Wednesday’s Daily Briefing: Stadium opening on Oct. 15, 2011 will lead to quirky schedule for FAU
FAU Athletic Director Craig Angelos found out Tuesday the on-campus football stadium may not be ready by Sept. 17, 2011 but the construction firm could have it finished by Oct. 15.
So Angelos has to call an audible when it comes to next year’s schedule – including finding an opponent that can play in the first game at the new stadium.
By a look at the calendar, Oct. 15 is the seventh week of the 2011 season. That means the Owls may have to look at playing four games on the road and having two open weeks before opening the stadium against…drumroll please – a team from the Sun Belt Conference.
As you might remember, FAU was in discussions with South Florida about the Bulls providing the opposition for the first game due to their open week on Sept. 17, but that plan is kaput.
“I called University of South Florida and let them know we were going to miss that opportunity and that it wasn't going to happen, unfortunately,” Angelos said.
Angelos said he got in contact quickly with Sun Belt Commissioner Wright Waters about the likely dilemma for the Owls next season.
“I talked to him and he said he would do what he could and I’m sure everyone will work in good faith,” Angelos said.
Would the Bulls be a better opponent than say, anyone in the Sun Belt (past, present or future)? Of course.
But that’s the timetable given by Balfour Beatty officials – and FAU has to live with it.
“The October time frame, even that is an aggressive one, but we are going to get that guaranteed from the contractor,” FAU Senior Vice President for Strategic Relations and General Counsel David Kian told FAUOwlAccess.com’s Chuck King on Tuesday afternoon. “You are going to see steel coming out of the ground very quickly."
And, Angelos said, it’s possible, the stadium will be ready even before the Oct. 15 date, but FAU can’t take a chance on scheduling a game to open the stadium and then have to play it at Lockhart Stadium or Sun Life Stadium.
After this project has slogged along at a snail’s pace for more than a decade, what’s a couple more weeks?
Oct. 15 it is, for now.
Construction projects are always completed on time, right?
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