Group Files Lawsuit Against Des Moines Public Schools Stadium Project

DES MOINES, Iowa - The fight over a high school football stadium is now in court.

The group Save Our Stadiums has filed a lawsuit in the Polk County state district court to block Des Moines Public Schools from building a nearly $20 million stadium at Drake University. The stadium would be home to four of the city's five high school football teams.

Save Our Stadiums says its petition drive received enough signatures (7,120) to force a public vote on the project. The school district says the group did not meet the legal requirement, which it says is 7,501 (30 percent of the total 25,004 ballots cast in the November 5 general election).

The Des Moines School Board unanimously approved an agreement with Drake University on July 7 to build the 4,000-seat stadium. The plan calls for $15 million in city sales tax money to be used to build the stadium, along with $4.5 million to be supplied by Drake University.

Save Our Stadiums says the new stadium would be harmful to participation and booster club revenues because of its remote location at least two miles from any of the four high schools for which it would serve as a home field.

The school district responded to the lawsuit with a statement released Tuesday. "It’s unfortunate that time and money must now be spent on this issue, but we are confident in a successful outcome so that we can continue making sure students in Des Moines have access to high quality facilities like students elsewhere in Iowa."

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