a year.

Doak’s renovation helps keep FSU’s football program healthy by ensuring his house is in top condition. And it helps keep the local economy healthy by investing dollars where they will have the most impact.

John Thrasher is president of Florida State University in Tallahassee.

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