JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - The Tennessee State Building Commission approved an $18 million football stadium for ETSU on Thursday. The approval means they can move forward with planning the project.
The first phase will be funded by student fees, consisting of about $7 million. The end goal is to have a 10-thousand seat, $18 million stadium.
According to Director of Athletics Dr. Richard Sander, they hope to hire an architect by the end of August and they are favoring a turf field over natural grass.
A brand new facility will be used in a recruiting pitch to prospective players.
"If people can envision a stadium, and picture themselves playing in the stadium, I think that will be really valuable," Sander told News 5 WCYB.
"I think as you put shovels in the dirt that also helps."
Sander says recruiting efforts will pick up this fall. Head coach Carl Torbush is looking at hiring two assistants to help him with the early stages of building the program.
The Bucs will welcome in their first class in February 2014.
"This fall it will be evaluating talent, talking to high school coaches, seeing who are the type of student-athletes that want to come to ETSU that we can recruit to be the foundation of this program. This recruiting year we are guessing we would sign between 15 and 20 student-athletes to scholarships."
A location for the new stadium has not been selected but they are planning for it to be ready for the second season in 2016.