Mailbag March 20: Would Added Seats At Rent Make UConn Attractive To ACC?

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Q: Would UCONN be a more attractive candidate to the ACC if the State of Ct. pulled the plans to the Rent out of the vault. Then did a re-fi of the bonds and built only the North and South End Zone expansions to allow for 5,000 visitor seats and 5.,000 UCONN student seats? Jac Pringle, Uncasville

A: This is the first time I’m hearing anything remotely close to stadium size being tied to an invitation to another conference outside of some screams to do something to add Villanova before that talk went south. I’m going to say no I don’t think so Jac, thanks.

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75 thoughts on “Mailbag March 20: Would Added Seats At Rent Make UConn Attractive To ACC?

  1. UConn Jac

    Des: Thank you. I go back to when 11/12000 fans at Stores was a good crowd first in the Yankee and then in the Colonial Conf. the Rent is a Palace when compared to Memorial Stadium. Always sat behind the Band and enjoyed not only the game but the entire day pre and postgame. We saw the first game against BC; the 1st victory over Pitt; and they played WVU even for a half when Pack man was on the team. Its possible to add 12,000 seats (49,500 total) using the original plans. Now would be the time to do it because of Historically low interest rate on bonds; but would require the Ct Legislature to approve the the package. Simply we need your Horses before this cart.

  2. joesimsbury

    @ Desmond Conner

    Admittedly, stadium expansion is not justified by current attendance. Current attendance is affected by the product on the field and the conference you’re in. Last year UConn drew approx. 35,000/game, a 10% drop from pre-Pasqualoni years. Now we have the added detriment of being in the “Whatever 12″ conference. We have to put a good product on the field this year. While I believe TV market size has the greatest impact, a good product on the field is essential for long term success. It will help put people in the seats. It always has. It will help UConn to be more attractive to a real conference so we can get out of this mess. We can’t be far off – we’re close to Syracuse, BC, Maryland in attendance and well ahead of Duke, Wake, Cincinnati and Temple. We also have the TV market size. However, we can’t afford mediocrity on the field, so PP better produce this year.

    Is it crunch time? You bet! Regarding the “Whatever 12″ conference – “There must be some kind of way out of here!” UConn has to do all the right things to get a nod from the B1G or the ACC. If it were as simple as adding 10,000 seats to the stadium, then do it! We’ll quickly make up the cost with increased conference payouts.

    (PS – another unfortunate fact re: attendance – “Whatever 12″ new members – Tulane, Memphis, SMU and Houston – average between 18,000 and 27,000/game. Add that to the remaining members’ draw and it is pretty dismal. The B1G averages over 70,000/game and the ACC averages over 49,000/game. No wonder ESPN offered the “Whatever 12″ such short money.)

  3. joesimsbury

    @Ryan

    Another fact – The current President of the AAU executive committee is Scott Cowen, President of Tulane.

  4. UConn Jac

    The stadium would have been built on dairy farm property at Stores; but Mansfield said not in my town. The State got a good deal as the land was donated bu Pratt an Whitney. UCONN has always had to sort of chip away at things and presently they are breaking ground on a much needed BB Practice Facility on campus appx $32 mil private donations plus $ mil State funds to finish the interior: $$$ reqd. for the upgrade to join Hockey East a Big Time Conf; and are raising private funds for a $10 mil upgrade to expand the Baseball stadium to 5,000 seats. So some other Irons are on the fire. I will bring up Expand the Rent again if Huskies BEAT Michigan. Believe 2,000 temporary seats are being added for that game.

