Memorial Stadium project facing millions of dollars in overruns

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In its heyday, Memorial Stadium hosted President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, major football games and huge concerts featuring artists ranging from Prince to ZZ Top.

There is no questioning the iconic venue's history.

[Plans in place for $35 million Memorial Stadium makeover]

"It has been a fixture in this community for a long time," said Lee Jones, Director of Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation.

Mecklenburg County leaders are focused on Memorial Stadium's future as demolition is underway. Once the stadium is built, it will be home to the Charlotte Independence soccer team, concerts, high school sports and more.

Tuesday night at Mecklenburg County Commission, county leaders found out the project needs $5.5 million more.

"This is definitely due to economic factors and nothing we have done internally," Commissioner Mark Jerrell said.

The county is blaming the overruns on higher than expected construction costs and a limited number of available and interested contractors. Portions of the project that have gone out to bid are coming in 15% to 20% higher than expected.

The overruns have become common in Charlotte lately.

Convention Center upgrades came in $16.5 million higher than projected. The Cross Charlotte Trail came in $77 million over budget.

County commissioners unanimously voted to provide the extra $5.5 million for the stadium, which will keep the project on time and the design won't be compromised.

"This additional funding will allow us to finish the project," Jones said.

County Manager Dena Diorio said the county is doing a comprehensive review of all capital projects to identify others that may be running into similar issues.

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