Austin Peay to build new football stadium

Austin Peay State University officials have announced plans to build a new $16 million football stadium for the 2014 season.

The new stadium, which will replace the iconic Governors Stadium on the main campus, received approval from the Tennessee Building Commission on Monday.

It will have more seating than 10,000-seat Governors Stadium, which was called Municipal Stadium when it was built in 1946.

"The new football stadium is a great step forward both for our football program and for the university in general," APSU president Tim Hall said. "It will be a tremendous asset for recruiting new players. And it will also enhance the university's ability to attract students generally and to create the kind of collegiate environment which will help them succeed, both in the classroom and out of it."

Mitch Robinson, the university's vice president of finance and administration, said funding for the new stadium will include $8 million in institutional funds and existing debt service fees, $5.5 million in debt financing through Tennessee school bonds that will be repaid through skybox rentals and $2.5 million in private contributions.

Robinson added design work will begin soon. Construction will begin with the demolition of the west side of Governors Stadium - the home side near the Foy Fitness and Recreation Center - after the 2013 football season ends. That side will be rebuilt, with the addition of skyboxes. The east side, or the visiting section, will have minimal renovations.

The football field also will gain a new surface.

The APSU women's track and field program will continue to compete at the new football stadium.