Commisioner Mike Aresco Interview / AAC stadium size

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Re: Commissioner Aresco on AAC Stadium sizes

Postby RobertM320 » Wed Aug 17, 2016 9:17 pm

My point was that according to JJ, making the investment shows they felt it was the right thing to do. I was showing that just because they felt it was the right thing, doesn't make it so. It obviously wasn't in our case.

Houston's gamble may pay off, or the entire college athletics bubble may burst, and UH will be sitting with a stadium they can't maintain, that will drain them of resources that could better be used elsewhere.


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Re: Commissioner Aresco on AAC Stadium sizes

Postby DfromCT » Wed Aug 17, 2016 9:52 pm

RobertM320 wrote:My point was that according to JJ, making the investment shows they felt it was the right thing to do. I was showing that just because they felt it was the right thing, doesn't make it so. It obviously wasn't in our case.

Houston's gamble may pay off, or the entire college athletics bubble may burst, and UH will be sitting with a stadium they can't maintain, that will drain them of resources that could better be used elsewhere.


I agree. I think we're kind of making the same point.


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Re: Commissioner Aresco On AAC Stadia

Postby jonathanjoseph » Wed Aug 17, 2016 10:05 pm

HoustonWave wrote:Their president has publicly acknowledged this very point--they cannot sustain the $28MM/year subsidy. and that deficit includes whatever the net is from their new stadium. While we may worry about the operational profit/loss on Yulman, UH has an even bigger hill to climb in that respect. Historically, they have not drawn a lot more fans than we have, but they have a much more expensive stadium to maintain. Currently the gamble is working for them, and has them on the front porch of the Big XII. But if for whatever reason they don't get in the Big XII now, they got big problems, bigger than any of ours. If they don't get in now, Herman is gone, and their athletic budget will start rapidly shrinking by up to $30MM/year--and they will still have to maintain a 42,000 seat $200MM+ stadium that won't have any more fannies in it than ours. For UH, the Big XII decision is monstrously huge--they have put all their chips (including borrowed ones) on the table.


Yeah but technically if they get in to the Big 12 the budget increases by $30M/year. It would suck for them to continue taking these losses, but they didn't make this investment without giving it a full chance at working, and no one could have forseen that being the case as soon as August 2016. If Herman gets them to another major bowl game I don't forsee anyone so much as complaining, Big 12 or not.



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Re: Commissioner Aresco On AAC Stadia

Postby jonathanjoseph » Wed Aug 17, 2016 10:09 pm

HoustonWave wrote:
I'm just telling you what their president has said. She didn't actually say it publicly, I now recall it went public after some journalist was able to hack into the UH email system, and got ahold of some of her emails, wherein she said the current rate of athletic spend and deficits are not sustainable. They need a lot of revenue from somewhere, fast. Filling their 42,000 seat stadium would go along way toward solving the problem--but they don't draw well--never really have. If we can realize the same success on the field that UH has, we would routinely out draw them.


Filling the stadium is not that relevant. They've invested ~$200M and an extra 20K seats sold at $50 per game is $1M/game. At 6 games/season you're talking about an incremental $5M-$10M/year in ticket sales. A P5 invite nets $30M/year in media rights, and that's before talking about the conference opponents who will fill the stadium. They knew they were positioning themselves long term for a P5 invite and aren't going to bail on a $200M investment because they were the runner up on the first attempt.

Of course they are going to publicly talk about the deficit as being bad and of course it cannot exist in perpetuity.



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Re: Commissioner Aresco On AAC Stadia

Postby jonathanjoseph » Wed Aug 17, 2016 10:18 pm

RobertM320 wrote:
jonathanjoseph wrote:
GreenLantern wrote:
jonathanjoseph wrote:Meanwhile, UH has a $1.5B annual budget. $20M is about ~1% of their annual budget. It's not hard to allocate that money at all. They can continue "losing" $20M in cash per year pretty much forever.


It's only 1.3% off the bottom line. Granted, UH is not a wholly profit-driven entity but your statement is a little naïve and sounds as if you've never had to face an angry board of directors. Many people have lost their jobs because of a .1% hit to the bottom line.


Except they clearly believe it's the right thing to do as evidenced by the financial investment. They understand why running the "deficit" is worth it and why investing in the facilities is worth it. I'm not guessing this, this is what they've clearly decided as evidenced by a >$200M capital outlay.

