Jamie Pollard's job is to raise the level of football success in Ames - if he doesn't do that, he's doing a disservice to the university. In that context, I kind of understand where the SEZ expansion is coming from, but IMO, if he has $60M to invest in the football program, he's investing it in the wrong place, just based on the last 10 years worth of attendance data: Year Attendance 2013: 55,361 2012: 55,274 2011: 53,647 2010: 45,395 2009: 46,242 2008: 47,429 2007: 49,462 2006: 46,171 2005: 46,705 2004: 44,822 2003: 41,518 So that is a 10 year attendance average of 48,366 - that's 88% of the current stadium capacity & 79% of the projected eventual capacity of 61,000. Generally, the only sound reason to increase capacity is a clear need for more capacity - is there a clear need for more capacity? 2011-2013 had great ticket sales - but there is certainly a logical reason season ticket sales increased: back to back bowl games in 2011/2012 as well as unprecedented media exposure after the win over a top 5 Oklahoma State team in 2011 (Biggest win in program history, right? That's going to lead to a big spike in season tickets, especially at the current low cost). Has any ISU football related clip got played more times in the national sports media than that OSU game and the ensuing Rhoad's "I'm so proud" speech? That game alone sold a lot of tickets from 2011-2013. Pollard is going forward with this expansion without even seeing how a few down years (which, historically, are going to happen at ISU) affect the attendance - I'll gladly wager that the attendance average will be below 55,000 in 2014 if the season goes as expected. It's easy to sell season tickets when you have a couple of bowl games and a win over a top five program in your recent past, it's much more difficult coming off no bowl game and a losing season. Winning sells tickets, nothing else will. In addition to the challenge of fielding a bowl team most seasons to maintain sellouts, ISU also will have to contend with increased ticket prices, which will inevitably lead to lower attendance. ISU is taking $100 hillside season tickets away and replacing them with (what will likely be) $300-$500 season tickets. What are the odds that a family of four who spent $400 in 2014 for hillside season tickets is going to ante up and buy season tickets @ $1,200? Some will, but I am certain not all will, which will lead to a decrease in attendance. And I'm not even going to speculate how much the current season tickets are going to go up after the renovation is complete - but it would be naive to think the prices will remain static given a $60M investment in Jack Trice. Add to the above that ISU's 2014 season likely ends up with a regular season record of 3-9 +/- a game - unless Mangino is an absolute miracle worker - and that will make it really difficult selling season tickets at an increased cost going into 2015. This spring is the first time I'm hearing casual ISU fans say "Rhoad's better win this year or else..." - and that's before a potential rough year in 2014. To me, it seems like the stadium expansion is a want, not a need - Pollard is putting the cart before the horse. There is really only one way an increased stadium capacity is a need: if ISU continues to win. Recruits win games - if ISU has $60M available for football - build some badass practice facilities or something that will really help you get recruits to campus - I don't think empty seats will get recruits to come to ISU. What has changed so much from 2010 (where attendance was 45K) that Pollard thinks selling 61,000 seats consistently (likely at a higher cost where you are pricing out the current hillside season ticket holders) won't be a problem at ISU? The attendance spike has been impressive for ISU, but if I'm making a $60M investment, I'm waiting to see if that fan support is at least somewhat constant in a down year before pulling the trigger on this renovation. It seems to me like this renovation has the possibility of making ISU football look less "big time" when the 10 year average remains a constant and the stadium is 21% empty.