Georgia Southern University’s beloved Paulson Stadium is getting the extreme home makeover necessary for the Division-I stage beginning with yesterday’s groundbreaking ceremony, and it has everyone buzzing about the possibilities.
“It’s going to be a showcase. We are going to have teams from all over the country come here to this stadium to play us now that we’re moving to the FBS. All of that is going to generate more economic development in this community, and that’s what makes it great,” President Brooks Keel said.
Head football coach Jeff Monken has been marching winning football teams onto the gridiron at the current Paulson Stadium for three years now, and he believes the stadium expansion will have a big impact.
“When you’ve got a stadium that we’ll have in a year, and a facility like we will have, people will come on our campus. Not just sponsors, but fans, season ticket holders and former players. They’ll know that we are a D-I program and that we are playing at the highest level,” Monken said.
The new and improved Paulson Stadium is an investment that is going to generate money for GSU, but dollar signs are not the only bottom line.
“The thing we try to do with our football games is build memories – build memories for our current students so they will want to come back as post graduates and build memories with our community people so their kids will want to come to Georgia Southern,” Athletic Director Tom Kleinlein said.
The stadium expansion was not the only reason for yesterday’s groundbreaking ceremony. A 50,000 square foot, privately funded $10 million, Football Operations Center is being built to house everything from new locker rooms to a Hall of Fame containing the Eagles’ rich history.
“We have a history of success. Nobody else in the nation at this level can say they have six national championships – can’t come close. Now with the advent of the state-of-the-art facility, it is going to make this program more attractive to the highest caliber athlete we can get,” Keel said.
Paulson Stadium is getting a face lift, and the man leading the charge has high expectations for what the finished product will look like.
Keel said, “Every time I look at this stadium, in my own mind, I see what it is going to look like, and I think it’s going to be beyond our wildest expectations. This stadium is going to completely change the atmosphere and the environment.”