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Stadium Funding and UAlbany Flagship


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Words of wisdom:

 

"The assembly and the senate, Silver and Bruno, will start the budget adjustment process that will finalize the 2008 budget. Frequent contact with the executive, assembly, and Senate will have an impact. We have an advisory committee made of business leaders that will request meetings with all of these sectors. In athletics, UAlbany far exceeds the other research institutions in championships by a significant distance yet the state of New York has invested major resources in their athletic facilities. This is unfair and unheard of in college athletics."

 

Executive, Assembly, and Senate Contacts:

http://uofalbany.blogspot.com/2008/01/suny...-of-albany.html

 

University Officials, Student Govt, UA Radio, Frats/Sor, UA Newspaper

http://bigpurplefans.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=4898

 

 

Governor Spitzer: http://www.ny.gov/governor/contact/index.html

 

NYS Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno: bruno@senate.state.ny.us

 

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver: speaker@assembly.state.ny.us

 

Assemblyman Ron Canestrari: canestr@assembly.state.ny.us

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In athletics, UAlbany far exceeds the other research institutions in championships by a significant distance yet the state of New York has invested major resources in their athletic facilities. This is unfair and unheard of in college athletics."

Stony Brook basketball attendance has never (since joining America East, and I bet ever) averaged as many as 1,800 per game. This year they're averaging 897 (compared to Albany's 3,000+ the last three years). And they're getting arena improvements?

 

In football we're getting over 3,000 on our 35-year-old wooden plank seats, about 70% of SBU's at their shiny new stadium.

 

Usually you try to reinforce success, not failure.

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In athletics, UAlbany far exceeds the other research institutions in championships by a significant distance yet the state of New York has invested major resources in their athletic facilities. This is unfair and unheard of in college athletics."

Stony Brook basketball attendance has never (since joining America East, and I bet ever) averaged as many as 1,800 per game. This year they're averaging 897 (compared to Albany's 3,000+ the last three years). And they're getting arena improvements?

 

In football we're getting over 3,000 on our 35-year-old wooden plank seats, about 70% of SBU's at their shiny new stadium.

 

Usually you try to reinforce success, not failure.

 

 

I can see that you're new around here -_-

 

(BTW areyou going to the UA women's game at noon on Wed?)

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'Reenforce success' is the argument we should make, not what I've experienced around here.

 

Yes I'll be at the women's game. Up to 1,200 schoolkids may be there today.

 

McElroy on Wyland's show this morning confirmed that he and Ford saw the governor and first lady. The stadium project is definitely NOT a dead issue. McE said he got a greater appreciation of how complicated the budget process is.

 

Princeton grad Spitzer was also invited to Fallon Field for the lax game vs. the Tigers on March 21. I hope that means we'll have some seating by then - or maybe not, and make the governor stand like everyone else.

 

Also, D'Argenio has sent us a proposal for a new $iena contract that would make it more fair for us, but doesn't want to get into final negotiations until after the MAAC tournament. So maybe an April announcement.

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'Reenforce success' is the argument we should make, not what I've experienced around here.

 

Yes I'll be at the women's game. Up to 1,200 schoolkids may be there today.

 

McElroy on Wyland's show this morning confirmed that he and Ford saw the governor and first lady. The stadium project is definitely NOT a dead issue. McE said he got a greater appreciation of how complicated the budget process is.

 

Princeton grad Spitzer was also invited to Fallon Field for the lax game vs. the Tigers on March 21. I hope that means we'll have some seating by then - or maybe not, and make the governor stand like everyone else.

 

Also, D'Argenio has sent us a proposal for a new $iena contract that would make it more fair for us, but doesn't want to get into final negotiations until after the MAAC tournament. So maybe an April announcement.

 

 

That's great news in my opinion. I just hope its not lip service.

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McElroy on Wyland's show this morning confirmed that he and Ford saw the governor and first lady. The stadium project is definitely NOT a dead issue. McE said he got a greater appreciation of how complicated the budget process is.

