Blueprint’s $20M for FSU draws backlash

FSU’s Doak Campbell Stadium. Photo courtesy:

The Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency voted Monday to allocate $20 million to Florida State University for repairs to Doak Campbell Stadium.

This came one year after the agency – made up of city and county commissioners — approved $10 million to repair Florida A&M’s Bragg Memorial Stadium.

In July, FAMU requested $6.3 million from the Blueprint agency to fund immediate repairs at Bragg. If the repairs were not made in a timely manner, the football team would be unable to play its 2021 season at Bragg due to safety issues.

On Sept. 17, 2020, FAMU secured $10 million from Blueprint to begin improvements and repairs at Bragg.

FSU is on a mission to raise $100 million to upgrade and repair Doak. According to the FSU Seminole Boosters chair, they have raised approximately $53 million so far. The $20 million from Blueprint will be an addition to the $100 million raised by Boosters and the university.

FSU said it plans to use the funding from Blueprint solely for infrastructure repairs at Doak.

Dana Bryan, a Tallahassee resident, believes FSU has funding sources to repair Doak.

“I fear this will kill the Blueprint program forever,” Bryan said on Facebook. “People will not support the use of their tax dollars to fund projects that have other perfectly able funding sources. FAMU did not, FSU does. The program is corrupted.”

The 8-4 Blueprint vote to fund the $20 million project will exhaust most of the bonding capacity funds from the Office of Economic Vitally until 2028. OEV is designated to grow the economy by improving local businesses, not venue upgrades. However, they’re able to improve venues if they will boost the economy.

Jalaycia Lewis, a graduate of FAMU and FSU, believes the $20 million for FSU was a bad economic decision.

“It’s so funny to me how FSU is always invested into because of a future they’re selling, but at FAMU you have a future that is now,” Lewis said. “Although FSU does have a great economic impact on Tallahassee the future of FSU’s football is on the decline. Why does all of the budget have to be allocated to FSU? Tallahassee isn’t just FSU, however it gets misconstrued in the media. The disparities are evident.”

Devin Dawson, a student at FSU, believes the funding amount from Blueprint is outrageous.

“It’s not surprising that FSU is receiving that amount of money,” Dawson said. “It’s actually kind of outrageous they’re receiving that type of money right now since the football team is 0-4. I went to the first home game this season and I didn’t see anything that needed to be done that requires $20 million. I feel like there are more projects the city of Tallahassee could have benefited from.