City Scrambles for Football Stadium Repair Dollars
After two failed attempts to secure funding to repair the Anchorage Football Stadium, the city’s Parks and Recreation Department is heading back to the drawing board.
Back in April, the public voted down Proposition 5, which would have renovated the nearly 30-year-old structure in downtown Anchorage.
Teams are still using the stadium, but the bathrooms and locker rooms are still unusable.
This inconvenience has caused many athletic teams to look at other options.
“With no water, no electricity, it becomes cost-prohibited to use that place,” said Isaiah Vreeman, director of special projects for the Alaska School Activities Association. “We have to bring all that stuff in.” South Anchorage High School assistant football coach, Edgar Lytle, says the conditions at the stadium are not ideal. He says his players feel uncomfortable and space is limited for everyone.
Governor Sean Parnell vetoed the city’s latest request for $1.5 million in funding.
The director of Parks and Recreation, John Rodda, says that although there has been pressure to find funding to repair the stadium, it would be much cheaper to build a new one. He says it would cost only $500,000 to demolish it, and build a new one with more space.
But coaches, including Lytle, said it could take several years to get funding and it could be too late by then.
“There’s going to be new stadiums everywhere--all schools are going to have new turf,” he said. “I don’t really see the need.”
The city plans to ask the Alaska State Legislature for funding during the next session, which begins in January.