RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Virginia Commonwealth University is stepping into the debate over what to do with City Stadium. VCU's athletic director even met with the mayor Dwight Jones this week.
Norwood Teague said VCU wants the property. He also said starting a football program is a possibility and you can connect the dots that owning City Stadium is the next logical step in a long process.
At 82 years old and not getting any younger, City Stadium is at the center of a hot debate in Richmond. Just last week, NBC12 obtained from a source the designs for the property being shown to city leaders. Fulton Hill Partnership is proposing a development with shopping and housing.
VCU has been watching the debate and wants Richmond to know "we're definitely in discussion with the powers that be. We are very interested in the stadium," Teague said.
He says VCU would like to keep the property as it is, but spend money fixing it up. "It's such a great piece of land, that's close to VCU, close to the university and it would be tough to see it go away from an athletic venue," he said.
A group of residents near the stadium created a facebook page this week in support of VCU acquiring the stadium. As of Wednesday afternoon, 189 people had supported the cause.
"I would imagine that VCU will be out there pumping up the volume. I would imagine developers will be out there pumping up the volume," said Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones.
Jones is planning several community meetings and says he welcomes all the interest in the property, but no decisions have been made. "We want to find out what's the highest and best use for the property. We don't want to do that absent from the community's input."
VCU says it wants to use the stadium for graduations and other sporting events, and admits there's another connection you could make. "If football is a possibility, I think you can connect the dots that City Stadium would certainly work well for us. So, something we're looking at, something we're trying evaluate and see where it all ends up," said Teague.
As for the possibility of starting football, Teague says VCU will be extensively researching the idea this year.
The community meetings about City Stadium are in the works, but not official dates or times have been released.