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SBD/June 25, 2013/Facilities
Cal-Berkeley Seeking New Revenue Streams To Finance Stadium Renovations
Published June 25, 2013
CUSTOMER SERVICE GUARANTEE: Wilner noted Cal under the direction of Vice Chancellor John Wilton has "identified new revenue streams to help service" the renovation debt. Cal began by "hiring a dedicated sales staff." The new strategy is based on the Padres' "approach to customer service." Cal COO Solly Fulp said that the eight-person sales staff in the last 14 months has "made more than 60,000 outbound calls." The new approach includes "corporate bundles of two-year seat contracts and discounted 'perk' seats available to owners of the premium plan." Cal planned "all along to sell naming rights to the field," but the school has "combined that effort with an aggressive attempt to rent out empty space in the stadium" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 6/25).
YOU CAN GO YOUR OWN WAY: Barbour said that she had "no regrets about the scope or the price tag" of the stadium upgrades and new training center. She said the renovation was a "no brainer." But Wilner asked, "Was the project overly ambitious?" Cal's project differs from the Univ. of Washington's stadium renovation "in more than cost." Cal partnered with Stadium Capital Financing Group to "create a high-risk financing plan in which fans purchase long-term rights to premium seats." UW listened to a pitch from Stadium Capital Financing Group, who partnered with Cal on its seat-purchase plan, but "ultimately opted for a more conventional approach" in selling luxury seats "on a year-to-year basis." UW AD Scott Woodward said, "I met with our donor groups and it didn't suit our sensibilities" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 6/24).