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Offline The Pig in Black

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Former UA Trustees against stadium expansion
« on: June 15, 2016, 09:45:49 AM »
From this morning's NWA ADG?

As former members of the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees, we write to express our concern about the proposed $160 Million expansion of Razorback Stadium on the Fayetteville campus, and to support UA trustee David Pryor’s position on the matter.
From what we read in the media, it appears this project is headed toward completion, with the Board of Trustees having given some preliminary approval already, and another vote on project perhaps to come at the Board meeting scheduled next week.
We are all avid Razorback fans, and have been for many, many years, but we just cannot support this project, at this time. It is simply too much, at the wrong time, and we hope the UAF administration and the Board of Trustees will put it on hold until the questions that David Pryor has asked, and a lot more, can be answered.

The last time Razorback Stadium was renovated and expanded, approximately 20 years ago, we spent roughly $100 million to update the facilities and add about 20,000 seats. That worked out to be about $5,000 per additional seat. Since that time, our best guess is that we have had MAYBE 10 or 12 games “sell out”, but only 2 or 3 truly “full houses” in those 20 years. Now we are planning to spend another $160 million (that will in all likelihood end up being $200 million+), and are only adding another approximately 3,000 seats. Since we have very seldom, in 20 years, filled the stadium up, we really don’t need many, if any, additional seats but we’re still going to spend another $160-200 million on the facility? This simply defies all logic. So, if we aren’t getting many more seats what is all that money going to be spent for? We are told it is for more luxury suites, other amenities like an even bigger additional electronic scoreboard, luxurious new offices for the Athletic Department’s ever increasing staff, and underground parking and private elevators for that staff, so they don’t have to walk in the rain to get to their new offices.

Can we really afford this kind of project on a campus where we don’t really have enough classrooms in which to teach our students, we are told we can’t afford to adequately equip our science labs, and our staff and faculty are still woefully underpaid? We believe our priorities on the Fayetteville campus are just wrong. Instead of focusing on luxury suites for the very few among us who can afford them, think about what could be done with an additional $160 to $200 million dollars for our students, our faculty and staff, and our academic programs. We might even be able to figure out a way to get our faculty salaries out of the absolute bottom of the rankings of the 50 states. Excellence in these areas should be our priorities, instead of being known for having the most luxurious sky boxes in the SEC and an office building for the Athletic Department that is second to none.

If all of this were being done totally with private contributions that would be one thing, but, well over half of the money to be spent is going to be borrowed by the University through the issuance of bonds backed by ticket sales revenue. This is another issue that gives us pause. The ability to pay back $120 million in debt being dependent on ticket sales and the number of football games we win over the next 20 years is something the Board of Trustees need to think long and hard about in our opinion. And, of course that $120 million figure is not actually the total cost for getting the bonds paid off. Over the 20 year life of the bonds, the actual payment of principal, interest, fees and commissions will probably bring the total cost of the $120 million bond issue to over $200 million.

With the financial support from the state already under serious pressure, and consideration being given to completely changing how state support is calculated (to focus on “outcomes” instead of simple enrollment numbers), and with tuition continuing to skyrocket making it more and more difficult for the average student to be able to afford higher education, we simply believe this is a terrible time for the U. of A. Fayetteville to be making a commitment to this kind of debt, especially for this purpose. We encourage the Board of Trustees to slow this project down and continue to review its priorities.

—John H. Tyson, Springdale
—Kaneaster Hodges, Newport
—Frances Cranford, Little Rock
—Diane Nolan Alderson, El Dorado
—Jack L. Williams, Texarkana / L.R.


Offline Phat_Hawg

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Re: Former UA Trustees against stadium expansion
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2016, 10:03:14 AM »
I think I've come around to pretty much agreeing with all of that.

"Lemme guess.. when you shake hands you offer a FIRM grip don't you.. or you think dick size matters? LMMFAO! nobody can do nothing about what your born with, and God gives everyone exactly what they need, your heart is the only thing that matters...Plus, my dicks little, but ask anybody that's kicked it in the sack with me and they'll tell you whats up.."

