SBD/April 29, 2014/Facilities

Univ. Of Nevada AD Knuth Focusing On $40M In Potential Upgrades To Football Facility

Costs for the upgrades and additions at Mackay Stadium start at $40M
The "reliance on porta-potties" at the Univ. of Nevada's Mackay Stadium is indicative of the school's "current state of affairs when it comes to new facilities and improved facilities and the means to make it all happen," according to Dan Hinxman of the RENO GAZETTE-JOURNAL. Nevada’s ratio of portable toilets inside the stadium to seating capacity is one of the highest" among the eight Mountain West Conference schools that responded to an informal survey. Nevada AD Doug Knuth said, "It's crazy to think we have porta-potties (inside the stadium). ... That's just not right. We've got to fix that." The stadium also "lacks handrails along its many stairs, which means the stadium is not ADA compliant." Toilets and handrails "might not be glamorous or even slightly interesting unless you are 4 years old or have mobility limitations, but they are major parts of a multi-faceted infrastructure project that’s going to take money that Knuth doesn’t have -- yet." Knuth said that the price tag on "all the pressing facilities upgrades and additions" starts at $40M, a "hefty number when you consider the athletic department’s annual budget" is in the low $20M. That is "no better than the second lowest budget in the MWC," and Nevada will "surely receive no state money to get all this done." Meanwhile, Knuth "continues to search and prod for donations." He said that he has "secured in donations" about $5M of the $15M needed for the $24M all-sport FieldHouse. Knuth will "take whatever he can get, and he has tried to build relationships with former athletes by inviting them to games and sending gift baskets that might contain a Wolf Pack shirt, hat, shorts and other merchandise" (RENO GAZETTE JOURNAL, 4/27). In Reno, Chris Murray listed Nevada's "top 10 must-have facility improvements."
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