Aldermen give first okay to SAU stadium

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Davenport aldermen gave initial approval to St. Ambrose University's plans for a stadium and sports complex, voting 6-4 to move the proposal ahead to second consideration.

SAU hopes to upgrade its current softball field and two practice fields, and build a 2,500-seat stadium with a 400-meter track, shot put/discus area, and parking for 410 cars.

Wednesday, more than 40 people spoke ahead of the Council's first vote on the proposal, both in support and opposition to St. Ambrose's plan.

Due to some of the concerns raised by neighbors of the St. Vincent's site off West Central Park Avenue, aldermen added three conditions to SAU's request. The City is now requiring a detailed tailgating policy from the school, as well as commitments that St. Ambrose will not worsen storm water management in the neighborhood or request further expansion of the stadium in the next 10 years.

The City Council's conditions are an addition to the 17 conditions proposed by the Plan and Zoning Commission.

St. Ambrose leaders said they are okay with all of the conditions, and that many of them were proposed by the University itself. A tailgating policy has already been created which will only allow for tailgating two hours before games and one hour after.

"We're happy with this. I think you heard from some of the council members that this is another four-week process, so a lot of work to do yet, and we'd still like to work with the neighbors to address any concerns they have," said Mike Poster, St. Ambrose's Vice President of Finance.

Three votes on the proposal will be required before a final decision is made. The next vote is expected on June 25.