Cal State Fullerton's on-campus stadium, once scheduled to begin construction this year, will not be completed in time for the 1991 football season, school officials say.
Construction on the 10,000-seat stadium, the centerpiece of a $10.2-million sports complex, now is scheduled to begin next July, said James Sharp, the university's associate vice president for facility planning and construction. Completion is expected in January, 1992, according to a recently revised schedule.
The delay, in part the result of a $3.5-million increase caused by inflation and some revision of project plans, is the latest in more than a decade marked by funding problems and legal wrangling. The city of Fullerton's Redevelopment Agency agreed last summer to finance the additional $3.5 million in accordance with the 1986 financing plan that combines a grant from the agency with a loan that the university will repay through proceeds from the property lease for an on-campus Marriott hotel.
That hotel, also approved in 1986, is completed and will open Oct. 15.
Because of the delays, Fullerton probably will reschedule the Sept. 7, 1991, football game against Mississippi State that was to be the stadium's grand opening, Titan Athletic Director Ed Carroll said.
Mississippi State had agreed to play Fullerton in the new stadium in 1991, but not in the Titans' current home facility, Santa Ana Stadium, a 10,000-seat stadium nine miles from campus that the Titans share with four high schools and one community college team.
Carroll and Mississippi State Athletic Director Larry Templeton have discussed the delay and are likely to reach a new agreement in the next few weeks, possibly switching the game to Starkville, Miss., in 1991, with Mississippi State playing in Fullerton's new stadium in 1992.
The delay will make the upcoming season more comfortable for the Fullerton baseball team, which had arranged to play its home games at Amerige Park in Fullerton because of construction work at Titan Field, its home stadium. But with construction not scheduled to start until after the season, the team will play at Titan Field.
A 1,500-seat baseball stadium and a facility for track and soccer are the other major components of the sports complex, which will be built on the land southeast of the intersection of State College and Yorba Linda boulevards and north of Titan Gym.
If the football stadium opens in time for the 1992 season, the first home game would be against Colorado State on Sept. 19.
In addition to Fullerton football, the stadium will be used for community events.
Other teams might also play at the stadium. Servite High School Athletic Director Tom Vitello said the school would be interested in playing in the facility. Servite, which does not have a home stadium, is playing three home games at Glover Stadium this year, and in some years plays games at Santa Ana Stadium.
The CIF has expressed interest in the stadium as a site for high school football playoff games, Carroll said.