 

Where are all the Debbie Downers on this? If you're quick to slam NYS, SUNY, UAlbany, etc for negative news (that does not yet have a result) shouldn't you all be quick to embrace/congratulate the Gov, UAlbany, etc for this positive news (that does not yet have a result)?

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McElroy on Wyland's show this morning confirmed that he and Ford saw the governor and first lady. The stadium project is definitely NOT a dead issue. McE said he got a greater appreciation of how complicated the budget process is.

 

Where are all the Debbie Downers on this? If you're quick to slam NYS, SUNY, UAlbany, etc for negative news (that does not yet have a result) shouldn't you all be quick to embrace/congratulate the Gov, UAlbany, etc for this positive news (that does not yet have a result)?

 

Debbie Downer here to say....this looks like a positive step on the right direction. No doubt the exclusive access to him will do nothing but help us in the long run. I don't know how they got that kind of access to him but kudos!

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Where are all the Debbie Downers on this?

 

It's not a question of being a "downer". It's a question of understanding your position and fighting to improve it. Fact, this is a positive sign. No doubt about it. BUT it’s just a sign. Here are some facts...

 

---------------------------------------------------

 

A conversation at the executive mansion is a positive sign but it isn't quite as solid as the factual reality of Spitzer's State of the State where he said and I quote:

 

"We will move forward on the University at Buffalo's 2020 expansion as a centerpiece of our strategy to reinvigorate the economy of Western New York,". By the way the New Times says that will cost $1.6 Billion

 

This sign is also a little less solid than the facts in this New York Newsday article about Stony Brook's law school, which I quote.

 

"Sen. Kenneth LaValle (R-Port Jefferson), a valued friend of Stony Brook, is enthusiastic about the idea. In fact, he's pushing to get something done on this possible acquisition as part of the budget negotiations."

 

It's also a bit less solid than this quote from New York Newsday:

 

"In his State of the State address, he talked about the need for flagship campuses in both Buffalo and at Stony Brook, and he understands the centrality of Stony Brook to the Island's future high-tech economy."

 

I am trying to be positive but pragmatic. Upbeat not a Pollyanna. Cautious optimism doesn't mean waiting until the budget is passed to see what UA received, if anything.

 

To my knowledge, not 1 politician has gone on record to say we should get a stadium. Canstrani came the closest when he said "yes, but maybe not this year" Unfortunetly the bad news is more solid on facts versus our positive signs.

Edited by ATL_DANE
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I found the article that said Ford and McElroy watched the Super Bowl with Spitzer. I reiterate, a positive sign but with 60 people in the room, I'm not sure McElroy had a chance to discuss the stadium. I hope Spitzer will come to see UAlbany as a great university deserving of a great stadium!

 

Quote:

 

"Giants quarterback Eli Manning, the Super Bowl MVP, has new “star status,” and the national media will be at camp to scrutinize him and the team more closely, said McElroy, who watched the Super Bowl at the Executive Mansion with Gov. Eliot Spitzer and about 60 other invited guests on Sunday, including University at Albany football coach Bob Ford."

 

http://www.dailygazette.com/news/2008/feb/05/0205_ualbany/

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At Buffalo, we have the plans for a demolition of the North Stands at our stadium, to be replaced with a new video board and new field house. It hasn't been formally announced, but the design has been posted in the comprehensive physical plan listing of upcoming projects. The interesting part is that our AD is preparing to have this project privately funded as best he can (it appears it may be in the $30-40 Million range). The latest update via a Bob DiCesare commentary piece from today's Buffalo News, here is the important excerpt:

 

"Now Manuel, the athletics director at the University at Buffalo, is looking to raise perhaps three to four times that amount for a multipurpose facility that would allow the football team to practice indoors and benefit the university’s recreation and intramural programs as well as the community. The structure’s not a luxury but a necessity if UB is to keep progressing and perhaps become a perennial contender in the Mid-American Conference. In terms of facilities, the Bulls have been operating at a distinct disadvantage since upgrading to Division I football. They need to get with the times, satisfy the wish lists

of potential recruits.