Offline Ty Webb

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Re: Former UA Trustees against stadium expansion
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2016, 10:09:15 AM »
From this morning's NWA ADG?

As FORMER members of the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees, we write to express our concern about the proposed $160 Million expansion of Razorback Stadium on the Fayetteville campus, and to support UA trustee David Pryor’s position on the matter.
From what we read in the media, it appears this project is headed toward completion, with the Board of Trustees having given some preliminary approval already, and another vote on project perhaps to come at the Board meeting scheduled next week.
We are all avid Razorback fans, and have been for many, many years, but we just cannot support this project, at this time. It is simply too much, at the wrong time, and we hope the UAF administration and the Board of Trustees will put it on hold until the questions that David Pryor has asked, and a lot more, can be answered.

The last time Razorback Stadium was renovated and expanded, approximately 20 years ago, we spent roughly $100 million to update the facilities and add about 20,000 seats. That worked out to be about $5,000 per additional seat. Since that time, our best guess is that we have had MAYBE 10 or 12 games “sell out”, but only 2 or 3 truly “full houses” in those 20 years. Now we are planning to spend another $160 million (that will in all likelihood end up being $200 million+), and are only adding another approximately 3,000 seats. Since we have very seldom, in 20 years, filled the stadium up, we really don’t need many, if any, additional seats but we’re still going to spend another $160-200 million on the facility? This simply defies all logic. So, if we aren’t getting many more seats what is all that money going to be spent for? We are told it is for more luxury suites, other amenities like an even bigger additional electronic scoreboard, luxurious new offices for the Athletic Department’s ever increasing staff, and underground parking and private elevators for that staff, so they don’t have to walk in the rain to get to their new offices.

Can we really afford this kind of project on a campus where we don’t really have enough classrooms in which to teach our students, we are told we can’t afford to adequately equip our science labs, and our staff and faculty are still woefully underpaid? We believe our priorities on the Fayetteville campus are just wrong. Instead of focusing on luxury suites for the very few among us who can afford them, think about what could be done with an additional $160 to $200 million dollars for our students, our faculty and staff, and our academic programs. We might even be able to figure out a way to get our faculty salaries out of the absolute bottom of the rankings of the 50 states. Excellence in these areas should be our priorities, instead of being known for having the most luxurious sky boxes in the SEC and an office building for the Athletic Department that is second to none.

If all of this were being done totally with private contributions that would be one thing, but, well over half of the money to be spent is going to be borrowed by the University through the issuance of bonds backed by ticket sales revenue. This is another issue that gives us pause. The ability to pay back $120 million in debt being dependent on ticket sales and the number of football games we win over the next 20 years is something the Board of Trustees need to think long and hard about in our opinion. And, of course that $120 million figure is not actually the total cost for getting the bonds paid off. Over the 20 year life of the bonds, the actual payment of principal, interest, fees and commissions will probably bring the total cost of the $120 million bond issue to over $200 million.

With the financial support from the state already under serious pressure, and consideration being given to completely changing how state support is calculated (to focus on “outcomes” instead of simple enrollment numbers), and with tuition continuing to skyrocket making it more and more difficult for the average student to be able to afford higher education, we simply believe this is a terrible time for the U. of A. Fayetteville to be making a commitment to this kind of debt, especially for this purpose. We encourage the Board of Trustees to slow this project down and continue to review its priorities.

—John H. Tyson, Springdale
—Kaneaster Hodges, Newport
—Frances Cranford, Little Rock
—Diane Nolan Alderson, El Dorado
—Jack L. Williams, Texarkana / L.R.
This is a key word.

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January 19, 2019, 10:48:34 PM

Offline Phat_Hawg

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Re: Former UA Trustees against stadium expansion
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2016, 10:12:53 AM »

"Lemme guess.. when you shake hands you offer a FIRM grip don't you.. or you think dick size matters? LMMFAO! nobody can do nothing about what your born with, and God gives everyone exactly what they need, your heart is the only thing that matters...Plus, my dicks little, but ask anybody that's kicked it in the sack with me and they'll tell you whats up.."

