In case you don't want to read through the UB Athletics Improvement Plan here is the skinny.
There are roughly eleven master projects listed with 5 being considered a priority and six others seen as further off. The cost for the "Priority Projects" works out to 37.5 Million dollars and the secondary projects is anybody's guess. Three projects have no prices listed.
Here is the break down.
High Priority Projects -
The Field House is the gem the UB Athletics has been working on for years. The initial renderings that were part of the UB 2020 plan showed a very stylish glass looking fitness center directly behind the north end zone. The current renderings show a far more barn like facility which is on par with what other college programs have.
My only beef is that putting the field house right off the street, while providing a covered walkway to alumni, fives up a chance to put some nice luxury boxes and conference rooms in an area that overlooks the field.
If you put the field house directly north of the stadium than the southern wall would have a great view of the field.
The existence of the east club might blunt any more need or benefit from such sweets but could more sweets really hurt?
The Athletic Training Facility is attached to the football stadium but it's basically a PT center for all the teams. At 1.5 Million it's one of the more affordable projects and is listed as a high priority. With it being "cheap" and important it's fair to assume that this may be low hanging fruit.
The Football Training Center will put all of the staff offices and team meeting rooms together at a site right off of the stadium's western grandstands at the fan entrance.
The Tennis Center is supposed to be called the Ortman Tennis Center and it's been published elsewhere that ground will be broken soon . The seed donation from the Ortman family and a good deal of success by both the Men's and Women's Tennis teams got the ball rolling.
It's going to have 12 courts, locker rooms, and covered elevated spectator seating.
What I don't see here is where the Tennis facility will be located. I had expected it to go pretty much on top of where the current courts are but that are is not in the field house.
The Final "High Priority" project is The East Club. Instead of enhancing the student athlete experience this one will enhance the rich donor experience. We've talked a lot about this before (Check out Next Clicks Below).
So why is heated covered seating and "Enhanced Beverage Service" so important? Well the donation requirement for the East Club is somewhere between 900-1200 dollars per season and there is a minimum 10 year commitment. Assuming White can find enough "Top hat and Monocle" fans to fill the club he will be pushing two million in revenue which could be used to fund other things.
A lot of these improvements should be considered through the lens of "Is it worth it to fix up UB stadium"... And Conrad is brave enough to ask that Question.
Love It, or List it, UB Stadium Master Plan Edition - Bull Run
UB Stadium is a money pit, our own White Elephant courtesy of the World University Games. We tried to make it work for 20 years, but like fetch, we need to stop trying to make UB Stadium a football facility, it's not going to happen.
I can't rightly say that have an idea if it is or is not wasted money. I do know a lot of the great venues in College Sports used to have a track around them. Heck this was Ohio State's Stadium in 1930 (Granted end in this picture the Shoe had 66,000 seats)
Few would guess that this grew to become the Stadium UB played in the past August.
But this is a different time and if UB drops 47 million into fixing up the Stadium and then the Bills get a dome downtown how much would we like to have that money back? I suppose as an engineer I have more faith in an some bright fellow engineer's ability to turn UB stadium into something really great with a well planned phased approach.
I often face that type of decision. I want to go from point A to C but I really can't get there in one step. I'll never be able to completely extract some awful legacy code from my environment but I can rehab it in pieces. To wait for the money to build something like Akron's InfoCision stadium or to make phased improvements to UB Stadium.
I have, however, also seen times where that legacy code comes back to destroy a future project and it needs to ripped out later, for more money.
Both sides have their Merritt so I really hope that White at least considered a new stadium and then found someone who knows their stuff to give him a reason why upgrades are a better approach.