JSU stadium discussions hit speed bump as Coach Prime takes Colorado job

Published: Dec. 7, 2022 at 9:34 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Coach Prime’s decision to coach at Colorado leaves Jackson State searching to find a new head football coach. But what will happen to talks about JSU getting a new stadium?

At the beginning of November, just after JSU hosted College Gameday for the first time ever, I spoke with Senator Sollie Norwood about the progress being made to build the Tigers a new stadium. Now we’re hearing his current thoughts after the seismic shift at JSU.

“We do intend to have a community meeting to basically talk about that and the potential commitments individuals can bring to the table,” he said.

That “community meeting” was supposed to take place toward the end of November, but now Senator Norwood says that it has been delayed due to the recent news of head coach Deion Sanders leaving for Colorado.

The goal of the meeting will be to draw attention and support - more specifically financial support - for a long awaited new stadium.

”Try to galvanize the community to talk about potential resources or funds available,” Norwood explained. “Certainly we’re optimistic that we’ll get some from the state, but the state isn’t going to fund the entire project.”

The estimated cost of a new stadium still remains in the range of $120 million, but Senator Norwood said there are several outlets ready to put money on the table including the City of Jackson, the university, and alumni from JSU.

Although losing Sanders to Colorado was a large blow, Senator Norwood believes that this is something that has to get done no matter what.

”I think and feel comfortable that we’ll get a comfortable coach that will come in and we can just pick right back up and we can continue the momentum that we have, because, at the end of the day, we’re going to need a stadium regardless of who the coach is,” he said.

Another detail fans, faculty, and Jacksonians have wanted since these talks began back in 2013 is: Where would the stadium be located?

Senator Norwood confirmed that they are not settling for anything but an on-campus venue.

If discussions throughout legislative sessions in January 2023 favor building the Tigers a new stadium, Senator Norwood says construction could take nearly four to five years to complete.

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