• Bethune Cookman pushing for stadium renovations in Daytona


    DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - The stadium Bethune Cookman uses for its home football games may be getting a $1 million upgrade.

    Channel 9's Roy Ramos spoke with Daytona Beach city leaders about what the renovation project means for the local economy.

    The stadium is used by high schools and universities but it has clearly seen better days. The lighting alone is over 25 years old, but Ramos obtained documents that may have city commissioners approving the money for upgrades.

    "We are excited about the possibilities of upgrading municipal stadium here in Daytona Beach," said Bethune Cookman director of athletics, Lynn Thompson.

    Thompson said she has high hopes the stadium will get the much-needed upgrades the program has been pushing for for two years.

    "We need those things," she said. "We want to be anchored here at that facility, and our fans are asking for that."

    Lighting and a new Jumbotron are part of the proposed upgrades.

    "The lighting is going to run about $225,000 and the Jumbotron is going to run about $450,000, and we are looking at getting about half of those numbers from grants," said Daytona Beach Director of Leisure Services Percy Williamson.

    Williamson will pitch the upgrades to city commissioners on Wednesday. And while the city is still accepting bids, he is confident grants from Daytona Beach Racing and Rec, and Pepsi, will cover the bulk of the cost.

    Williamson said what the city will pay is pennies compared to what it will bring to the local economy.

    "A little over $1 million a game for the Daytona Beach area, so it is going to have an economic impact," he said.

    Ramos also obtained documents saying the city is able to obtain the funds needed for the upgrades.

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