The Student News Site of University of North Alabama

The Flor-Ala

The Student News Site of University of North Alabama

The Flor-Ala

The Student News Site of University of North Alabama

The Flor-Ala

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University enters planning stage for new stadium

Courtesy of UNA

The University of North Alabama is taking steps toward the eventual construction of a new on-campus venue, Bank Independent Stadium.

“Bank Independent Stadium is the culmination of a vision – a vision that began almost 50 years ago when the University of North Alabama leadership believed in the institution, its students, its faculty, its staff, and, perhaps, most importantly, its community,” said the university in a statement issued on “Today, the stage is set for that vision to come to life with the transformative nature of the on-campus Bank Independent Stadium.” 

Plans for the stadium have been in the works for several years. In 2018, after the Student Government Association created a resolution favoring an on-campus stadium, UNA President Dr. Ken Kitts created a task force to consider the addition to the university. 

Efforts to fundraise for the stadium began in 2021, and in August 2022, the university was promoted to NCAA Division I status, further necessitating the transition to a bigger, on-campus stadium. 

On June 9, the UNA Board of Trustees unanimously approved the plans for the new multipurpose stadium and authorized the next steps in the designing and planning process. 

“Our campus, our community, and our philanthropic conversations have brought us to this day and this historic decision made by our Board of Trustees,” said Kitts. “I am thrilled that our partnership with Bank Independent and other donors allow us to move forward with the multipurpose, on-campus stadium so that we may begin to realize next steps and see this long-time goal become a reality.” 

Much fundraising was needed to make this dream a reality, and those involved remain appreciative of the sponsors that have made it possible.

“It has taken a long time, but, behind the scenes, a lot of people have been diligent in fundraising and a lot of families and companies are giving specifically to make this investment in our athletic programs,” said Will Trapp, President Pro Tempore of the Board of Trustees. “Student feedback several years ago was very much in favor of this option, and it speaks volumes that support from our business community has helped us reach the point of being able to bring this project to life.” 

From 2023 to 2024, the design phase for Bank Independent Stadium will be underway. From there, construction will begin, with the opening date estimated to be sometime in 2026 or 2027, depending on how long planning and construction take. 

Once the stadium is complete, it will be home to many UNA sports teams, including baseball, football and soccer, and it will also be used by the greater Shoals community. 

“We have experienced a groundswell of community excitement, engagement and support for Bank Independent Stadium since announcing the project publicly on June 9,” said UNA Athletic Director Dr. Josh Looney. “Alongside entry into the public fundraising phase of the campaign, we have begun many of the planning processes associated with transforming stadium concepts into formal designs. One of our primary goals is to ensure a multi-purpose design that can benefit all areas of campus, as well as the community, 365 days a year. The design phase is expected to last approximately 12 months as we continue to focus on a schedule that brings Bank Independent Stadium to campus in 2026-27.” 

The stadium’s presence on campus will serve as a community center and will benefit the university for years into the future. 

“By its very nature, a stadium brings people together to champion a common cause, and there is no question that, whether a football or baseball game, a soccer match, or a concert, Bank Independent Stadium will do just that – now and for generations to come,” the university said. “We welcome this historic and transformational next step as North Alabama steps into its place in history.”

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About the Contributor
Kelley Peters, Managing Editor
Kelley is a junior from Tupelo, Miss. who is majoring in English literature with a minor in applied linguistics. She is currently Managing Editor for The Flor-Ala. She has loved reading for as long as she can remember, which developed her love of storytelling and the English language. Her career goal is to become an English professor at a university. She was previously a volunteer writer in the Fall of 2021, became a Staff Writer in January of 2022 and moved to being News Editor in January of 2023.

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