Plans for the expansion were initially rolled out in August, with aninitial price tag of $116 million attached. Besides the additionalseating, the expansion calls for an upgrade of the stadium's soundsystem, scoreboard, video screen and common areas, and a newentrance plaza off the adjacent River Road. Work on phase one,including much of the new seating, will start immediately, slatedfor completion in time for the 2008 football season. The fullproject is scheduled for completion in August 2009.

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University officials say the project is self-supporting, usingno public money and having no impact on other university programs.Plans call for financing $72 million of the cost through bonds thatwill be repaid through increased ticket revenues generated by theexpansion. The remaining $30 million will come from privatedonations.

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"We are not taking funds from another area of the university topay for the expansion," says Rutgers president Richard McCormick."Expanding the stadium increases its ability to generate revenue.This, in turn, will reduce the university's subsidy of athleticsand free up funds that can be redirected to finance academic andresearch programs."

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The lone dissenting vote came from George Zoffinger, who's alsothe former CEO of the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority."The road to ruin in filled with good intentions," Zoffinger saidafter the vote, specifically questioning the project's fundingmechanism.

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