The Clarion-Ledger reports that city and other arena backers have spent or pledged $180,000 in recent years to study building an arena to host concerts, sporting events and other entertainment.
A feasibility study in January estimated that a 9,000-seat arena would cost $115 million.
JSU wants to build a $200 million, 50,000-seat domed stadium.
Duane O'Neill, executive director of the Greater Jackson Chamber Partnership, says the arena option should stay open in case the university's plans run into unexpected difficulties. A bill providing $75 million in state bonds for the stadium died in the state House, but could become part of a larger colleges-and-universities bonding bill.