JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A new state-of-the-art stadium for the Jackson State Tigers. That’s a hot topic as the university welcomes former NFL great, Deion Sanders to Jackson.
Since 1970, Jackson State’s football team and fans have filled this stadium, but now one Jackson city councilman is saying with “Prime Time” here, he is hoping to help the team score big in a new home.
“Mississippi Valley has their own stadium, Alcorn has its own stadium, and other institutions have their own as well. And it’s time for Jackson Stare to have a place they can come home and build a legacy and build traditions around it and go forward.”
Jackson City Councilman De’Keither Stamps says now that Jackson State has hired Deion Sanders to coach the JSU tigers, the team and fans need a bigger and better stadium to play in.
"Deion Sanders has played ball in Atlanta and Dallas, and we want folks traveling down I-20 to know that this is the home of the Jackson State Tigers, and hopefully, the home that “Prime Time” built," Ward 4 Councilman Stamps said.
Next week, he will ask the city council to support a resolution to allocate 1 million dollars to hopefully get the ball rolling.
“The City of Jackson received $1.6 million from the Grand Gulf Fund, and we are proposing that the stadium be also an evacuation shelter for the evacuation route. We are going to use those for the construction.”
Councilman Stamps knows it will take more than the city’s support and funding
Jackson State, the Mississippi State Legislature and other entities must be on board.
“So, it will take the state of Mississippi, and IHL to bring this together,” said Councilman Stamps.
This is not the first time talk about a new facility has come up.
Back in 2013, Jackson State University unveiled plans to build a $200 million, 50,000 seat stadium on its campus.
And in 2017, then Governor Phil Bryant announced support for tearing down Veterans Memorial stadium and he also supported building a new facility on JSU’s campus. But it never happened.
“So, there has been conversation and I think that this conversation should continue,” said Jackson City Council President Aaron Banks.
City Council President Aaron Banks points out that this has to collaborative effort with Jackson State to make this dream for many a reality.
“Right now, Veterans Memorial Stadium is home. There are a lot options and a lot of people would prefer having a stadium on campus and some are looking at West Jackson, but before we get into the conversation let’s see the direction the university wants to go first,” said Banks