That's what Boards and CEOs do. They make the hard decisions that always leave some parties feeling like they got the short end of the stick. So yes I'm quite familiar with Board dynamics. In my analogy, yes some $60K/year tenured librarians would lose their job.


Yeah, and Cowen and the BOA clearly believed that building a 22.6K seat stadium was the right thing to do, as evidenced by the financial investment. Just be cause they make a financial investment doesn't mean it was a GOOD investment. Who should understand that any better than Tulane fans?


This is actually an amazing post for it's truth.

Obviously UH has invested ~$200M because they believe in the promise of a successful P5 program, and whether that investment pays off is TBD. Whatever happens, you can judge the decision to be good or bad based on what happens next. But they couldn't know when the Big12 was going to expand nor how the Texas politics would play out, etc.

The Cowen/Dickson plan was SO F*CKING STUPID that it actually redefines the bar of "good" or "reasonable". You can see why UH's $200M investment would be justified regardless of what happens from here. There was a clear economic rationale (even if it was based on the flawed "ESPN business model"). The Tulane Model, on the other hand, was insane from the start. Spend $150M on a "boutique" program that can compete for .500 seasons most of the time to play in front of large high school sized crowds, even though there were zero examples of any such idea being economically feasible much less hold up to common sense?

That's why those who green lit these $100M+ decisions should be held accountable. The stewards of Tulane University failed us badly in their responsibility towards the university and its alumni.



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Re: Commissioner Aresco on AAC Stadium sizes

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Thu Aug 18, 2016 8:11 am

I'm not sure why we are comparing ourselves to Houston. Houston has had only two seasons of less than 8 wins since 2006 and it's located in a top 5 metropolitan area in terms of population that is not home to a P5 school. If we had those factors going for us, we would be at the top of the expansion list even with our existing facilities and that's not even taking into account the academic/recruiting benefits that we would bring.

Honestly, if we had a stadium that had 15,000 more seats, it wouldn't make up for our deficiencies when compared Houston, BYU, or Cincinnati. Cincinnati, the apparent frontrunner in Big 12 expansion, has a stadium that literally holds about 10,000 more fans (holds not seats) and it's still smaller than BYUs/Temple/Memphis/USF/UTSA/AF/UTEP/Hawaii/UCF/ECU/Fresno/etc.'s stadiums and about the same as Houston/UConn/Army/Boise State/etc.'s stadiums but we don't see the Big 12 as a whole preferring those programs over Cincinnati, do we? Cincinnati has advantages over BYU and Houston that extend beyond the size/qualities of its facilities and that gives it a leg up over the other two programs, and it's not unlike Houston's advantages over us.



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Re: Commissioner Aresco on AAC Stadia

Postby nawlinspete » Thu Aug 18, 2016 10:19 am

Mr Dannen, please give us the true seating capacity of Yulman. And the true SRO capacity.
What are your plans, and what is your timeline, to make this a legitimate stadium or return full time to the MBSD ?

Mr Dannen, what is the true seating capacity of Tulane Gym ?
What are your plans, and what is your timeline, to triple the size of Tulane Gym, or build a new on campus Gym, or move to SKC ?
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Re: Commissioner Aresco on AAC Stadium sizes

Postby OUG » Thu Aug 18, 2016 10:58 am

nawlinspete wrote:Mr Dannen, please give us the true seating capacity of Yulman. And the true SRO capacity.
What are your plans, and what is your timeline, to make this a legitimate stadium or return full time to the MBSD ?

Mr Dannen, what is the true seating capacity of Tulane Gym ?
What are your plans, and what is your timeline, to triple the size of Tulane Gym, or build a new on campus Gym, or move to SKC ?


Why don't you email him. I don't think he posts here.



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Re: Commissioner Aresco on AAC Stadium sizes

Postby RobertM320 » Thu Aug 18, 2016 11:06 am

OUG wrote:
nawlinspete wrote:Mr Dannen, please give us the true seating capacity of Yulman. And the true SRO capacity.
What are your plans, and what is your timeline, to make this a legitimate stadium or return full time to the MBSD ?

Mr Dannen, what is the true seating capacity of Tulane Gym ?
What are your plans, and what is your timeline, to triple the size of Tulane Gym, or build a new on campus Gym, or move to SKC ?


Why don't you email him. I don't think he posts here.


I second this, pete. email him. I assure you he will respond.


