By BRIAN LESTER
The University of Findlay said Friday it is exploring other options for construction of a lacrosse and football stadium on campus, after the school severed ties with a company that was playing a big role in the project.
The university had been counting on iGoHD, an HD entertainment streaming company in Cincinnati, to establish online streaming and sponsorship opportunities for the stadium.
Plans called for the stadium to host eight live concerts a year that were to be managed and streamed by iGoHD.
However, iGoHD “is facing unexpected delays in the implementation of its business plan for the project, including the signing of sponsorships,” the university said Friday.
“As a result of the delays in the business plan, the university has ended its current affiliation with the company,” said Martin Terry, UF vice president for business affairs.
Brianna Patterson, media relations director at the university, said iGoHD was taking the lead on the stadium project, but because its plan fell through, the school will look in another direction to make the stadium become a reality.
No timeline has been set for the start of construction.
“We are open to all options at this time,” Patterson said.
Patterson said the university had minimal commitment in terms of funding for the stadium, but she said the school has received several private donations for the project.
Terry said the school does want the stadium to be built at some point.
“It is clear that this project is a high priority for many of our students, alumni and community supporters, and we are considering alternative options for continuing with the project,” he said.
Last November, the university unveiled plans for a 5,000-seat lacrosse and football stadium off of Trenton Avenue. The cost of the project was expected to be $8 million, and it was expected to open in time for the football team to begin play in 2015. The women’s lacrosse team would start playing in the stadium in the spring of 2016.
The football and lacrosse teams currently use Donnell Stadium in southern Findlay as their home field.
The new stadium was also to be used for intramural sports on campus. Approximately 3,000 students play intramural sports at UF. The marching band was also going to use the stadium for practice.
University football coach Rob Keys said Friday he could not comment on the stadium situation.
He had said in November that the new stadium would be important to recruiting.
Keys has been instrumental in the football team’s turnaround. The Oilers were 1-10 in 2010, the year before Keys took over, and have gone 21-11 over the past three seasons. UF was 8-3 a year ago.
“You can’t measure the effects it (a new on-campus stadium) would have on a program,” Keys said in November. “It’s a game-changer.”
In addition to Findlay, Malone, Walsh and Lake Erie are the only other schools in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference without an on-campus stadium.
“Without a stadium, it’s so difficult to recruit because you can’t use it as a selling point to potential players,” Keys said in November.
“Other schools have used that against us in recruiting. We have been winning on the field. We do things right off the field, and if we have a stadium, there isn’t anything those other schools can use against us,” Keys said.
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