  5. Jay

    Another thing to keep in mind. Uconn’s market as presented by our school is the New Haven/Hartford market of 700-800 thousand. The new your market is what 10 million? If the addition of rutgers brings 5% of that market it is 500 thousand. that means the ct market must get between 62 and 71 % to equal the rutgers $$$ oh i mean people

  6. im blue

    the problem with uconn fans is that the majority are suit and penny-loafer bandwagon jumpers.theres no blue collar action.a little rain and biff and kitty stay home so they dont get a cold—–empty seats.location of the rent sucks.it should be on campus.their arent even billboards along highway, letting people know whats up with uconn football.the tailgating stinks.if uconn fans tailgated like fans from football schools,molloy would close the state down.they got it wrong —-all wrong

    1. Frank

      Could you imagine what attendance would be if the stadium was on campus? 15 thousand on a sunny day?

    2. Frank

      Its funny…first people dont go to uconn because its too far away, now the Rent is centrally located for everyone to go to and people complain that the stadium should be on campus. Its never good enough. How about we support this team with the stadium where it is and stop complaining. This is always the problem with many UConn fans…looking for excuses to not support the team.

  7. UConn Jac

    The years the Rent made $$$ were more attributed to the concerts than UCONN football. Also the Big 10/14 two smallest stadiums are Rutgers approx 53,000 and Northwestern about the same; Indiana is expanding to 65,000. The Boston College Beagles, the school we all Love in a very Special Way are locked in at 42,000 and can’t expand. Anyway, time for Spring Football. Can Don Brown’s Defense be replaced? Can our Offense learn how to make more Td’s than the than the other team? Can we send the Wildcat option play to Northwestern? PLEASE111

    1. Ryan

      Minnesota just built a new stadium with a 51k capicity in 2009. Maryland Stadium only seats 53-54k as well. As of now Ind is also sitting around 50k unless they are expanding as you say. That means 5 out of the 14 schools are sitting below 54k – two of which were just added.

      I think our defense will be ok Hak Hughes has proven himself in the past think we are in good hands. Offense I see potential although I see next year more struggles as they continue to grow.

  8. UConn Jac

    Desmond: I believe you gave us a link to show a us that Cincinnati is spending $60 million to expand their stadium; and making a presentation to John Swoffard. My interest is focused on seeing UCONN a conference that has a TV contract worth $16 to $20 million a year not $2. Rentschler Field belongs to the state not the school. The price was $90 mil $72 mil for football and $18 mil for the Gov/Ct Army NtL Guard. I was suggesting simply replace both end zone 2nd decks with new ones that wrap around to the highest point of the east grandstand; and placing the video scoreboard on top of the North end zone. If the state cant put 1 or 2 big time concerts in this venue don’t spend a dime!!!

    1. dconner Post author

      @UConn Jac It has always been UConn’s position, that I know of, and any school’s position when it comes to expanding a stadium, an expensive under-taking no matter how you slice it: There has to be fan demand for it UConn Jac. Know what I mean? UConn’s attendance has been going down in recent years not up. Here’s what gets me though: People want to suggest adding seats to the stadium but they also dont go to games when they dont like what they see on the field. UConn is not rich and every time a body is not in the seats it costs the school money. Add seats/Make more room to lose more money? I dont know about that one. Now, Cincinnati is expanding to add what 5,000 seats for 40,000? What does Rentschler Field seat 42,000?

  9. joesimsbury

    @Ryan

    I believe either the ACC or the B1G will see this and make an offer. Tranghese’s told Harvey Araton of the NYT that UConn’s situation doesn’t make any sense. He said Syracuse/UConn have the biggest impact in the NYC market. That means something, but it has to happen fast. If we stay in the “Whatever 12″ conference for any length of time the brand will be damaged and it will be hard to get back.

    The B1G would be great – a much more stable home. However, anything would be better than the dreadful conference Aresco has cobbled together.

    1. Ryan

      Lets not forget Tranghese’s played large part in the fall of the Big East (in my opinion). He is a basketball guy (heard a interview maybe a monh ago after th split on his thoughts and how he was upet with football schools). He never fully understood that the money is on the football side and Big East had a chance to have the best o both worlds at one time potentially. He either sided with the cathlic basketball schools or failed to convinc as a comish why balancing the conference wasimportant – they put the football only schools in a bad spot so they left. Anyway as you can see I do not put much in to anything he says.