Offline Ty Webb

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Re: Former UA Trustees against stadium expansion
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2016, 10:15:25 AM »
Why?
Because they ain't calling the shots anymore.

If you’re making a list Eric Musselman should be near the top or at the top of it. - Me
January 19, 2019, 10:48:34 PM

Offline Razor B

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Re: Former UA Trustees against stadium expansion
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2016, 10:20:09 AM »
How could we have a sell out when they allowed a coach to stay 10 years with how many 0 for Octobers?  Nutt's best season was 1998, his first.  He won one more game that year than Bret did in 2015.  The product on the field is directly to blame for not selling out, just like it is for everyone else in the country, except for Nebraska.


Offline NotoriousPIG

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Re: Former UA Trustees against stadium expansion
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2016, 10:20:28 AM »
$160mm for 3,000 seats should be a non-starter.  All this money going to the 1% of fans so a waste of public money in my opinion and they're not wrong about the number of sell-outs we've had.  Unless we're competing with Alabama every year for the SEC West I don't see why to throw more money after this not too mention the television viewing experience is getting way better every year and way cheaper.


Offline The Pig in Black

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Re: Former UA Trustees against stadium expansion
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2016, 10:22:39 AM »
This is a key word.

I understand your point, but when the list of signers begins with Tyson and that same name is adorned on many buildings, athletic and otherwise, on the campus, I think that still carries a substantial amount of weight.


Offline Hogeye_Pierce

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Re: Former UA Trustees against stadium expansion
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2016, 10:30:16 AM »
This is Aggie-esque thinking on the part of the BOT in my view.


Offline Clark

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Re: Former UA Trustees against stadium expansion
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2016, 10:33:46 AM »
Whatever. How is it being paid for? Football.

Nobody really gives a fuck-all about academics.

The Razorback football program is the bell cow of the entire state. It's the most unifying thing we have.

They are 'guessing' at sell outs. They're wrong.

I can go on and on about how this is the right thing to do. I can't talk very long about how this is the wrong thing to do.

Go big or go home.

The iconic 'alien' is to us what we are to apes: small, pale, big headed, and with unfathomable technology. We even abduct them for medical experiments. Mind blown.
--Rage

I was in...Sang Bang...Dang Gong...I was all over the place, a lot of places. I was with the Green Berets, Special Unit Battalions... Commando Airborne Tactics...Specialist Tactics Unit Battalion. Yeah, it was real hush hush. I was Agent Orange, Special Agent Orange, that was me.

Offline Phat_Hawg

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Re: Former UA Trustees against stadium expansion
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2016, 10:35:30 AM »
Because they ain't calling the shots anymore.

Well yeah it's unlikely that the current trustees would write an open letter to themselves.

"Lemme guess.. when you shake hands you offer a FIRM grip don't you.. or you think dick size matters? LMMFAO! nobody can do nothing about what your born with, and God gives everyone exactly what they need, your heart is the only thing that matters...Plus, my dicks little, but ask anybody that's kicked it in the sack with me and they'll tell you whats up.."

Offline Phat_Hawg

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Re: Former UA Trustees against stadium expansion
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2016, 10:37:59 AM »

I can go on and on about how this is the right thing to do.


I'm listening.

"Lemme guess.. when you shake hands you offer a FIRM grip don't you.. or you think dick size matters? LMMFAO! nobody can do nothing about what your born with, and God gives everyone exactly what they need, your heart is the only thing that matters...Plus, my dicks little, but ask anybody that's kicked it in the sack with me and they'll tell you whats up.."

Offline Law_Hawg

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Re: Former UA Trustees against stadium expansion
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2016, 10:39:30 AM »
Whatever. How is it being paid for? Football.

Nobody really gives a fuck-all about academics.

The Razorback football program is the bell cow of the entire state. It's the most unifying thing we have.

They are 'guessing' at sell outs. They're wrong.

I can go on and on about how this is the right thing to do. I can't talk very long about how this is the wrong thing to do.

Go big or go home.


This is probably one of the best examples of why athletics needs to be separated from educational institutions, as they are in the majority of other countries. 

