The Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. -- A state financing panel Thursday gave the final approval needed for LSU to begin a planned expansion to Tiger Stadium that will add new seats to the stadium's south end zone.

The Bond Commission gave quick passage without objection to a $75 million borrowing plan for the expansion that will push Tiger Stadium's capacity to nearly 100,000 people, making it among the largest university stadiums in the Southeastern Conference.

LSU has said construction will begin this fall with completion scheduled for the summer of 2014.

The borrowing, to be paid off over up to 30 years, is part of a building plan that also includes other athletic facility projects, including new tennis courts, a new gymnastics practice center and locker rooms for the track and field teams.

The stadium plans include adding 60 suites, approximately 3,000 club seats and general seating for up to another 1,500 people above the existing south end zone seats for Death Valley, where the LSU Tigers regularly play to sold-out crowds.

Tiger Stadium has a current listed seating capacity 92,542. Only Tennessee and Alabama in the SEC will have larger stadiums after the expansion.

Along with the new seats, the scoreboard and video board currently atop the south end zone seats will be removed and replaced with two new video boards.

Borrowing for the construction will be done by the Tiger Athletic Foundation, the fundraising arm of LSU sports. With no discussion, the Bond Commission approved the borrowing plan and the cooperative endeavor agreement between the athletic foundation and LSU's governing board.

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