SBD/September 12, 2012/Facilities

College Facility Notes: UNLV Moves Forward With On-Campus Stadium Project

In Las Vegas, Ed Graney notes the UNLV Now project is “moving forward,” and plans would include a “mega-events center and on-campus stadium surrounded by a retail district.” It could cost “in the neighborhood" of $2B. In the “arms race that is college football, pristine facilities have become the norm for those who want to compete at a high level.” But this venture “reaches far beyond six or so games a year.” UNLV football is “never going to move the city's economic needle in a substantial manner, but a stadium that seats 60,000 would generate through mega events hundreds of millions of dollars of new money annually” (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 9/12).

SNEAK PEEK: In Detroit, Mark Snyder reports the Univ. of Michigan “launched its new athletic development website and, in the process, provided the first public look at its $250-million vision of athletic projects over the next five years.” The most expensive project is “slated to be the $90-million track-and-field building renovation” (FREEP.com, 9/11).

GETTING UP TO CODE: In Memphis, Michael Sheffield notes the Liberty Bowl “still needs about $40 million in improvements to meet compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.” Those improvements include “access points and ramps, expanded and improved restrooms and other amenities.” There are “hopes that the improvements could at least partially be funded through a Tourism Development Zone that would help pay for the redevelopment of the Fairgrounds, as well as Overton Square” (MEMPHIS BUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/7 issue).

STAMP OF APPROVAL: The Univ. of Arkansas Board of Trustees on Friday approved the construction of three athletic related capital projects: a Student-Athlete Success Center, a basketball practice facility and a baseball and track indoor training facility. The projects will be funded entirely by athletic revenues, gifts, and bond proceeds from a future bond issue. No university funds will be required to complete the projects. A timeline for the projects has not been established and will be contingent on successful fundraising efforts. The total project cost of the Student-Athlete Success Center is currently estimated at $18-23M (Arkansas).

HOOP GAME: In Portland, Matthew Kish notes Portland State Univ. has “tipped off a $44 million effort to renovate its outdated basketball arena.” The renovation of the Peter W. Stott Center “will be funded by $20 million in donor gifts -- including a just-received $5 million anonymous donation -- and hopefully $24 million in state bonds.” With the $5M anonymous gift, PSU has “raised $8.1 million of the $20 million it hopes to raise from donors.” If the Legislature approves the school’s request for $24M in bond funding during its '13 session, construction "could begin as early as January 2014 and finish in November 2015” (PORTLAND BUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/7 issue).
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