Georgia State expected to announce football team for 2010

ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia State University is ready for some football.

The downtown Atlanta school called a news conference for Thursday and is expected to announce it will start a football team in 2010. The Panthers will play in the NCAA's Division I Football Championship Subdivision, formerly known as I-AA.

The announcement has been in the works since the school launched a fundraising campaign and got approval for an increase in student fees, which went up $85 per semester to launch football, add new women's sports and start a marching band.

School officials declined comment until the news conference, but the final step in starting a program was approval by the state board of regents yesterday.

The school intends to play home games at the 70,000-seat Georgia Dome, about a mile from the school's downtown campus, and plans to
build new practice and training facilities.

Officials feel football will help to build interest in the athletic program, which has struggled to attract fans to sports such as basketball and baseball. The school plays in the Colonial Athletic Association.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)