      I agree with you though Rutgers also plays a big part in NYC market though. If UConn ever got in as a AAU member I can see their stock sky rocketing and B1G jumping on us because they would basically control the NYC market. AAU memberhship I think is a requirement though for B1g school presidents and only way the will look the other way is if they get bigger prize like a UNC (which B1G would probabaly have to take Fl St who is not AAU). If they jump to 20 team conference though then maybe they become willing to look otherway on AAU membership.

  10. Jay

    Gotta say reading this has my head spinning. You get the invite by having a good product. Losing records and declining attendance are prominent factors on why UCONN is the last kid chosen at the sand lot game. We have the premier woman’s BB team and still empty seats. Men’s BB has too many empty seats and the FB is losing and the attendance declines. I do believe there is still bad blood re ACC. but Bloumenthal has a great part time job.

      1. Jay

        I thought this is all opinion. Connecticut is suffering thru a bad extended recession. many of those seats have become out of reach for the average fan and when you need to cut your individual spending…. Im sure the MBB and WBB are not full sellouts any more. And the FB is not selling out.

        PS what time do you start work?

        1. dconner Post author

          @Jay sounded really strong in yours. I was just curious because in all this talk about win/loss record being a factor is too easy to shoot down with Rutgers being our prime example. Was it really their win/loss records plus seating that got them into the Big Ten? How prominent of factors were they for Rutgers?….Im usually up and rolling by 6:30 am at the latest …

          1. Ryan

            I do think UConn has never really been good at marketing/ticket sales in getting people to the games. They rely on self draw and name and put little effort in getting groups, marketing, etc. Now i’ve been out of state for the last 4 years so not sure if anything has changed but that was my impression while growing up in CT.

          2. Jay

            I would suspect the fact you can see the Statue of Liberty from the campus and have immediate access to the Big Apple cable helped Rutgers. In addition Rutgers has been in the FB since it’s beginning and have been 1A since the seperation helped. We know there is no one or two answers to why RU and not UConn. probably an accumulation of “market” strategy by the big ten. It’s all in the $$$$

          3. dconner Post author

            @Jay Id suspect you’re barking up the right tree. Eyeballs from the NY market. Subscribers to cable networks that will carry the Big Ten network and pay a little extra, which turns into an awful lot when you think of all the eyeballs you could get. That’s what the Big Ten sees in Rutgers and that’s what Rutgers saw in the Big Ten. I do believe the AD just flat out said “we need the money”. I don’t think anyone expects a program that has yet to win a Big East conference title to walk in and win the Big Ten so I’d shake that one up against win/loss record and see what you get. I’d also look at the AAU deal which the Big Ten is awfully serious about and with the exception of recently dropped Nebraska, aren’t they all members? UConn is not. If we really look at expansion and conference realignment it’s been done consistently for the same reason with the exception of Louisville, everywhere. But here? We’re talking stadium size as a factor in why UConn hasn’t moved. Stadium size. Ahhhhh!!!!!

  11. Paul M

    Stadium size is irrelevant at this point. This is going to play out over 5+ years. TV market is what will be most important for conference affiliation, but attendance matters now and short term to get the program growing. If the B1G came knocking with conditions on stadium size, (as was with Big-E football) the stadium would be expanded in a heartbeat.

  12. ROADRUNNER

    Just having a little fun with them…wish there was spell check…thats F.a.s.c.i.n.a.t.i.n.g ..for anyone armed with a red pen…

  13. ROADRUNNER

    @ Joesimsbury, I read an article somewhere in which listed the Nielson Ratings for College sports in NYC area and UCONN was 3rd behind Rutgers. Any coference wanting to expand their market/TV exposure into the NYC and Boston area would be foolish to pass on UCONN. Last Quality piece of real estate in college sports in the market!!! Anyway, In the mean time, we need to suport the team ,the coaches need to win and dominate the “whatever its called” conference , win the bowl games and become the “Boise” of the East so to speak. Tailgait have fun with the family. Something to think about ..Look at all the success Boise has had and yet they haven’t been grabbed by any major conference.. Why ??? Because of the media market they are in. UCONN is in a waaaayyy better position then Boise because of the proximity to the major media markets NYC and Boston. A top 25 rated public university, along with extremely competitive athletic programs. The rest will eventually take care of itself.

