Mississippi Division I-AA school wants to build $200m dome

I try not to spend too much time on college sports — there are only so many hours in the day, so let’s just say this: Jackson State University wants to build a $200 million domed college football stadium. Yes, Jackson State of the Southwestern Athletic Conference, part of the secondary tier of college football formerly known as Division I-AA. The money is supposed to come from “private donors, sponsorship sales, the Mississippi government and money from selling Veterans Memorial Stadium and the surrounding land,” and (you knew this was coming) it’s not just for college football:

The stadium would not be strictly for football use, either, as Jackson State’s basketball team would play home games there and concerts and other events would take place in the new stadium as well. The plan would be to have the stadium in use for about 200 days a year.

Two hundred days a year, people. For a domed football stadium in a city with 170,000 people and shrinking. About the most you can say for it is that it’d give Jackson State something to be known for other than having city police fire shotguns indiscriminately into a dorm and killing two students.

4 comments on “Mississippi Division I-AA school wants to build $200m dome

  1. That’s absurd. However, in Jackson State’s defense, they do fill up their over-sized stadium on occasion. If it’s when they do a SWAC vs MEAC deal or what, I’m not quite sure. I used to live in Little Rock, and would go watch UAPB. I guess Pine Bluff is Detroit south, but their vandetta must be against someone other than my brother and myself, and sometimes our childhood friend Derek. We used to have a blast; good bands, cheap prices, good football, good folks.

  2. I do quite a bit of research on domes. If you will recall, Birmingham’s crooked mayor wanted a dome to recruit a NFL team for even more money.

    It’s a waste. If you research the Monolithic Dome Institute, a dome can be built for far less than what is proposed here. I’m working on a project called “WNC Dome” myself (www.wncdome.com) and the budget would be $18-25 million tops for a sports arena with 5,000 seats. It is a concrete design that has proven to withstand tornadoes. A 300′-diameter dome church in Birmingham withstood an EF-5 tornado in 2011. Toured it personally. Got proof on my site and the Facebook page. Nearby homes were decimated but the domes survived.

    In short, that design could get this done for about 1/3 of the proposed cost, and if used as a regional disaster shelter, possibly could be FEMA funding. Depends on whether the land was once declared a disaster area (in that state, a good chance it was), and the grant could be a percentage based on open space.

    Considering this is I-AA, there’s no reason for a $200 million stadium, even with mad football fans in the deep south. The Monolithic Dome concept works and it’s far less expensive. Go with that.

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