Just a few short weeks ago, the news came down that the Waco City Council had, in the first of two votes, accepted the recommendation of the Tax Increment Financing board for Zone 1 in Waco to contribute $35 million to the Baylor riverside stadium project. The second vote would follow a few weeks later but was largely seen to be a formality; too many people involved in the decision-making spoke out in favor of the project to believe that something might change their minds.
As it turns out, the second and final vote took place this evening and was also unanimously approved. The last roadblock to Baylor's groundbreaking has been cleared. From KCEN producer Tania Ortega:
UPDATE : The Waco City Council has unanimously approved the $35 Million incentive for the new Baylor stadium. twitter.com/TaniaOrtegaKCE…— Tania Ortega (@TaniaOrtegaKCEN) August 8, 2012
I actually didn't find out that the vote took place until I read Baylor's response, which was released a few minutes ago by the athletic department. I've posted it in its entirety below the jump.
We are delighted that the Waco City Council has reaffirmed its unanimous support for the community events Baylor Stadium complex. With the final approval of the TIF funds for this project, we are prepared to move forward expeditiously to bring this bold vision to reality, for our University and for our city. Construction will begin without delay with the expectation of a stadium opening at the start of the 2014 Baylor football season.
We are deeply indebted to the generous alumni who are stepping forward as founders to support this new facility that will serve our student-athletes, our alumni, our University and our community for years to come. We are also thankful to the members of the TIF board and the City Council for their decision to invest with us in this remarkable project that will transform our riverfront. Baylor Stadium will serve as a powerful catalyst for future economic development in our city and bring positive national recognition to both Baylor and Waco.
Hoot, holler, and ... do whatever it is you do to celebrate, ladies and gents. The recent approval by the Baylor Board of Regents was conditioned on this money coming in and now it has. From what I can tell, Baylor Stadium is finally, and officially, a reality.