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Re: Commissioner Aresco On AAC Stadia

Postby HoustonWave » Thu Aug 18, 2016 1:47 pm

jonathanjoseph wrote:
HoustonWave wrote:
I'm just telling you what their president has said. She didn't actually say it publicly, I now recall it went public after some journalist was able to hack into the UH email system, and got ahold of some of her emails, wherein she said the current rate of athletic spend and deficits are not sustainable. They need a lot of revenue from somewhere, fast. Filling their 42,000 seat stadium would go along way toward solving the problem--but they don't draw well--never really have. If we can realize the same success on the field that UH has, we would routinely out draw them.


Filling the stadium is not that relevant. They've invested ~$200M and an extra 20K seats sold at $50 per game is $1M/game. At 6 games/season you're talking about an incremental $5M-$10M/year in ticket sales. A P5 invite nets $30M/year in media rights, and that's before talking about the conference opponents who will fill the stadium. They knew they were positioning themselves long term for a P5 invite and aren't going to bail on a $200M investment because they were the runner up on the first attempt.

Of course they are going to publicly talk about the deficit as being bad and of course it cannot exist in perpetuity.


I don't think any expansion team in the Big XII will sniff anything close to $30MM/year. Probably more like $5MM to $7MM in year one, and then going up maybe $3MM per year thereafter. Those amounts won't stop the UH hemorrhaging. Getting in the Big XII will help UH to fill their new stadium, but as you say, even if they fill it they might realize an additional $5MM or $6MM. But for both of those reasons, that's why the Big XII decision is so critical for UH, probably more so than for any other candidate. And they did build their stadium with a view toward getting into a P5--whether it be the Big XII or PAC 12, with whom they have had discussions for the last 2 or 3 years. Stadium, head coach, financial stability--for UH it all rides on getting into a P5 very soon. Otherwise, they will almost surely cut back their athletic spending, considerably.


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Re: Commissioner Aresco on AAC Stadium sizes

Postby DfromCT » Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:07 pm

But there's no way that UH built their stadium expecting to get a Big 12 invite in 2016. Nobody thought the Big 12 would be expanding this soon, and it's still VERY possible that no expansion takes place for a few more years. Yes, it's important that Houston gets an invite if there's expansion, but they made the investment to play out over the long term, not just two or three years from when they opened their stadium.


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Re: Commissioner Aresco on AAC Stadium sizes

Postby RobertM320 » Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:18 pm

DfromCT wrote:But there's no way that UH built their stadium expecting to get a Big 12 invite in 2016. Nobody thought the Big 12 would be expanding this soon, and it's still VERY possible that no expansion takes place for a few more years. Yes, it's important that Houston gets an invite if there's expansion, but they made the investment to play out over the long term, not just two or three years from when they opened their stadium.


Then that's not smart if they're having to subsidize the athletic dept almost $30M a year with no guarantee in sight.


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Re: Commissioner Aresco on AAC Stadium sizes

Postby jonathanjoseph » Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:22 pm

RobertM320 wrote:
DfromCT wrote:But there's no way that UH built their stadium expecting to get a Big 12 invite in 2016. Nobody thought the Big 12 would be expanding this soon, and it's still VERY possible that no expansion takes place for a few more years. Yes, it's important that Houston gets an invite if there's expansion, but they made the investment to play out over the long term, not just two or three years from when they opened their stadium.


Then that's not smart if they're having to subsidize the athletic dept almost $30M a year with no guarantee in sight.


But it's not that straightforward. Did they get $30M/year in exposure for the Fiesta Bowl? Maybe. So would a holistic view believe that they "lost" $30M? Or is it just a cash flow issue, easily absorbed by a $1.5B/year budget? I don't know much about the specifics here, but I just don't believe that they made this $200M bet without any realistic view of what kind of spending it would take to see the investment through. Yes, Cow/Dick are that stupid, but no one else is.

"Subsidy" is the operative word. If someone were to call it a $30M "marketing expense" we wouldn't be having this conversation.



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Re: Commissioner Aresco on AAC Stadia

Postby nawlinspete » Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:40 pm

nawlinspete wrote:Mr Dannen, please give us the true seating capacity of Yulman. And the true SRO capacity.
What are your plans, and what is your timeline, to make this a legitimate stadium or return full time to the MBSD ?

Mr Dannen, what is the true seating capacity of Tulane Gym ?
What are your plans, and what is your timeline, to triple the size of Tulane Gym, or build a new on campus Gym, or move to SKC ?


