SBD/March 21, 2014/Facilities

Almost Heaven: West Virginia Releases Plans For $106M In Facility Renovations

As many as four LED information boards could be added to Milan Puskar Stadium
West Virginia Univ.'s athletic department Thursday released the framework for its $106M proposal for "renovations throughout the athletic campus, including upgrades to Milan Puskar Stadium and WVU Coliseum," according to Stephen Nesbitt of the PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE. The athletic facilities master plan, which was "already approved by the University Planning Committee, now moves to the Board of Governors finance committee, which will discuss the proposal at its March 28 meeting." The "linchpin of the plan" is an $85M bond package, about $75M of which "would be earmarked for athletic facilities improvements." In addition, the plan draws $25M from "private Mountaineer Athletic Club funding efforts" and $6M from its multimedia rights contract with IMG. Big 12 member schools "received a payout" of $26M in '13. In contrast, WVU's "annual payout from the Big East" in '12, its final year in the conference, was approximately $8M (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 3/21). In Charleston, Hickman & Mays note the project would "mean the renovation and expansion of Mountaineer Field's concourses, restrooms, entrance gates and concession stands." The team room at the Puskar Center would "be renovated, and as many as four LED information boards would be added to the stadium." Construction on the stadium "would begin at the end of next football season." The only non-football project in the "initial phase would be a marquee in front of WVU's Coliseum" (CHARLESTON GAZETTE, 3/21). Also in Charleston, Mike Casazza notes an extra $20M bond is "already in place for the tax-increment financing district to cover the new baseball stadium in Granville" (CHARLESTON DAILY MAIL, 3/21).

TAKING INVENTORY: In Charleston, Whitney Burdette noted WVU posted an RFP Tuesday in the search for a "ticket sales company to sell excess inventory." That company would "have control of unsold tickets for games and directly contact potential buyers, such as individuals or groups, to make sales." This approach is "more commonly found among professional sports organizations, and few companies specialize in excess ticket sales at the college level." Two such companies, IMG Learfield Ticket Solutions and The Aspire Group, "each count more than 20 collegiate athletic programs among their clients" (CHARLESTON DAILY MAIL, 3/20).
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