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Blueprint advances bond financing plan for Doak Campbell Stadium improvements

The vote passed 7-5
Doak Campbell during Notre Dame game
Posted at 7:50 PM, Dec 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-09 23:14:10-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency approved of bond financing to go towards renovations of Doak Campbell Stadium using city sales tax dollars on Thursday.

$20 million is planned to go towards an overall $120 million project by Florida State University's Seminole Boosters to renovate Doak Campbell Stadium.

In May, ABC 27 reported that FSU Seminole Boosters would raise $100 million for a facelift, while Blueprint's chunk would go towards fixing safety issues like new handrails and beams.

Blueprint implements projects throughout the Tallahassee-Leon County area with the cooperation of the City of Tallahassee and the Leon County Government. Blueprint projects are refined through robust engagement activities and reflect the community’s unique vision.

The seven yes votes included, Leon County Commissioners Nick Maddox, Bill Proctor, Jimbo Johnson and Carolyn Cummings, Mayor John Dailey and City Commissioners Curtis Richardson and Dianne Williams-Cox.

Those voting no included, Leon County Commissioners Rick Minor, Kristin Dozier and Brian Welch and City Commissioners Jack Porter and Jeremy Matlow.

FSU said that the upgrades would create 250 jobs and $102 million in economic impact.

"We're committed to sitting down individually with every single person that's affected by these renovations and sharing their story and talking to them about what it means for them, what their new experience could be," said Seminole Boosters CEO Michael Alford. "We only have a few options at Doak Campbell, and most stadiums have seven to ten different experiences you can choose from. That's what we're trying to get to, to kind of modernize Doak Campbell a little bit."

The $20 million portion requested from the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency would be coming out from city sales tax dollar revenue.

Opponents of the plan said that the money should be going towards other things.

Ideas such as investing the money into poverty-impacted communities, reducing crime and homelessness and creating more permanent jobs and businesses were just a few economic development projects community members spoke about at Nov. 29's town hall meeting regarding the funding proposal.

"No, you will not take my tax dollars and do whatever you want with them," said community activist Stanley Sims at the Nov. 29 meeting.

City Commissioner Jeremy Matlow said that after the bond financing approval, Blueprint will only have about $1 million left to invest in other projects.

Staff will now gather bond financing documents to go before a final vote on Feb. 24, 2022.