  14. joesimsbury

    @Roadrunner

    I don’t think the B1G is out of the question for UConn. But I think the B1G has to see that UConn would help in the NYC metro area in addition to CT. In any event, conference realignment/expansion is not over. I have confidence that UConn will eventually be situated in a real conference. In the meantime, I think UConn’s administration should keep quiet and work the back channels furiously. That’s what Jurich did for Louisville and they got the ACC nod.

    1. Ryan

      think that draw is more for ACC and will help us in that direction I think B1G getting Rutgers hurts as they would be doubling up NYC area and conferences tend to not like to do that. But never know especially if they end up going to a 18/20 and strike out with some other schools like UNC who I think prefer to stay down south and in ACC or worse case SEC if ACC falls apart. I’m sort of suprised ACC did not take us over school such as Cuse with our NYC draw.

  15. joesimsbury

    I’m not sure stadium size is the driver here. According to Wallace Loh, Maryland’s President, it is about the # of TV sets in an area, not the number of fans in the seats that drives conference expansion. (Re: Maryland getting a B1G invite, that must be true!) In our favor, Hartford/New Haven is a top 30 TV market and ranked 17 for college hoops. Further, Mike Tranghese’s comments about UConn’s popularity in NYC posted in a NYT article last week should be helpful. A bigger stadium would be great, but it will only make sense with a quality team playing in a quality conference.

  16. JD

    Hmmm…
    It seems silly to add 10,000 Seats to a Stadium that doesn’t sell out. But UCONN certainly has the ability to sell out the RENT consistently, we just haven’t done so in the HCPP years. If we start winning consistently then I have no doubt we will sell out the Stadium. We just need to WIN and schedule Name brand opponents.
    If we get invited to the B1G then I would absolutely agree to add 10,000+ seats but if not then we would only be wasting money. Unless we are ranked we’re not going to sell out the RENT. Especially when it’s cold out against Tulsa/Memphis/East Carolina etc…

  17. jack54

    Rutgers stadium held 42,000. They were averaging 35-36,000. A few years back,they added 10,000 seats. They received a ton of criticism from just about everyone, including the media. “For what”? “It’s not needed” “It’s a waste” “they can’t fill what they have now”. Some games now draw 47-50,000. I believe that went a long way toward their B1G invite. The perception is that RU has big plans for the future. During negotiations the B1G told RU they need to consider moving some games (i.e. Mich,Ohio ST) to a larger venue (MetLife Stadium). Larger stadiums do matter to the B1G. Filling it up is step 2.

  18. ROADRUNNER

    @carl stenger..Rutgers has the second largest media market for NYC … That’s the attraction …it’s all about how many TV sets can be tuned in!! If we use your rationale and the idiot “dumber thanmost” why isn’t Boise State in the BiG or even Eastern Carolina??? Yeah ..I thought so … Hope the light bulb went off!!! Hey DEZ, looks like there are a few out there stuck in the learning curve or… Maybe just too steep for them !

    1. dconner Post author

      @ROADRUNNER …. Just have to let it roll, I guess, see where it ends. The very fact there is a discussion about additional seating being a factor in conference realignment is fascinating but should not be a total shock. Fans here are desperate for something to happen. Some think they’re better than the people actually making the decisions. If they did, you know, they’d be making them. Just have to roll with it…

  19. ROADRUNNER

    @smarter than you????? Nooooot even close!!!hard to believe u have any gray matter in that coconut of yours… And Maryland was excepted because why???? Can’t wait for ur reply!! Stadium size ??? Wow!!!

