Several upgrades in works for WVU athletics

MORGANTOWN — Those who asked what West Virginia University’s athletic department was going to do with the increased revenues it would receive from jumping to the Big 12 and selling its Tier 3 rights to IMG Sports now have an answer.

An ambitious $106 million proposal to improve facilities for not only football and basketball, but many of the non-revenue sports, was presented to the WVU Board of Governors Finance Committee and will move on to the Facilities Committee on April 2 and to the full Board of Governors on April 4 before going to the Higher Education Policy Commission, which will vote on it later in April.

There is much optimism that it will pass these steps, having already been reviewed and approved by the WVU finance office and planning committee.

The key to the financing is the guaranteed income flow from the Big 12, which will be paying out up to $30 million a year in television revenue when WVU is getting a full share, and, to a lesser extent, the money coming in from IMG.

Previously, WVU’s money wasn’t guaranteed as it is now, which allows them to issue $75 million worth of revenue bonds, to go along with $25 million in Mountaineer Athletic Club fundraising and $6 million in IMG revenue.

This facilities upgrade is under different financing than the $20-million Monongalia County Baseball Stadium in Granville that was made possible by a state legislature and county approved TIF district at the University Town Center.

There will be a renovation and expansion of the stadium’s East, West, North and South concourses, restrooms, entrance gates and concessions. The field boxes, which have not been renovated since the stadium opened, will be a major project, as will be the West concourse (the Law School side), which has some severe problems due to soil issues.

The athletic department has gotten a head start on this matter, hiring the Heery International architectural firm.

In addition to that, WVU will add up to four LED boards in the stadium…

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