Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium sits unused most days of every year, a monument to an inflated notion of Jackson’s standing as a center for major-college football – and a testament of changing times in how “home” football games are defined.
The idea that the taxpayers of Mississippi should foot a bill of up to $156 million for major renovations or a new stadium on the same site is ill-conceived and ill-considered.
Mississippi’s pressing needs don’t include renovating a white-elephant stadium. A better plan would raze the stadium and use the extraordinarily valuable land on which the stadium sits for authentic economic development, or, as needed, growth of the University of Mississippi Medical Center, which is across North State Street.
In terms of statewide impact (and benefit for Jackson and the central Mississippi region), the site needs jobs. The stadium property could be used as a magnet for major, long-term employers seeking an urban location.