A bipartisan group of U.S. Congressmen has created a new caucus devoted to protecting college football stadiums — a pointed response to an accelerating facility arms race within the sport.
Led by Rep. Garret Graves (R-Louisiana) and Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wisconsin), the Historic Stadium Caucus will develop strategies to preserve and modernize facilities that in some cases are more than 120 years old, but in a historically meaningful way.
The group will particularly focus on security and safety enhancements, technological upgrades, and securing funding for infrastructure improvements.
Initially, 18 college football venues have committed to participate, including iconic facilities such as the Rose Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Yale Bowl, Beaver Stadium, and Camp Randall Stadium. More venues are expected to be added to the list, and Graves and Pocan are also seeking additional legislators to join the caucus.
“Historic stadiums like the Rose Bowl have been the backbone of American sports and entertainment for over a century, but their viability and continued operations are in jeopardy with the evolving landscape and expectations of modern-day sports and entertainment,” said Jens Weiden, Rose Bowl GM and CEO.
“History is the soul of these stadiums … We believe the launch of the caucus will be a crucial step forward in protecting these iconic venues from being overshadowed,” Weiden said.
The caucus arrives as at least a dozen schools from Power Five conferences are currently in the midst of large-scale stadium upgrades, along with a growing number of smaller-conference universities and independents. The cost of many of those projects extends well into nine figures.