  20. Maurice

    Its not about seating Uconn could have a 75 thousand seat state of the art stadium but it would not get invited to the ACC? People ask me Why? Thank you for asking. Remember back in 2005 I believe the State of CT sued the ACC, BC, & Miami for leaving the Big East. ACC is still harboring bitter feelings towards UConn and State of CT. I know CT is sue happy state but suing the ACC back then cost Uconn dearly.

      1. Ryan

        Isn’t Maryland getting sued by those same ACC schools you say are mad because we sued them? People move on they may have not been happy at the time but it has been awhile think that argument is over blown. BC does not want us in ACC because they want to give impression Northeast is BC territory

        1. TheJerk

          news flash, people IN boston do not care about BC, let alone the northeast. And that cat has been out of the bag for a long while now

          1. Ryan

            exactly I’ve been saying that for years. And people in CT tend to hate BC because they think there so much better than they really are so they do not get any of the CT market.

  21. Maurice

    Its not about seating Uconn could have a 75 thousand seat state of the art stadium but it would not get invited to the ACC? People ask me Why? Thank you for asking. Remember back in 2005 I believe the State of CT sued the ACC, BC, Miami for leaving the Big East. ACC is harboring bitter feeling toward UConn and State of CT. I know CT is sue happy state but suing the ACC back then cost Uconn dearly.

  22. Artie A...

    They built what was needed and so far has proved to be more than needed.
    More asses than seats is what would make us attractive to any conference.

    1. dconner Post author

      @Artie… That’s what it is Artie. That’s what it is. Try filling out consistently what you have first before expanding – but many say the seats will be filled when the team wins consistently. Now there’s a topic worth a discussion especially right now when the program needs all the fan support it can get no matter what. Are there enough fans of the team to fill the place no matter what? That’s what UConn needs right now to be honest….

  23. TheJerk

    think of what type of stadium expansion/infrastructure improvements you could have had if that dirt bag Malloy spent 700 million on the stadium versus a bus that nobody will ride. And before some smart guy is dying to respond, yes I know the 700 million could not have been spent on stadium expansions.

  24. jack54

    11 years ago June , they had an open house,promotional day at the Rent. When I walked in, my 1st reaction was “why did they build this thing so small” ? How will you ever keep up with the big boys that play in stadiums at 70-90,000? We know now,” you can’t”. Outside of the northeast Uconn is perceived as small time. Growing the fan base needs to be the top priority of the athletic department. Not sure there are easy answers, or can be done in the short run.A lot is at stake. SI reported in Nov’12 that B1G new TV deal by the year 2017 will pay out 43 million per team , per year. B1G looking to add 2 more. NCarolina, Virginia, GTech top the list. Unless they go to 18+, UC is a long shot at best.

  25. Frank

    DC my man, let me preach for a second. I hate to break it to you guys, but stadium size is not going to have anything to do with us getting an invitation to any of these conferences right now. Academics, larger endowments, winning football team, people actually GOING to the games, teams that are not on probation, and a whole lot of other things mean more than our stadium size. The stadium expansion talk is a tired and worn out conversation. This should only be discussed when we have consistently sold out the Rent for at least five years in a row and there is a waiting list for season tickets. Until that time, just stop. Its not going to happen anytime soon. Lets fill what we have consistently and support the hell out of this team.

    1. dconner Post author

      @Frank – thanks. Just wearing down on some of this stuff and now stadium size being a factor? There’s a guy on my twitter page that’s talking about getting invited to the SEC? If I had three wishes one would be for UConn fans to have the school in the exact conference they wanted right now….Nevermind the other two wishes, lol. Thanks Frank and to others who have helped out me out and will…Stadium size bro…Stadium size

