Dr. Welch on Football Operations Center

The $27 million multi-purpose athletic facility proposed for the lot adjacent to Liberty Bank Stadium's north end zone is still moving forward, according to Arkansas State University system president Dr. Chuck Welch, though perhaps maybe not quite at the pace that he once thought it might.

"Things are still moving along very well, but right now we're mired down in all the fun things like bond issuance and trying to tie in good interest rates," Welch said today on AstAteNation Radio on Jonesboro's The Ticket.

In late June, Welch predicted an announcement by the start of football season regarding the phasing in of construction for the project, but today said "It may not happen in the next two weeks. I may have been a little bit overly positive in my thinking, but certainly everything is still in great shape and coming along very nicely. Now it's just a matter of bond counsel working with our finance folks in the crossing of T's and dotting of I's."

Meanwhile Welch, who was appointed president of the ASU system in November 2010, said he thinks interest in Red Wolf football is at an all-time high across the state.

"You can look at our season ticket sales, which continue to outpace last year, which of course was a record year for us."

The Jonesboro native also cited increased interest in the program by the Little Rock and central Arkansas-based media, specifically mentioning KTHV 11 (CBS) as the new home for Bryan Harsin's weekly coaches show in a "premium" 10:30 time slot on Sunday nights.

Randy Myers is the co-host of AstAteNation Radio. The program airs Monday-Friday from 11-1 on The Ticket 970am/95.3fm and on the web at 953theticket.com.