“Everybody is going to come to these games,” [Florida Atlantic University Mary Jane] Saunders said last week during the ceremonial first lighting event at the $70 million stadium on the north end of campus. “You go to one game and you are going to be want to be part of the whole thing.”
Even if the team goes 1-11? 3-9? Everybody’s gonna wanna be part of that whole thing?
Now this here sports writer in Florida, he’s warning FAU that well you take a place like Akron. They bought a big new stadium and not everybody came to the games.
Akron planned on an average attendance of 15,000 a game when creating its financial plan for the stadium, and the sagging attendance is what created the shortfall in the budget.
And that’s just Akron. You read this blog, you know about tons of other examples of schools that just felt sure their team would win every game so they’d triple that hundred million investment in no time.
See, it’s real simple. You know how your sports team wins every game and packs ’em in? It’ll be just like that for FAU.
August 10th, 2011 at 6:54AM
You have to admit, UD, that women college presidents have made great strides in recent years towards attaining the same level of jock-sniffery that we take for granted in a man.
August 10th, 2011 at 8:32AM
I think we should have a show trial for whatever PR firms do the feasibility studies for these stadia.
August 10th, 2011 at 8:57AM
UD has a touching regard for winning, for someone who does not find much merit in athletic competition. If they go 11-1 and ruotinely fill the stadium with beautiful displays of physical strength, speed, grace, and courage, will it be worth it then? (Roll Tide)
August 10th, 2011 at 9:30AM
tp: Women presidents seem to have a higher level — I think they’re more easily intimidated by the sports guys on the board of trustees. See the twisted love affair between Mary Sue Coleman and Rich Rodriguez.
Shane: It’s not whether I have a high regard – it’s that everyone else has a high regard. So they stop attending games after a certain number of losses, and the school’s budget implodes.
Alabama, of course, always wins. I take your point on that one.
August 10th, 2011 at 3:01PM
Alabama better keep winning. In fiscal year 2009 it ranked No. 8 in the nation in expenditures on athletics at $81.8 million. See Table 1.1 on p. 18 of Big Time Sports in American Universities by Duke University economics professor Charles Coltfelter.
In 2009 only 14 out of 120 programs from the Football Bowl Subdivision generated more income than expenses. See the August 18, 2010 report in Inside Higher Education at http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/08/18/ncaa.
The University of Minnesota ranked No. 20 in the nation in fiscal year 2009 with $70.3 million in expenditures on athletics. The athletic department receives annual multi-million dollar subsidies from the general fund of the University. Meanwhile,the administration continues to cut courses and faculty positions and to replace professors with part-time instructors without tenure. See Section 1 of $tate of the University–A Parent’s Perspective at http://ptable.blogspot.com/2011/07/tate-of-u-parents-perspective.html#links.
Then there are the continuing direct and indirect costs for the construction of a $288.5 million football stadium that will be used for six games each year. See Section 5 of University Inc. Part II at http://ptable.blogspot.com/2011/02/draft-as-university-transforms-itself.html#links.
August 11th, 2011 at 7:15AM
Thanks for that info, Michael.
Our own athletics dept. does not have a champagne and caviar budget, but they are essentially immune to the cuts that are routinely inflicted on nearly all other areas of our university. It is simply taken for granted that every assistant coach, trainer, and even secretary will be replaced when one leaves. When they run over their budget, they are allowed to keep spending.