Cost Concerns May Delay Rutgers Stadium Expansion

Adam HelfgottCorrespondent IJuly 12, 2008

The Star-Ledger reported Thursday that rising costs for materials like steel, concrete, and fuel will force Rutgers University to scale back on its $102 million expansion plans for Rutgers Stadium.

The addition of 1,000 new mezzanine seats has already started and is still slated to be completed in time for the Scarlet Knights' home opener against Fresno State on Sept. 1.

The problem for Rutgers officials is the addition of 13,000 new seats, a recruiting lounge, game-day locker rooms, a new media room, and a new entrance for fans in the south end zone.

Completion for the expansion was set for the start of the 2009 season. With the rising costs of materials, Rutgers is now looking at options to possibly scale back with the expansion because the overall price was underestimated.

The expansion of Rutgers Stadium has been met with harsh criticism from many residents in New Jersey because of the budget crisis in the state.

Rutgers plans to borrow $72 million in bonds that will be repaid through stadium revenue. The other $30 million must come from private donations.

Rutgers athletics director Robert Mulcahy said in the article that the university is examining the new estimates and is looking at other options with the construction.

Mulcahy also acknowledged reports that there may be a few things unfinished with the mezzanine seating by the first game, but he still said "the seats will be ready" in time for Fresno State.