College Facility Notes: Crunch Time For Rose Bowl Renovations
In L.A., Jill Painter wrote, "The college football season doesn't kick off until later this month, but the $175 million Rose Bowl renovation project already has hit crunch time.” Rose Bowl CEO & GM Darryl Dunn “is confident the stadium will be ready" before UCLA's Sept. 8 home opener against Nebraska. Dunn said, "The intention for this season is that we'll have about one-third of it that needs to be done in order for us to accomplish what we need to accomplish. The whole thing won't be complete. But the necessities, in terms of all of the operations for broadcasting, public-safety areas, media, premium seat holders that have existing contracts, we have enough and feel very good about our schedule." Dunn said that only 35% of the pavilion "needs to be completed, per guidelines of the three-phase renovation project, by the season opener.” During the days between games, construction crews “will continue to work Monday through Thursday to have the pavilion ready for the Jan. 1 Rose Bowl” (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 8/6).
SLOWING SALES: In S.F., Eric Young writes after "an initial burst of sales more than a year ago, purchases of the priciest seats" at the Univ. of Cal-Berkeley's Memorial Stadium "have stalled in recent months.” All three types of premium seats “have seen small increases or none at all in the January-to-March quarter.” Cal Deputy Athletics AD & COO Solly Fulp said, “The numbers are not where we would like them to be.” Cal has sold 69% of its 3,200 premium seats, "which equates to $140 million in cash and pledges.” The athletic department’s goal is to sell 88% of premium seats, "equating to about $240 million in cash and pledges, by June 2013.” To boost sales, Cal will “hire three sales people to approach local companies.” Cal officials said that once potential buyers see the stadium, “they expect more buying” (S.F. BUSINESS TIMES, 8/3 issue).
FUNDS ARE DWINDLING: In Louisville, Marcus Green reports the KFC Yum! Center “is supposed to stock a renovation fund with millions of dollars each year to make major repairs and improvements.” But the account “has dwindled to less than $4,000 -- from an April balance of more than $3 million -- after arena officials raided it to make a routine debt payment in June.” Arena officials were “forced to take from the reserve account after expected tax revenues fell far short of expectations.” Arena Authority execs and arena operator AEG officials said that the “diminished reserve fund is not a concern because the Yum! Center hasn’t required significant repairs since opening in fall 2010” (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 8/7).
PICK ME, PICK ME: In Cincinnati, John Erardi noted the Greater Cincinnati Sports Corporation, backed by the Univ. of Cincinnati and Xavier Univ. “has submitted a bid to host either the 2014 or 2015 NCAA Men's Division I basketball tournament at U.S. Bank Arena.” The city of Cincinnati figures to have “about a 50-50 chance of landing the early-round games in either year, because about 55-56 cities are believed to be in the hunt for either first-round games, or second-/third-round games or the regionals.” The two schools "would co-host the games" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 8/6).