Sports Illustrated reports that the city council’s approval to build a new football stadium is rooted in their hope to have Jackson State University’s head coach Deion Sanders remain at the university.
Ward 3 Councilman Kenneth Stokes spoke highly of Coach Sanders and the positivity and “success” he has brought to the program.
“We’ve had so much success with our coach, Deion Sanders Prime Time, and it’s just the perfect time, if we’re going to get a new stadium, to start talking… and let’s try to make it a reality,” Councilman Stokes told WLBT-TV. “We’re all hoping that Coach Prime stays in the city for a long period of time, but a lot of colleges and universities are trying to get his talents.”
Prior to Sanders’s arrival in 2020, the Tigers had not posted a winning season since 2013.
Last season, the Tigers defeated Prairie View to win the 2021 SWAC Championship Title.
“The atmosphere for football has not been this high in a long, long, long time,” Stokes said. “He’s a good coach. He’s good for the community. He’s good for the SWAC… It’s just a blessing to have someone like Deion Sanders, Coach Prime, in the city of Jackson.”– Councilman Kenneth Stokes
Ward 5 Councilman Vernon Hartley shared similar sentiments as Stokes, praising Sanders for everything he has done for Jackson State and his ward since taking over the football program in late 2020.
“We’re talking economic impact in the millions,” Hartley said. “If and when he decides to move on, it’s going to be a loss. We need to go ahead and take advantage of all the things we can do right now.”