JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - East Tennessee State University has made another step towards a new football stadium.
School officials tell us they've picked two different possible locations for the stadium but they haven't made a final decision yet.
They are considering putting the stadium where the practice soccer fields are or near the facilities management building, said ETSU spokesperson Joe Smith.
The students told us Wednesday they're split on where they want it. "I'd prefer having it up there by the recycling building," said Jacob Carrier, a senior at ETSU. "As far as the recycling facility, move it somewhere else."
The traffic is a major reason Carrier thinks the facilities management building area might be a better location. "I think maybe up here where this recycling building is [would work], just because you already have the parking lot here," he told us.
Carrier said that putting the stadium near the facilities management building would also put it closer to the main hub of student life. "This right here is kind of the main strip of campus," Carrier told us. "If you think about it, you've got the dorms and the Culp Center, which is a big building as far as a hangout for students."
Mandy Wilcox, a freshman at ETSU, agrees traffic will be hectic if the stadium is built at the practice fields, but she told us the actual area there would be better for the stadium. "I think the football field would be better if it was at the practice soccer fields because it's kind of a bigger area and there would be more space," Wilcox told us.
In the past, ETSU officials have told us one of the problems with the practice soccer fields is the potential for flooding.
The next step in the process is analyzing those risks. ETSU spokesperson Joe Smith told us they are looking at the water table and bedrock at both spots, to see which is better to build on and to see which spot could flood easier. Smith told us the company designing the stadium is doing the analysis. The company will also look at the cost of building in both places, he said.
Cody Riner, a senior at ETSU, told us the new stadium will get people excited about the football program again no matter where it is located. "I feel like if they make a new stadium, still have a lot of seats, just make it closer together and it'll be more morale and hype about it. That way people will be excited to go to the games instead of going into that big Mini-Dome," said Riner.
The school has not said when they will make a final decision.
ETSU tells us the project will be paid for by state funds and student facility fees.
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