The Board of Directors at Ladd-Peebles Stadium will for the first time ever be co-chaired by two people over the next year, the result of a mutual agreement between Randy Gould and Thelma Thrash after neither trustee could get a majority vote. Gould said the board was unable to reach a consensus last month, so at a meeting Jan. 21, he announced he and Thrash would take turns chairing the commission for three months at a time.
“At the last meeting there was a 3-3 vote with one abstention so we met with Mark (Newell, the board’s attorney) and agreed to co-chair rather than have a split or any dissension on the board,” Gould said. “When there is a meeting we’ll both attend and it shouldn’t be any different than it’s always been.”
Thrash, who has served on the board since she was appointed by then-City Councilman Clinton Johnson in 2004, said it would be her first sting as chair.
“The agreement was reached so we could work together and I don’t think you’ll see a difference in how things are done every three months,” she said. “We’re going to make things happen and continue improving the building and the field.”
Meanwhile, Newell presented a draft financial statement for the previous fiscal year that showed despite rising expenses and lower revenues, the stadium remained in the black.
“We made money,” Newell said, pointing to preliminary figures showing a net operating income of $56,659, despite receiving $42,000 less from the city for 2012-2013. Last year, in a figure that will be reflected in next year’s audit, the city cut another $128,000 from the stadium’s budget, and Newell suggested the board may have to dip into $265,802 worth of cash reserves to fill the gap.
The board is also negotiating with the GoDaddy Bowl on an option to renew its contract through 2018.
The Senior Bowl, which takes place Saturday, is contracted with the stadium through 2015, the same as the University of South Alabama.
Stadium Manager Vic Knight said the freezing temperatures this month have broken some of the tap water pipes supplying hand sinks in the restrooms of the 65-year-old stadium, so for the Senior Bowl, they will provide portable wash basins.
Gould also said he was in very preliminary negotiations with Jada Entertainment to bring two or three music acts to the stadium during the off-season. Gould was going to provide logistical and contractual information to the promoter before they could return with some financial information and he said any agreement would be geared toward whatever is best for the stadium financially.