CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – On Nov. 16, when the scoreboard clock turns to zero and the horn sounds, not only will the Governors football team walk off the field, they will take a giant leap toward the future of APSU football as they witness the first steps of demolition in preparation to construct a new stadium.
The Governors will host Southeast Missouri State University for their final competition in the current Governors Stadium. At the end of the game all present will be invited to exit the stadium onto the field, where spectators will be able to witness the first pieces of the stadium coming down during a ceremonial demolition. Kickoff for the game is at 1 p.m.
While the idea of a new football stadium has surfaced many times throughout the years, APSU President Tim Hall’s focus to make a new stadium a reality began soon after his arrival in 2007, as he realized that the current stadium was inadequate in multiple ways.
“We cannot progress in our recruitment and retention efforts, especially in football, without improving the stadium,” Hall said. “What we know is this: if we can engage students by encouraging them to participate in an activity beyond the classroom, we see a direct correlation to their progression. Participation, be it as an student or student athlete, equates to better retention rates and has a significant impact on student success. The athleticism on the field, the spirit of the band and the chants of the cheerleaders are an incredibly important aspect of the academic experience that students seek.”
“The building of this stadium is an important strategic step in the future of Austin Peay State University,” said Athletics Director Derek van der Merwe. “One thing that is very apparent about this great University—and it President—is that it expects excellence in everything it does. If you are a football alum, a future student, donor or a member of the Clarksville community, it is important to pay attention to what this great University is doing.”
Hall began an administrative push to secure funds to build a new stadium through budgeting and fundraising efforts. The project, approved in August 2012, will cost $16 million and is scheduled for completion at the start of the 2014 Football season.
Mitch Robinson, vice president of finance and administration, said funding for the new stadium will include $8 million in institutional funds and existing debt service fees, $5.5 million in debt financing through Tennessee school bonds that will be repaid through skybox rentals and $2.5 million in private contributions.
The new Governors Stadium will seat approximately 10,000 people and will feature several new amenities in the west side, which is the side of the original stadium that will undergo a complete demolition. Also known as the home side of the stadium, the west side of the new stadium will feature four levels, with offices, training rooms and locker rooms on the first floor. The second floor will include meeting rooms and an additional weight room. The third and fourth levels will provide club seating and 13 skyboxes. The skyboxes offer tiered stadium-type seating with up to 22 seats per viewing room. In addition, each skybox has a bar with locations for bar stools, tables and chairs to seat four to six people. Similar to most skyboxes at professional sports stadiums, the skyboxes in Governors Stadium will have sliding glass at the front of the viewing rooms, a push button to control a public address speaker and two television monitors.
The 8,000-square-foot Club Level will seat 386, will be partially covered and is designed to offer catered meals on football game days. The bulk of the new facility’s seating will span across the first and second levels, where reserved seats, a student section and general admission seating will be located.
The south end of the stadium will feature a large concourse area for corporate displays and product placement at select games. There will be space for future expansion, such as a strength and conditioning center and additional locker rooms.
The east side of the stadium’s original structure will remain but undergo several renovations to improve aesthetics and functionality of the facility, including restroom renovations and resurfacing of the façade.
The original Governors Stadium was built as a multi-purpose facility that was constructed by the City of Clarksville in 1946, originally named Municipal Stadium for its purpose of providing an athletic facility for Clarksville and Montgomery County Schools, which also included usage by the University through an annual agreement. In 1970, the city conveyed one-third of the title to the State and the other third of the stadium to Montgomery County. Additionally, a local legislative enactment was passed by the General Assembly establishing a Municipal Stadium Authority and empowering it to operate the stadium, provided that the owners entered into a lease agreement with the Stadium Authority not to exceed 20 years.
In 1993, the University agreed to purchase Municipal Stadium from the Stadium Authority and Montgomery County, and the name of the stadium changed to Governors Stadium. Since the purchase, the University has implemented several improvements to the facility including replacement of the turf and, in 2004, a complete renovation of the track and field to their current surfaces. The latest improvements were in 2007 when a new video scoreboard was installed at the field’s south end.
For game ticket information, please contact the APSU Athletics Ticket Office by phone at 931-221-PEAY (7329), by email at email@example.com or you can purchase tickets online at www.letsgopeay.com. Military and their family members receive free general admission with a valid military I.D.
For more information regarding the stadium project, contact Bill Persinger, executive director of Public Relations and Marketing, at 931-221-7459.