For those of you unable to attend this weekends spring game or barbecue I went ahead and reached out to UB Athletics looking for the skinny on this West Club Seating.
Like many of you I assumed this smaller high end section was a rethinking of the proposed East Club. Perhaps White could not get the support he needed to build the East club and was unable to get commitments for most of the 1000 plus seats on the east side of the stadium.
While the reality of that scenario would have been Danny White salvaging half a million dollars a year in revenue the optics would have been "The East Club is vaporware".
What I was told on the phone by UB Athletics was as follows.
1 - Matt was spot on in his assessment of why UB is going West first.
The work effort toward implementing the West Club is minimal. They are moving the press box towards the endzone and taking most of that area for the West Club. Structurally they don't have to do a whole lot to the stadium and likewise most of the wiring and communications infrastructure is already there.
As a plus informal conversations with ESPN crews working the game led to the knowledge that many prefer an corner press box as opposed to a 50 yard press box.
2 - SUNY is part of the reason the East club is being moved to the back of the order.
Retrofitting UB stadium with *PRIVATE* dollars is something freaky in SUNY land. There are a number of beuocratic hurdles that come up and Director White figured getting half of what he wants now is better than getting nothing for years while he fights the powers of Albany for permission to upgrade the stadium.
3 - The East Club is Still coming
The unofficial project pipeline I got was this. This is of course subject to change
1 - West Club
2 - Completion of football offices
3 - Field House
4 - East Club.
The driver seems to be "what can we do without SUNY getting in the way and in those instances when SUNY is an obstacle start to fight *now* while we do physical work on other projects.
4 - They understand some of the fans are upset by losing their seats but fell that turning 40,000 dollars of revenue into a half million dollars in revenue is something they have to act on. While they hate to upset fans the fact of the matter is that future improvements need funding measures and the West Club is such an instrument.