TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Florida A&M's Bragg Memorial Stadium needed serious upgrades, and without them, Athletic Director Kortne Gosha said the University was "very close" to having to find another place for the Rattlers to play this 2021 football season.
Thanks to a $10 million grant from Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency, renovations to Bragg started last week.
Due to timing, the east side of the stadium will be renovated first. Right now, the bleachers have been removed. They'll be lifted and then returned. The renovations were necessary, and Gosha said he is thankful to Blueprint for making it happen sooner than they planned.
"The University cannot by state statutes support athletic facilities, this being one," he said. "Yes, we would have continued to push forward and tried to look for other opportunities, but the reality based on the timeline and the significance, this wouldn't have been a viable option and quite frankly it would have had an impact economically on our local community but directly to FAMU athletics."
Phase two, which will begin after this football season is over, will include work on the underbelly of the stadium, as well as renovating the west side and press box.
"We'll continue to work backward. Obviously, we do have a budget," he said. "We have to maintain that budget. There's not another pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. We'll work back to include other add ons such as lights, sound systems, video boards, all those things. The crux will be obviously the stadium structure first and then continue to work backward."
Gosha said the plan is to have the renovations to the east side done by the Rattlers season opener.