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    Should ISU wait on next phase of Stadium Expansion?

    Today's Ames Tribune had the following in the Editorials section:

    ISU should wait on next phase of stadium expansion
    05/01/2008

    Updated 05/01/2008 10:37:50 AM CDT



    Jack Trice Stadium became the home of the Iowa State football team in 1975, and almost certainly, Cyclone athletic officials since then have debated the merits of enclosing the south end of the stadium.

    Most of the time, those debates have been internal and theoretical. But now, Athletic Director Jamie Pollard has put the debate out front and center.

    Pollard has asked the Iowa Board of Regents for permission to expand the south end zone seating area by building an upper deck, adding premium seating and making other upgrades. The price tag for such an expansion: $65 million.

    The expansion would be the second phase of renovations to the stadium. The first is going on right now with a $19.5 million project to build luxury suites, concession stands and restrooms on the west side of the stadium. The project is scheduled to be completed by August.

    Certainly, it's an exciting time for ISU football. The Cyclones weren't expected to do much last season, and by winning just three of 12 games, it would appear they lived up to those expectations.

    But ISU, under first-year coach Gene Chizik, stunned instate rival Iowa, and the Cyclones closed out the season by winning two of their last three games, one against a bowl team.

    Despite the meager on-field success, the Cyclones still were a popular draw. ISU sold a record 36,000 season tickets, and the season attendance average of 49,462 was the fourth-best in school history and the best since 1982.

    Pollard, no doubt, is hoping to build upon that enthusiasm with his plan to bowl in the south end of the stadium. As the saying goes, you've got to strike when the iron is hot.

    It might be a better idea for Pollard to cool his heels a bit. Let's hold off on that expansion for just awhile.

    It's not that we don't have confidence in Chizik and his staff. He has won wherever he's coached, albeit ISU is his first head coaching job. In other words, Chizik knows how to win, and he's intent on teaching his team how to do it.

    But look at this decision as a simple situation of supply and demand. It's true the demand for tickets for ISU football games is high right now, but would it be as high if another 10,000 seats or so are added to the supply? It might be if the Cyclones continue to improve and win more games each season, but if ISU fails to have a winning season for a few years, those end zone seats will be a bigger albatross around Pollard's neck than all those empty apartment buildings in west Ames are for the developers who built them.

    Waiting until the demand calls for an increased supply is a logical way to go. It would be difficult to place a premium price on those end zone seats if they mostly will go empty, so any anticipated extra revenue they could bring in would not be realized.

    A better idea would be to take some of the money Pollard wants to use to expand the stadium and use it to finally build the practice facility he some time ago pledged for the ISU basketball and volleyball teams at Hilton Coliseum. The price tag for that facility is $35 million.

    The ISU basketball programs have been left wanting for quite some time when compared to football. Granted, the football program is the engine that drives the athletic department train, but history has shown ISU can win on a more consistent basis on the basketball court than on the football field.

    The rest of the Big 12 Conference has left the ISU basketball teams in the dust in terms of facilities. Most, if not all, have practice facilities devoted to just their teams, and like it or not, recruits do notice that kind of devotion.

    If ISU isn't prepared to support its basketball teams as the rest of the Big 12 does theirs, then coaches Greg McDermott and Bill Fennelly shouldn't be expected to annually be contenders for Big 12 titles, and their jobs shouldn't be endangered if they have subpar seasons. Give them the tools they need to compete, then hold them to those standards.

    Until then, they're just playing against a stacked deck.




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    Re: Should ISU wait on next phase of Stadium Expansion?

    i do not agree with this at all. we to take this step now imo if we are going to move forward....plus, the recent donation were pointed toward jt by the giver.

    per super secret rdg staffer i know.


    Last edited by NesBits; 05-01-2008 at 03:57 PM.
    my name is NesBits...and i don't wear pants.
    ISU Alumnus

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    Re: Should ISU wait on next phase of Stadium Expansion?

    Bowling in JT is a no brainer, you have to do it. FB generates money, BB to a lesser extent.



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    Re: Should ISU wait on next phase of Stadium Expansion?

    Quote Originally Posted by isugcs View Post
    Bowling in JT is a no brainer, you have to do it. FB generates money, BB to a lesser extent.
    Football will generate more money with those seats filled, but there is no indication they will be.




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    Re: Should ISU wait on next phase of Stadium Expansion?

    No, don't wait



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    Re: Should ISU wait on next phase of Stadium Expansion?

    The thing is, a bball practice facility doesn't generate money, seats in a stadium do.



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    Re: Should ISU wait on next phase of Stadium Expansion?

    I'm sorry but what a dumb article...these people are saying to wait until demand increases to build the addition? Do they think you just snap you're fingers and a bowled in endzone appears? No, it takes years for the whole process to develop and be complete. So by "waiting" we could be looking at 2013-14 at the earliest before something is complete. Talk about being left in the dust. Dumb, I can't believe this is coming from an Ames publication.



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    Re: Should ISU wait on next phase of Stadium Expansion?

    It seems they are working on the premise that the basketball expansion will not go forward if they start on the next phase of the JTS expansion. Is that the case though? I was thinking that the Hilton expansion was a done deal and would be going forward regardless.


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    Re: Should ISU wait on next phase of Stadium Expansion?

    I'd love to see this, but I'd hate to see a bunch of empty seats in JT. I'd like to believe that if JP "builds it, they will come"



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    Re: Should ISU wait on next phase of Stadium Expansion?

    You know, I get the feeling the Trib is spotting off editorials w/o full knowledge of what is even going on. Did they contact JP for his take before publishing this? I doubt it.



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    Re: Should ISU wait on next phase of Stadium Expansion?

    The article makes a good point about basketball being shut out of all this spending. However if the football team takes off, getting the money for hilton upgrades will be a snap, not the other way around.



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    Re: Should ISU wait on next phase of Stadium Expansion?

    Well, unless someone can prove the football stadium money is not diorerctly tied to stadium expansion only, the Tribune was picked off first base. Only JP and associates knows the donor situation.


    Nebraska nets $11M on football by having lots of seats to pay for the other sports.


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    Re: Should ISU wait on next phase of Stadium Expansion?

    The thing with moving foward with Jack Trice insted of Hilton is the rumors currently abound of a lead donar to support the Jack Trice completion, not the basketball facility. It's not just which program will bring in the money (which Jack Trice will do much more directly than the bball facility), but which program HAS the money.

    Now it's still laregly just speculation on that point... but that certainly is a big factor if it is the case


    EDIT: Yeah, what Wesley beat me to saying


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    Re: Should ISU wait on next phase of Stadium Expansion?

    Just think if it was done when Gene Smith wanted it done it would have been way cheaper.

    I still think basketball practice facility should be done first or at the same time. The longer we wait on both the more expensive it will become.



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    Re: Should ISU wait on next phase of Stadium Expansion?

    poll? . . .



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