I see that you have made three spelling mistakes.   -Thomas de Mahy, Marquis de Favras, upon reading his death warrant.

Offline ArkGuy

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Re: Former UA Trustees against stadium expansion
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2016, 10:45:18 AM »
Where is the Morgan Freeman GIF?

Pryor's questions were legit, fair questions that UA decision makers ought to have answers for.  They need to be addressed.  The fact they haven't been, and that the athletic department acts as if it needn't be bothered, looks bad and is dumb politics for Long.  He usually isn't tone deaf on matters like these.

Especially fair is to question tying up a chunk of the UA's bonding authority where the primary source of repaying is ticket sales.  The way fans watch games - the SEC has financed a million dollar study on this - is evolving.  Attendance at many schools is flattening out.  Younger fans seem less inclined to purchase season tickets.

The UA has an excellent bond rating as far as I can remeber and I'm sure it would make good on the payments if tickets and lux box revenues don't meet projections.  But if the UA needed to issue bonds for academic projects while the football bond issue was hanging out there and money started looking a little dicey, the Board might have to postpone some new school project.  You can't risk that.

I think it is still a defensible project but Long et al needs to do a better job of making the case for it.

« Last Edit: June 15, 2016, 10:47:45 AM by ArkGuy »
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Offline kingofdequeen

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Re: Former UA Trustees against stadium expansion
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2016, 10:45:45 AM »

This is probably one of the best examples of why athletics needs to be separated from educational institutions, as they are in the majority of other countries.

we're in the SEC.   if we're not building and improving, we're not competing. 

This money will generate even more money.   Has nothing to do with educational funds.   

If you're REALLY worried about your woefully underpaid staff, QUIT HIRING 1000 VICE CHANCELLORS OF EVERYTHING AT 200K a pop.


Offline Law_Hawg

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Re: Former UA Trustees against stadium expansion
« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2016, 10:49:16 AM »
This money will generate even more money.   Has nothing to do with educational funds.   


I enjoy this point. 

If a university isn't spending academic money on athletics, then why are athletics part of an academic institution?  Why aren't athletics just a separate organization devoted to sports?

I see that you have made three spelling mistakes.   -Thomas de Mahy, Marquis de Favras, upon reading his death warrant.

Offline kingofdequeen

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Re: Former UA Trustees against stadium expansion
« Reply #16 on: June 15, 2016, 10:50:03 AM »

I enjoy this point. 

If a university isn't spending academic money on athletics, then why are athletics part of an academic institution?  Why aren't athletics just a separate organization devoted to sports?

b/c we live in America.


Offline kingofdequeen

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Re: Former UA Trustees against stadium expansion
« Reply #17 on: June 15, 2016, 10:52:30 AM »
Quote
The SEC distributed $457.8 million to its 14 members, an average of $32.7 million per school. That’s up from $21 million per school in 2013-14. As recently as 2008-09, SEC members got $13.1 million per year from the conference distribution. The SEC's revenue increased by 222 percent between 2008-09 and 2014-15 when factoring inflation.

http://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/sec-rakes-in-5274-million-in-first-year-of-cfp-and-sec-network/


chemistry dept ain't doing that.   


Offline Law_Hawg

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Re: Former UA Trustees against stadium expansion
« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2016, 10:52:56 AM »

I see that you have made three spelling mistakes.   -Thomas de Mahy, Marquis de Favras, upon reading his death warrant.

Offline DirkPiggler

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Re: Former UA Trustees against stadium expansion
« Reply #19 on: June 15, 2016, 10:54:58 AM »
Where is the Morgan Freeman GIF?

Pryor's questions were legit, fair questions that UA decision makers ought to have answers for.  They need to be addressed.  The fact they haven't been, and that the athletic department acts as if it needn't be bothered, looks bad and is dumb politics for Long.  He usually isn't tone deaf on matters like these.

Especially fair is to question tying up a chunk of the UA's bonding authority where the primary source of repaying is ticket sales.  The way fans watch games - the SEC has financed a million dollar study on this - is evolving.  Attendance at many schools is flattening out.  Younger fans seem less inclined to purchase season tickets.

