By: Larry Robinson, Ph.D./ Florida A&M University
On Thursday, July 9, several members of Florida A&M University Senior Leadership Team and I presented to the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency Board our plans for the Renaissance of Bragg Memorial Stadium.
Their unanimous vote in favor of continuing the due diligence necessary to support our $10 million request shows good faith and recognition of FAMU as one of Tallahassee’s major economic drivers, a treasured cultural resource and one of the key community assets on the city’s south-side.
For many years, Bragg Stadium has hosted football games, commencement ceremonies, concerts and other events that have brought thousands of people to Tallahassee. In fact, our annual Homecoming festivities attract some of the largest gatherings in the region and produces a $2 million annual economic impact. There’s excitement in Tallahassee whenever there’s an event at Bragg.
These unprecedented times have reminded us of the value of Bragg Stadium as a true community resource. As the pandemic took its toll, Bragg was the site of two major food distribution events. Additionally, Bragg Stadium is home to the area’s largest free COVID-19 testing site, which has served more than 20,000 people since April 25. Bragg Stadium is being used to render a much-needed service to our community and will continue to do so with the requested investment.
I want to personally thank Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency Board Chair, City Commissioner Elaine Bryant, Ph.D.; Vice Chair, County Commissioner Jimbo Jackson; Mayor John Dailey; Mayor Pro Tem, City Commissioner Diane Williams-Cox; City Commissioner Curtis Richardson; City Commissioner Jeremy Matlow; Leon County Board Chair Brian Desloge; Leon County Board Vice Chair Commissioner Rick Minor; County Commissioner Kristin Dozier; County Commissioner Mary Ann Lindley; County Commissioner Nick Maddox; and County Commissioner Bill Proctor.
I also want to acknowledge the invaluable assistance of City Manager Reese Goad; Assistant City Manager Wayne Tedder; County Administrator Vince Long; Deputy County Administrator Alan Rosenzweig; and the Blueprint IA team including, Ben Pingree, director of the Department of PLACE; Cristina Paredes, director of the Office of Economic Vitality; Autumn Calder, director of Blueprint and the PLACE team.
As the dialogue continues, their consideration of the impact this venue has on Tallahassee is appreciated. Bragg Memorial Stadium is a treasured community resource and one of the largest economic engines on Tallahassee’s south-side. A renaissance for Bragg is a renaissance for the south-side.
Larry Robinson, Ph.D., is the 12th president of Florida A&M University.