"We're going to get the expansion done"

by Tom Luicci and Brendan Prunty/The Star-Ledger
Tuesday October 14, 2008

Even in the face of an economic crisis and Rutgers University's announcement that it may consider cutting the cost of the football stadium's expansion project, coach Greg Schiano is adamant the plan will still be completed.

"We're going to get the expansion done," Schiano said after practice Tuesday. "It's just a matter of 'Where are we going to do it more economically?' If you're going to have this facade on the side that is $4 million and pleasing to the eye -- put steel girders up. I don't care."

Schiano said that the project needs to be completed to accommodate fan interest in the team.

"People want to get in to our stadium to see us play," he said. "We've got to build seats for them."

Rutgers has seen its endowment value drop 10 percent recently and with potential budget cuts by the state, departments school-wide have been asked to delay or defer all non-essential spending.

The major portion of the expansion project would close the open (south) end of Rutgers Stadium along River Road, adding an additional 13,000 seats under the original plans.

"In the 10,000 area -- as long as we're getting a considerably more number of seats," he said. "That's the plan."

With expansion construction well underway already, Schiano said it doesn't make sense now not to see the project through.

"We're into it," he said. "You can see we've got a multimillion dollar hole in the ground right now. We've got to finish it."

Copyright (c) 2008 Star Ledger