The UA has an excellent bond rating as far as I can remeber and I'm sure it would make good on the payments if tickets and lux box revenues don't meet projections.  But if the UA needed to issue bonds for academic projects while the football bond issue was hanging out there and money started looking a little dicey, the Board might have to postpone some new school project.  You can't risk that.

I think it is still a defensible project but Long et al needs to do a better job of making the case for it.

While ticket sales overall have been leveling off, there is still a pretty good waiting list for premium seating (suites and club seats).  The way I understand it this project is almost exclusively adding those types of seats.  The revenue stream should be consistent enough to repay the bonds without dipping into general education or even other athletic funds. 

?s=20

Offline Phat_Hawg

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Re: Former UA Trustees against stadium expansion
« Reply #20 on: June 15, 2016, 10:59:02 AM »

This money will generate even more money.   Has nothing to do with educational funds.   


After your little rant the other day about the Chancellor's house this is pretty hilarious.

"Lemme guess.. when you shake hands you offer a FIRM grip don't you.. or you think dick size matters? LMMFAO! nobody can do nothing about what your born with, and God gives everyone exactly what they need, your heart is the only thing that matters...Plus, my dicks little, but ask anybody that's kicked it in the sack with me and they'll tell you whats up.."

Offline Phat_Hawg

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Re: Former UA Trustees against stadium expansion
« Reply #21 on: June 15, 2016, 11:04:45 AM »
While ticket sales overall have been leveling off, there is still a pretty good waiting list for premium seating (suites and club seats).  The way I understand it this project is almost exclusively adding those types of seats.  The revenue stream should be consistent enough to repay the bonds without dipping into general education or even other athletic funds.

I think that if it was just new luxury boxes and some additional seating there wouldn't be too much of a fuss.  It's the new scoreboard, athletic dept offices, underground parking, etc that is gumming up the works.

"Lemme guess.. when you shake hands you offer a FIRM grip don't you.. or you think dick size matters? LMMFAO! nobody can do nothing about what your born with, and God gives everyone exactly what they need, your heart is the only thing that matters...Plus, my dicks little, but ask anybody that's kicked it in the sack with me and they'll tell you whats up.."

Offline DirkPiggler

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Re: Former UA Trustees against stadium expansion
« Reply #22 on: June 15, 2016, 11:08:32 AM »
I think that if it was just new luxury boxes and some additional seating there wouldn't be too much of a fuss.  It's the new scoreboard, athletic dept offices, underground parking, etc that is gumming up the works.

The new scoreboard is going to be necessary to sell the seats in the North End Zone.  People aren't going to pay for end zone seats if they don't have the video board to allow them to actually see the play. 

I get the questioning of the rest of it though.  Can't see where a shiny new office for Long and company can be sold as a recruiting advantage.

?s=20

Offline kingofdequeen

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Re: Former UA Trustees against stadium expansion
« Reply #23 on: June 15, 2016, 11:08:38 AM »
After your little rant the other day about the Chancellor's house this is pretty hilarious.

the Chancellor doesn't have a multi-million dollar TV contract.


Offline Clark

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Re: Former UA Trustees against stadium expansion
« Reply #24 on: June 15, 2016, 11:09:05 AM »
2014-15 The athletic department gave 2.37million to the school. Gave. Not took.


The waiting list for premium seating is driving this. Down with the rickety temporary seating. The Broyles Complex needs updated pretty bad. It's awful. A study shows that over the next five years Razorback Athletics will have a billion dollar impact on the local economy.

NWA is growing. Money growth. Those people don't want seats in the upper deck corners. They have cash flow. They want premium seating. This isn't doing something on a whim. They've got their ducks in a row. They know what they're doing.

The iconic 'alien' is to us what we are to apes: small, pale, big headed, and with unfathomable technology. We even abduct them for medical experiments. Mind blown.
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I was in...Sang Bang...Dang Gong...I was all over the place, a lot of places. I was with the Green Berets, Special Unit Battalions... Commando Airborne Tactics...Specialist Tactics Unit Battalion. Yeah, it was real hush hush. I was Agent Orange, Special Agent Orange, that was me.