Some members of the Roberts Stadium Advisory Board are at odds on just how big the arena should be.
It was one of only a few disagreements during the meeting when the board drafted a report to give to Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel.
Gateway group consultants recommend the city build an arena containing 8,600 fixed seats with space to hold as many as 10,000.
The Roberts Stadium Advisory Board recommends the city seat up to 11,000.
"I think what you have to do in Evansville is look past your nose. Look outside the box and build for the next 50, maybe even 100 years," said board member Steve Bagbey.
At least one board member says he's concerned about exceeding the community's needs.
"If we build too big a stadium, it will cost tens of millions of dollars more money," Dennis Avery said. "So what we need to do is build for the future, but at the same time not providing excess capacity."
Board chair Wayne Henning says Roberts Stadium has 12,232 seats, but that's only because in 1990 remodelers shrunk the size of the seats to fit more people in.
"Clearly, we've heard from the community that the seats are not comfortable at Roberts and we do want comfortable seating," said Henning.
Hennings says during concerts thousands of seats can't be used to make room for the stage.
He says management company SMG told him having 11,000 seats and a larger floor for the stage might allow them to attract more shows.
That's not all the board wants to do.
"Athletic contests, plus the entertainment, plus the hockey, plus the University of Evansville and Hadi Shrine Circus, but more importantly, I hope the University of southern Indiana comes on board," Bagbey said.
For starters, Bagbey hopes USI will move its rivalry game against Kentucky Wesleyan from the PAC arena to the city's arena.
A spokesperson says the University has no plans to do anything like that, but will continue to consider the idea.
There is no timeline for a final decision on the number of seats or anything else.
The advisory board will present its report to the mayor by the end of next week.
Then the report goes before county commissioners and the city and county councils.
New Media Producer: Amanda Lents
The recommendation to build a new stadium downtown goes before the stadium board.
No final decision on location was made Wednesday night. The meeting was a chance for the advisory board to put together a list of recommendations to present to the mayor.
Some of those recommendations include building a new arena downtown with seating for between 9,000 to 11,000, researching a new contract with the University of Evansville and considering the best use for the current stadium site off the Lloyd Expressway.
Of course all recommendations are contingent on funding. The full list of recommendations is expected to be presented to the mayor within 10 days.
Roberts Stadium Advisory Committee Meeting
May 8, 2008 Draft Report
The Stadium Advisory Committee met May 8, 2008 from 5:30-8:15 p.m. to develop recommendations for the Mayor of Evansville based on their 11 months of research, listening and consultation with others.
The two major focuses of the meeting were to develop the Key Facts/Learnings of the past 11 months and to develop the recommendations to the Mayor regarding this project.
Forty-five Key Facts were offered by the committee members. Of these, eight were the consensus of the team as particularly important. These have been highlighted in the report, along with the "votes" each received. Finally, a multi-part recommendation was crafted and refined by the committee until consensus was achieved.