 

If state Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno hailed from Buffalo the university would have had the money in hand by now. But he doesn’t and therefore it doesn’t. State power brokers have been slow to realize that athletic programs, and athletic success, can be powerful branding agents for any university or a state system. For instance, the University of Miami comes to mind because of the long-term success of its football program. Not until the injury to Kevin Everett were Average Joes like me acquainted with the neurological expertise of Miami’s medical school. That’s just the way it is.

 

But Manuel has no intention of asking the state to underwrite all of UB’s athletic expansion. He brought fresh ideas with him to Buffalo, including the need to formulate a plan, realize results within that plan and then cultivate donors from within the university’s vast network of alumni.

 

“I’m not going to state for every single dime to build a facility,” Manuel said last week. “At Michigan, we didn’t go to state. My take is you have to go out and raise money from people to support what you’re doing.”

 

Of course, DiCesare is wrong as far as Bruno goes, but correct overall. There was a 4 part series in The News recently all about how Bruno has helped projects at UAlbany and around Albany, and the commentary was written with that piece fresh in his mind. It appears Uncle Joe has not jumped on the UAlbany stadium push, so saying he would do so for UB if he represented WNY is incorrect. He is correct about the problems with the power-brokers. Buffalo had a successful venture into building the Alfiero Center, a 29000 sq ft expansion building for the School of Management, UB’s first academic facility to be funded primarily through private donations ($7 million), so maybe the field house can be pulled off in whole or in large part by fund raising.

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Good Article UBBulls. Here's the point that needs to be understood.

 

UB and UA are in different positions. First, UB already has a football stadium. UB is looking to enhance their stadium where UA is looking to construct their stadium. UA needs major capital to get started. We just want to be treated fairly. There are three D1 SUNY football teams only 2 have stadiums and yes, both built by New York state.

 

Second, UB's community is much larger than UA and they can draw from that community. They have more students, employees and alumni. They also have richer alumni since UB has had professional schools such as law. UA was a teacher's college until the 1960's and 1970's. Teachers don't tend to become millionaires. Our business school is in their first generation of alumni, such as myself. Nano may bring in some higher paid researchers and alumni but that will take time. UA does not have the same well of donors.

 

Third, western New York's terrible economy is bringing a lot of attention to UB. UA has not been mentioned as a flagship. UA has not been mentioned for a new professional school. UA has not been mentioned for expansion. UB is getting attention that UA has not. They'll be getting $1.6B of attention real soon.

 

It's easy for UB to say athletics should be privately funded when they have already gained the advantage of state money. If UA is going to develop, it needs facilities. If UA wants to be treated as "big time" it has to look big time. Build it and they will come. You can't expect people to show up to a 1960's era high school level field and call it D1. Just treat UA comparably to SBU and UB. UA is still a equal university center, right?

Edited by ATL_DANE
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One other point,

 

The folks in Buffalo should understand that Bruno and Calestrani haven't proven themselves to be friends of UA, the university. They're alums of private schools and could care less about UA. They do care about jobs. The funding to UA has mostly been about building jobs, not enhancing the student experience. Jobs are what is driving the development of East Greenbush and nano, not student development. I applaud that development but lets be clear, not many students are doing nano or cancer research.

 

UA needs a Senator LaValle. He has really helped and seems to care about Stony Brook. If the Touro Law School deal goes through, he'd be a Stony Brook alum. Having a powerful politician is helpful but Buffalo should know, the LaValle-SBU analogy is much better than the UA-Bruno situation.

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By the way at last night's game I saw Dr McElroy. I thanked him for his work and inquired about the stadium. I'm sure he's tiried of people asking but I had to do it. His response was "it's in the government's hands". Take away from that what you will but that is the most current update.

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