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Tallahassee Residents To Protest Funding $20M FSU Stadium Enhancements

Erich Martin

A group of Tallahassee residents is calling on a local governing board to vote against giving Florida State University $20 million to enhance its stadium, and instead invest that money into the city's poor neighborhoods.

StandUp Tallahassee, a local activist group, is holding a rally at 2:30 p.m. in front of City Hall, where the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency Board meeting is scheduled to take place.

It's expected to include a drumline and street performance.

Rally organizer, Donna Cotterell, says FSU's athletics program has enough money to pay for its renovations, whereas low-income communities rely primarily on public dollars.

StandUp Tallahassee points to 2018 tax filings that show the Seminole Athletics Booster program had more than $140 million in net assets. The university also has other sources of private capital.

“Why are they coming to the city with their hand out as if they need those funds? It’s unfair that they want to use the public’s money when they have private funds that can be used to do those renovations," Cotterell said. "I’m all for renovations, but why take that money from the public, when the public sorely needs it.”

Cotterrell, who lives on the city’s Southside, says the area lacks sidewalks, adequate housing and needs road improvements.

She says 75 people have so far signed the group’s petition.

Copyright 2021 WFSU

Valerie Crowder is a freelance reporter based in Panama City, Florida. Before moving to Florida, she covered politics and education for Public Radio East in New Bern, North Carolina. While at PRE, she was also a fill-in host during All Things Considered. She got her start in public radio at WAER-FM in Syracuse, New York, where she was a part-time reporter, assistant producer and host. She has a B.A. in newspaper online journalism and political science from Syracuse University. When she’s not reporting the news, she enjoys reading classic fiction and thrillers, hiking with members of the Florida Trail Association and doing yoga.