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Blueprint advances $20 million funding project to restore Doak Campbell Stadium

Posted at 9:49 AM, May 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-28 09:49:03-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency is one step closer to giving $20 million to help repair Doak Campbell Stadium.

The motion passed 9-3 Thursday night after about 30 speakers and more than two hours of discussion and comments.

From local business owners like Madison Social's Matt Thompson, to head football coach Mike Norvell, all coming forward in public comment to ask Blueprint to vote yes, promising, in turn, it would help bring money back to the Capital City.

"I thank you for all your support. I hope you support this motion moving forward," said Norvell. "We're going to win more games that are going to bring more bodies to see all that we have to offer."

The funding is part of a $120 million renovation project. FSU is only asking for the $20 million to address infrastructure concerns while the FSU Boosters promise to raise the rest themselves. A study showing $50 million in direct spending from the stadium, along with $100 million to impacts across the county.

People against the funding gathering outside city hall chambers before Thursday's meeting. Demonstrators like Max Epstein casting doubt on why city sales tax dollars should go to a private stadium, to begin with.

"They just completed a $100 million renovation in the last six years. Why they didn't address structural issues then, I don't know. They are very wealthy. They have enough money to do this on their own. They raised thirty million dollars in one year to kick out Willie Taggart," said Epstein.

While the decision is only the beginning toward full allocation of the funds, commissioners are hopeful for future investment.

"People come to town. Put heads in beds. Restaurants. We could make more than we realize," said Commissioner Dianne Williams-Cox.

Thursday's motion also ended negotiations over funds for the Florida State Convention Center, after deciding the economic risks outweighed the gain.