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Re: Commissioner Aresco on AAC Stadia

Postby posse » Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:51 pm

Dannen has said the foundation to add an upper deck on the West side is already in place. I don't know how many seats that would add, but guess it would be close to the number of seats in the upper deck on the East side....One thing it would add is a legitimate looking college stadium, not the high school look we have now.



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Re: Commissioner Aresco on AAC Stadia

Postby golfnut69 » Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:58 pm

posse wrote:Dannen has said the foundation to add an upper deck on the West side is already in place. I don't know how many seats that would add, but guess it would be close to the number of seats in the upper deck on the East side....One thing it would add is a legitimate looking college stadium, not the high school look we have now.


If this happens...move the coach's box to the second level, expand the lower level seating in it's place


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Re: Commissioner Aresco on AAC Stadia

Postby DfromCT » Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:03 pm

golfnut69 wrote:
posse wrote:Dannen has said the foundation to add an upper deck on the West side is already in place. I don't know how many seats that would add, but guess it would be close to the number of seats in the upper deck on the East side....One thing it would add is a legitimate looking college stadium, not the high school look we have now.


If this happens...move the coach's box to the second level, expand the lower level seating in it's place


Absolutely. Bring it up on top and sell it to the NIMBY's as blocking the glare from the lights. The NIMBY issue really needs to become a non-issue. They bough property adjacent to a location that used to house an 80,000 seat stadium. And it was the focal point of the neighborhood, from what I've read!


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Re: Commissioner Aresco on AAC Stadia

Postby winwave » Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:04 pm

posse wrote:Dannen has said the foundation to add an upper deck on the West side is already in place. I don't know how many seats that would add, but guess it would be close to the number of seats in the upper deck on the East side....One thing it would add is a legitimate looking college stadium, not the high school look we have now.


That adds a little over 3,000 seats.


It's the facilities stupid!

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Re: Commissioner Aresco on AAC Stadia

Postby DfromCT » Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:08 pm

winwave wrote:
posse wrote:Dannen has said the foundation to add an upper deck on the West side is already in place. I don't know how many seats that would add, but guess it would be close to the number of seats in the upper deck on the East side....One thing it would add is a legitimate looking college stadium, not the high school look we have now.


That adds a little over 3,000 seats.


Aesthetic value would far exceed the seat count!

At the same time, we could wrap it around both end zones and probably pick up another 5k seats. Again, making it look like a D1 stadium, AND having our fans on top of the field could make it a small but effective home field advantage.


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Re: Commissioner Aresco on AAC Stadia

Postby winwave » Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:15 pm

DfromCT wrote:
winwave wrote:
posse wrote:Dannen has said the foundation to add an upper deck on the West side is already in place. I don't know how many seats that would add, but guess it would be close to the number of seats in the upper deck on the East side....One thing it would add is a legitimate looking college stadium, not the high school look we have now.


That adds a little over 3,000 seats.


Aesthetic value would far exceed the seat count!

At the same time, we could wrap it around both end zones and probably pick up another 5k seats. Again, making it look like a D1 stadium, AND having our fans on top of the field could make it a small but effective home field advantage.


That's the hope but it's still going to be tiny. You'd really need to tear down that side and completely rebuild it . Many complain that the seat space is way too tight causing tension among fans sitting there. Also the press box is a joke and the media hates it. They need to build a new one up top.


It's the facilities stupid!

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Re: Commissioner Aresco on AAC Stadia

Postby nawlinspete » Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:27 pm

winwave wrote:
DfromCT wrote:
winwave wrote:
posse wrote:Dannen has said the foundation to add an upper deck on the West side is already in place. I don't know how many seats that would add, but guess it would be close to the number of seats in the upper deck on the East side....One thing it would add is a legitimate looking college stadium, not the high school look we have now.


That adds a little over 3,000 seats.


Aesthetic value would far exceed the seat count!

At the same time, we could wrap it around both end zones and probably pick up another 5k seats. Again, making it look like a D1 stadium, AND having our fans on top of the field could make it a small but effective home field advantage.


That's the hope but it's still going to be tiny. You'd really need to tear down that side and completely rebuild it . Many complain that the seat space is way too tight causing tension among fans sitting there. Also the press box is a joke and the media hates it. They need to build a new one up top.


And what do President Fitts and AD Dannen have planned to remedy "the flaws ?"
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Re: Commissioner Aresco on AAC Stadium size

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