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Volume 24 No. 159
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Pac-12 Schools Spend Big On Football Facilities To Keep Pace With Rivals

There are only a few schools in the Pac-12 that "aren't in some stage of major work on their football facilities in what is widely seen in the conference as a movement to play catch-up with some of their peers," according to Bud Withers of the SEATTLE TIMES. Most of the capital improvements are happening "independent of the robust new TV contracts ... that begin taking effect this school year.” The Univ. of California-Berkeley is just completing “its tortuous march … to a remodeled Memorial Stadium.” The Univ. of Washington is a “year away from having a new south grandstand,” as well as “completing a football-operations center at the west end of Husky Stadium.” Washington State Univ. has added a “new south-side complex, but awaits a vote by its board of regents for a west-end football-operations building.” The Univ. of Arizona is building a $73M "center for football operations," while USC is moving into new a $70M football center. UA football coach Rich Rodriguez said, "Some people call it an arms race. I call it reinvesting in the program." Withers noted for a long time, there was a "sort of leaguewide inertia regarding facilities, almost a feeling that such a trend was beneath Pac-12 schools.” But the situation changed as “stadiums got old” and “athletic administrators looked around them and saw better.” Arizona State Univ. "feels Sun Devil Stadium has become outdated and is planning a major renovation that might cost $300 million.” ASU AD Steve Patterson said, "For us, it's keeping up with the Joneses. We’ve got to be able to generate the kinds of revenues that bigger schools generate” (SEATTLE TIMES, 8/26).