Stadium rumors abound

May 13, 2011 · By · Filed Under Football 

Post game photo from Beaumont Texas after South Alabama defeated Lamar in 2010.

After speaking to an inside source, I have some unverified information about a stadium for South Alabama. This has been a highly speculated subject amongst Jaguars fans. While Ladd-Peebles Stadium has been a good home for the Jaguars for their first two season. It was a huge factor for South Alabama to add football and to adopt such an accelerated schedule.

My source told me that this has been in the works since before the Jags took the field for the first game and Coach Jones has been part of it every step.

I was told that the University has lawyers working on re-acquiring land that the school sold in the Hillsdale area. They are supposedly working on acquiring the land between the football field house west to Cody road from Old Shell road north to some undetermined area.

They envision tailgating in a lush, green area west of the Football Fieldhouse with spillover for tailgating at the Intramural Fields. This includes a walkway from the field house to the stadium through the tailgating area for the fans and students.

There would be plenty of parking around the stadium for fans and visitors alike. It would be plenty of room to host the Senior Bowl and the GoDaddy.com Bowl as well. The Senior Bowl would have the stadium and the practice fields nearby for both squads to practice on.

This would also be very close to the student dorms and Greek housing for a huge student turnout.

However, there are still trains of thought that the stadium could be/will be built between the Mitchell Center and Eddie Stanky Field along Old Shell Road.

I think both locations have good points and bad points about them. The detractors to the Cody Road location is that across Cody Road from the proposed location is a very run down and crime ridden area. Also the Hillsdale neighborhood is also well known for crime. So other than distance from campus, would it really be that much better of a location than around Ladd-Peebles?

However, there is plenty of open space where a “buffer zone” could be established between this potential site and these neighborhoods. It would be much closer to campus for students to attend games and you would have much more campus oriented events on game day.

The detractors to a stadium beside the Mitchell Center would/will immediately point to the lack of parking near the stadium. This would be true in a sense. But there is much more parking than one would think. There has been talk of building a multi-level parking structure near the traffic circle on the North or North west side of the landmark.

Another argument against this location is that there isn’t enough room. Well, the soccer field and the track can both easily be relocated. The same can be done with the softball field, but it would all cost more money. The Softball complex is only a couple years old and is basically brand new. But moving them would leave lots of room for a large stadium with plenty of space immediately around the stadium as well. Demolishing the old Gamma Residence Halls would give tailgaters plenty of room enjoy themselves before and after the game.

More on the plus side would be that the stadium is more visible students and the community alike. Plus, the Bell Tower and the Jaguar statue would be almost certainly part of gameday traditions immediately.

I don’t know which stadium “insider” has more authority or “knows the details” as they say. I just know wherever the stadium is built, it’s going to work and the fans will fill the stands. South Alabama has put an excellent product on the field 17 times and have won each of those 17 outings. This past season was a tremendous step up in talent on the other side of the ball. This coming season will see another step up in talent with two FBS schools (formerly Division I-A) on the schedule.

I also know I can say this with great pride: It’s great to be a Jaguar.

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