Florida Atlantic University has been searching for a way to get an on-campus stadium for their football team since its inception in 1998. And over the nine years that the team has been playing collegiate football, they have earned it.
The only football coach the Owls have ever known, Howard Schnellenberger, has led this up-start program from, literally, nothing to two bowl victories and a team that competes for Sun Belt championships every season.
But the next step is to get an on-campus stadium.
FAU currently plays their games at Lockhart Stadium in Ft. Lauderdale, and games against larger opponents are played at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens.
Neither of these locations help to build a fan base on-campus, which is in Boca Raton. Getting a stadium in Boca is imperative to taking this football program to the next level.
After a few years of 'talking' about getting a stadium, the school has finally received bids from banks to approve the financing for a 30,000 seat stadium at the north end of FAU's Campus. Once all of the paperwork is pushed through and the state approves the financing, FAU will break ground and, barring a major setback, the Owls will be playing football on campus in September 2011.
The stadium was supposed to be ready for this upcoming fall season, but FAU could not get the financing in time and had to push it back, again. FAU even set up a big time school to open up their stadium with. But instead of hosting Michigan State, the game was moved to Detriot's Ford Field, of all places, with most of the proceeds of the game going to FAU. That money, expected to be around $2 million, will then be used towards the on-campus stadium.
Here's to hoping that everything goes well and the Owls will be playing football on their own field in seasons to come. And as an Alum and Owl Fan, it cannot come soon enough.