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Purdue AD Burke: 'Lightning Strike' Needed To Fix Ross-Ade

Stan Jastrzebski

Despite another disappointing season for the Purdue football team, athletic department officials say they’ll look to engage more fans by renovating Ross-Ade Stadium.

But the money may be hard to come by. Sagging attendance meant the football team brought in three million fewer dollars than expected this year. Athletics Director Morgan Burke says that makes funding projects more difficult for a self-supporting department.

Burke says renovating the stadium would transform the university in the same way Mackey Arena bolstered school pride. But he noted construction of the basketball arena in the 1960s was done with considerable advocacy from Purdue administrators.

“Can lightning strike twice? Yeah, but it takes courage," Burke says. "And again, I’m not putting pressure on anybody. I’m putting pressure on myself to be an advocate. Whatever the decision is, the decision is.”

Burke did not directly say he plans to ask President Mitch Daniels or the Purdue trustees for some of the cash necessary to retrofit the football stadium.