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Schnellenberger showing patience with proposed FAU Stadium
Although the Florida Atlantic stadium project may not be proceeding as quickly as some would have hoped, leave it to Florida Atlantic football coach Howard Schnellenberger to put Wednesday's actions by the Board of Trustees in perspective.

When I saw Schnellenberger Thursday morning he was quite happy with the BOT approving a deal with Crocker Partners to build $69 million worth of student housing as part of the first stage of the Innovation Village.

"The ball is rolling and it's unstoppable," Schnellenberger said.

There was no hand-wringing from the venerable coach who would seem to be the first person in the world to want FAU's stadium built sooner rather than later.

But Schnellenberger has plenty of perspective. He tried to get Miami to build on-campus stadium and it never happened. Then he tried to get one built at Louisville and it was finally built after he left.

Now Schnellenberger knows he will be able to see this stadium be built - and whether is up by 2010 or 2011 isn't a major concern.

FAU Attorney David Kian said the deal with Corcker Brothers needs to be closed and then a loan can be secured for stadium construction. Right now the closing is expected around Feb. 1, which would seem to indicate that 2011 is the more likely first year the Owls will play on campus even though Kian said if the phone rang tomorrow with someone who wanted to underwrite the project, he could have shovels in the ground in short order and have the stadium up by early Fall 2010.

Of course that hasn't happened yet so it looks like 2011 is more likely the target date. That may not exactly be the news FAU fans were hoping for, but it will have to do.

"With the approval of this pre-development deal we have turned the corner with Innovation Village," Kian said. "At the end of the day we will have 12 milion dollars in our pocket and we will have stadium. The rest is just details."

If that's good enough for Schnellenberger, it should be good enough for all of us.
July 23, 2009

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