      1. Frank

        Anytime DC. You know I have your back. SEC? Thats insanity. That would be the stupidest thing ever! UConn will get a conference..eventually. Its just a waiting game and our leadership making the right moves. I think ADWM needs to continue scheduling big teams like BYU and others. That helps us. We need to sell ourselves and win games. That is the only thing that will save UConn. Next year is a very big year for this program. Things will continue to move, we just have to be ready to move with it and not be worried about trivial things like stadium size..its like talking about practice…we talking about practice…

        1. Ryan

          I think only counter I have to that point is if we had a bigger stadium teams like Notre Dame would come here to play games (I’m surprised to be honest Michigan agreed to come here although I know they have a large alum base in the northeast…but they aren’t going to fit in our stadium unless they buy up all the tickets on secondary market which I hope our fans decide not to make a extra buck on that game as it will make our fan base look bad). When these big schools are looking at road games they are looking to see where they can get their alum to games and then collect donations so overall it helps with scheduling out of conference games.

          That being said I agree with Frank/Dez this is a very small piece if any right now we need to fill what we have and plan for future when it becomes a issue.

          Below is a link on college re-alignment thought it was a good read. It is mainly blogger/fan blogs all put together in interview setting but it gives a good perspective of what people from SEC, Big 10, ACC, Big 12 are thinking when it comes to re-alignment picture. One thing I got out of it is the mindset that ACC may be making same mistake as Big East and basketball dominant schools overrule football schools such as Fl St and Clemson as they wanted WVU. That is leaving Fl St potentially wanting to bolt but they prefer SEC/Big 10 but neither of them want Fl St for different reasons and because Big 12 is vulnerable Fl St/Clemson would hesitate to go in that direction but because Big 10 wants UNC so bad (but UNC prefers to stick in ACC or down south in SEC) they may break their nroaml AUU requirement and take Fl St. Everything seems to be dependent on UNC but they will most likely not leave ACC unless it is falling apart. Anyway interesting read.

          http://www.tomahawknation.com/2013/2/22/4019522/realignment-rumor-mill-guest-star-edition

          1. jae1837

            Respectfully, I believe you should read that article again. The only one who unconditionally believes that the ACC is doomed is the blogger for WVU. He has been blogging about the imminent collapse of the ACC for over a year. Also, in it, he outlines the social media war that WVU seems to be conducting in the hopes that the ACC is pulled apart and then WVU can extract its revenge upon the ACC. Wow, get over it already WVU. Or should I say, “Get over it WVU blogger?” Also, according to this individual, WVU in coordination with Pitt was behind the apparent defection of Pitt & WVU into the ACC which some how turned in the Pitt & Syracuse. Not everything you read and hear on the internet is true. Can anyone say “Bonjour” in french? ;-) Just my opinion from a VT alum. Take it for what it is worth. Good day to you all.

          2. Ryan

            jae1837 – I did point out it was bloggers and fan blogs so it was opinion and mindset of people in some of those conferences and not fact. Some of those guys feel ACC is not as vulnerable as people think which I agree to a extent but money talks and Big 10/SEC are way above all other conferences when it comes to money payouts. I also in my post pointed out UNC would most likely not make a move unless everything around them was falling apart which I think what most of those bloggers agreed on and UNC is big prize SEC/Big 10 will end up fighting over….but will be a tough get. Bottom line is money talks which leaves every other conference vulnerable other than the two big money makers – SEC/Big 10. .

  26. UConn Jac

    The RENT actually has 37,503 seats. the current UCONN student area is 4,000 and visitors section is 2,500 so I meant adding 3,500 to 4,000 seats. The prospect of adding the 8,000 seats plus 20 luxury boxes as a 3rd deck to the east grandstand requires a new off and on ramp to rt 84 with direct access to the complex per state agreement with East Hartford. Teams like Michigan and Ohio State would want 5,000 tickets or more to come to Ct. Ohio St fan since 1940. Jac P

    1. dconner Post author

      @UConn Jac ok what about on the days when Michigan and Ohio State just can’t make it to East Hartford? Remember we’re talking about UConn football. Its become an anomaly to fill the stadium. What happens if youre not a “big name”? seats not filled means money lost and it means that every single game. There’s another problem: where does the money come from for these additions? I believe there’s a project going on on campus right now, which is absolutely necessary, but doesn’t yet have the funds to complete. Where do the funds come from?

