In the 1950's Syracuse and Buffalo each faced a choice; Join the SUNY system or remain a private University. Buffalo elected to join the system and Syracuse decided to stay a private school. Most Syracuse backers don't for one second think their school made the wrong choice and why would they?
For the most part Buffalo has benefited from their decision as well. With the exception of Athletics and tuition autonomy UB has few complaints. SUNY2020 is fixing some of the autonomy issues and UB has pushed ahead for 20 years trying to get Athletics on sound footing.
Syracuse area state rep Joanie Mahoney wants to have her cake and eat it too. Some quick reporting shined a spotlight on the deal and seems to have stopped the proposal which had the approval of the Governor.
It would not be the first time the state has helped out Syracuse. The Carrier dome itself was built in the 70's and the state kicked in funds to make it happen. Is not one domed stadium for a private school enough?
The City of Syracuse benefits from a storied college football program and a high caliber private school with total autonomy. Now on top of all of that they almost secured 200 million dollars of state money to help build them a 500 million dollar retractable roof stadium.
In the meantime UB is playing in a 20 million dollar track and field facility built in the early 1990's. To fund a 20 million dollar field house White is collecting money for the East Club as a revenue stream. No state money to help with the field house if forthcoming.
Hand it to the Mayor of Syracuse. It's been reported that when they finally brought him into the conversation she told Joanie Mahoney that his city had other needs he wants to address first. It's also been reported that she, nor current the land owners were involved in the conversations leading up to the proposal.
As slimy as Joanie Mahoney's behavior was, it's what you expect from politicians at that level. Legislators in New York spend a lot of time trying to get cash for their constituents. Sure the mayor of Syracuse has said his city is at a "crisis level'' regarding their basic infrastructure. But I am sure in addition to 200 million in state dollars they would have asked to fix that as well.
I am, however, livid with Governor Andrew Cuomo who was ready to go along with the deal.
Joanie Mahoney: Onondaga County dropped SU arena project after Syracuse mayor resisted | syracuse.com
Mahoney said she convinced Gov. Andrew Cuomo to provide significant state funding for a sports stadium that would anchor a new neighborhood with 1 million square feet of additional private development in the Kennedy Square area. Syracuse University and private developer COR Development backed the plan, but Miner was skeptical from the outset, Mahoney said.
Andrew Cuomo, New York's Governor and supposed proponent of the SUNY system was ready to hand a private school 200 million dollars and take the land away from SUNY Upstate Medical University. A SUNY school would have lost land they owned and were not even a part of the conversation.
Baylor only received some local funds for land and road improvements, not for it's new stadium and TCU's huge renovations were privately raised. Yet Syracuse private School and ACC member was very close to benefiting from 200 million in state funds for a new stadium.
Maybe a retractable roof stadium in North Buffalo, across from the South Campus, could help revitalize the University heights area and give the city a renewed sense of "ownership" when it comes to UB athletics.
I urge all readers to contact their legislature and the office of Governor Cuomo ((518) 474-8390) to express their frustration at the pittance of funding allocated to the Athletic facilities of all the SUNY schools. If the state has 200 million dollars laying around perhaps they should send 50 million to the four university centers.