  27. Smarter Thanyou

    Adding seats would help get Uconn into the B1G, but probably not ACC. The size of a stadium matters to conferences that have teams with national appeal that can fil the stadiums. So, for example, UMich, ND, Alabama, etc. do not want to play at stadiums the size of Uconn (hence the pressure to move the UMich game from the Rent).

    The B1G has UMich, Ohio, Neb, Penn State. All would fill a much larger stadium than the Rent, hence Uconn is less attractive to them. This is also the reason that Cinn has plans to expand and Rutgers did previously. The ACC doesn’t have the same kind of national brand names, tho FState might qualify.

    1. dconner Post author

      @Smarter Thanyou….So stadium size would help UConn with getting into the Big10…wow was this the solution all along and UConn officials simply missed it? The size of the football stadium is a factor in holding UConn back in being invited to another conference. I know it’s a little slow but its not this bad… Is it?

        1. Ryan

          see half their conference….most of conference have stadium sizes around or less than 40-50k and more than half average less than 45k per game. You have 5-6 teams in Big 10 that draw the big numbers but that is about it.

          1. Smarter Thanyou

            Stadium size is absolutely a factor that would keep Uconn out of the B1G, thus yes it is important. It, in and of itself would not get Uconn into the B1G. Existing B1G teams are irrelevant to expansion in this sense. For expansion, they’re looking for as big exposure to as big a TV market as possible.

            Honestly, why is this so hard?

            I’m a little surprised (or not) by some folks immaturity on this subject.

        2. Smarter Thanyou

          NW is a historic B10 team, they don’t need to attract the B10- they’re in it. A team that wants to jump aboard has to meet Delany’s criteria- a lot of research $$/AAU membership and an attractive TV market. A small stadium is a limiting factor in this case so is a lack commitment by the university to put money behind the program.

          DConner’s simplistic view of things is “get in the seats and support the University,” but that oversimplifies a complex set of factors. Each conference is looking for something different, and every team as a different mix of elements which may make them attractive or unattractive. For Uconn, re: B1G, one unattractive element is a small stadium.

          1. Ryan

            Smarter Thanyou – in your post above you counter your very reasoning why stadium size is so important in getting in to the Big 10.

            First, Big 10 just added Rutgers and Maryland both have stadiums below 53k (not sure exact numbers but both are mid size stadiums if you think 10k more seats on our end will play a difference your wrong that is not where the money is made unless you are one of the big boys getting 60/70/100k plus at games (we are nowhere near that yet)- tv/market size, donations, research money – stuff like that is what brings money to university.

            Those two schools were added to Big 10 (based on your criteria) over UConn because market size and AUU membership (two of several driving factors). Our market is a little less attractive now to the Big 10 probably because NYC market is often included in our market size but now Big 10 has Rutgers who gets them in to that market. Now that is two of the top two criteria on your list (and your top two is probably correct) that is going against UConn.

            Do you really think adding 10k more seats and more luxury boxes will get Big 10 to forget about their two most driving factors?

            I’m all for expanding (money does not grow on trees and economy is not exactly full of free cash at the moment) but think it will happen in time I hope with the improved schedule this year will drive more fans to the game elevating the debate (wait isn’t that Dez’s point more butts in the seats…..) of the need for a bigger stadium. Filling our current stadium will create the debate within the state.

          2. Smarter Thanyou

            I don’t remember saying adding seats would get Uconn into B10, nor that adding 10k would get them in. Thanks for putting words into my mouth though.

            By the way, Rutgers expanded their stadium in 2008 from something like 40k to 52k. They also hired a big name coach. Then they got into the B10. Hmmm…coincidence?

            You can believe stadium and facilities have nothing to do with it all you want. I suppose Cinn wants to expand their stadium because they like big buildings. I wonder why they sent out videos of their stadium expansion plan to the ACC and B10?

            What I said was that the size of a stadium is a FACTOR to the B10. If you have any doubt of this, remember who makes the decisions. Do you really think the President of Michigan will support Uconn coming to the B10 knowing that he doesn’t even want to play at the Rent? What about when ND wouldn’t play at the Rent? It’s all because our stadium is small.

            Does having a large stadium make us a target for the B10 in and of itself: no. Would having a small stadium keep us out of the B10: possibly. That’s my point.

            Uconn’s best (read: not only) chance at getting into the B10 would be a combination of a commitment to elevating its fball program and maybe even university research dollars. The slow grind to attract more fans is great, but it’s not extremely relevant to the immediate conference realignment. And, when you talk about dollars, remember that the difference between 20-30 mil a year in a future B10 contract and 2-3 mil a year in the Big East is something to consider as well.

            Do I advocate for building out the stadium? Not necessarily. I wouldn’t do it unless I had a discussion with the B10 first. But, don’t be naive and think it has nothing to do with the attractiveness of a university for the conference…

          3. dconner Post author

            @Smarter Thanyou

            This is the stuff that makes you shake your head…

            “By the way, Rutgers expanded their stadium in 2008 from something like 40k to 52k. They also hired a big name coach. Then they got into the B10. Hmmm…coincidence?”

            My goodness..

            And this is what you wrote

            “Adding seats would help get Uconn into the B1G, but probably not ACC. The size of a stadium matters to conferences that have teams with national appeal that can fil the stadiums. So, for example, UMich, ND, Alabama, etc. do not want to play at stadiums the size of Uconn (hence the pressure to move the UMich game from the Rent)…..”

          4. Smarter Thanyou

            Congratulations, Desmond- you’re now able to pull quotes from my postings. Now, how about making a point with them?

            The bottom line is that you’re not interesting in trying to refute the role of stadium size as one factor in determining a school’s attractiveness to conferences.

            I’ve said clearly that stadium size is more likely to be a concern that would keep a school out than get a school in. More, each school has a set of qualities (TV market, history, fan base, location, facilities, potential) that play into the narrative, but you seem to give us readers the awful impression of someone incapable or unwilling of understanding anything but the most basic story (Rutgers near NY, Rutgers good)- what a great service to Courant subscribers.

            Would it hurt you to do a little reading, to hear what other analysts say, to see what Jim Delaney, Swofford and others have indicated matter, and to see what other institutions have done? No, you’re only interested in what Warde Manuel says and giving the most superficial explanation.

            Even more, you jeer and poke fun at dissenting opinion which in most cases is better analysis than you offer. I call hackery!

            How’s that for “oohh goodness”

          5. dconner Post author

            @Smarter Thanyou

            You’re all over the place now my friend. I think most people understand why conferences are plucking schools and what they’re looking for. We’ve written it 1,000 times. It was mentioned here today about the recent New York Times piece regarding UConn’s issues moving. We’ve written all of that too but perhaps you should give it a gander for a little perspective. Note: there’s nothing in it about stadium size or seats or any other piece written by anybody about UConn. UConn officials have not mentioned it as an issue once. If there was one they would be addressing it Im sure. It’s a factor for a couple people here.

  28. JoeP

    The seats will be filled when the team starts winning on a consistent basis year after year.

    1. TheJerk

      funny, didn’t they win 8 games in like 4 years straight, and attendance went down every year?

  29. SillyBoy

    If we added seats and people actually went to the game and sat in them, that’s one thing…..but constructing 10,000 new seats in a place only drawing 25,000 fans per game…gasp! I’m afraid that would make us look much worse!

      1. JD

        Don’t forget there will be a lot less fans from other teams coming to the Rent due to distance. I can’t imaginge the Tusla/SMU/Tulane/Houstons of the world selling more than a couple of hundred tickets.

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