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Football: Will Cal’s ambitious plan for Memorial Stadium financing become a `disaster?’

Here is staff writer Jon Wilner’s story on Cal’s troubled Memorial Stadium financing plan.

There’s more:

– Athletic department’s past reporting of ESP sales misleading at best.

– Cal seeks new revenue streams to pay down bond debt.

– Cal and Washington took different approaches to stadium renovations.

Jeff Faraudo

  • 707 Bear

    Comedy of errors from the start.

  • GldnBear71

    AD Barbour needs to go. When you add this fiasco to our dismal APR one wonders not if but when.

  • H8sRed

    The parade of “The Sky Is Falling” headlines is beyond annoying. The Chronicle’s article a couple weeks ago was simply a hatchet job for which only long-time naysayers were interviewed. (This from the same news organization that said in the Spring of 2012 there was no way the stadium would be ready for the first game.)

    California Golden Blogs has an excellent write-up on the real story here: http://www.californiagoldenblogs.com/2013/6/25/4461610/home-to-the-golden-bears-of-the-past-present-and-future-the-true

  • BlakeStreetBear

    If and when the stadium is full again for EVERY game, like from 2004-2008, this goes away. If and when Sonny gets this team rolling again, the people will show up en masse. We caught a glimpse of the bigtime during the good days of JT, but I think that even bigger things are coming.

    Yes, I have drunk the Sonny D and will let no “reports” rattle my resolve to believe that this is the man to lead us back to Pasadena (and pay off the house that JT built). I am already wondering where on campus they are gonna put his statue…or maybe his face could someday replace the clock faces on the Campanile? Or change the name of Telegraph Ave to Sonny Dykes Boulevard? ;)

    is it frickin august yet…?

    Go Bears!

  • BlakeStreetBear

    And who cares about the money? Is it going to affect how the players play on the field? It shouldn’t. Is it going to affect ticket prices, you bet, but what in the Bay Area is cheap?

    This program is trying to get back and stay in the bigtime. You have to applaud them for trying by first modernizing the ENTIRE FOOTBALL PROGRAM, stadium/fan-experience/player-facilities/coach. This is not some lame piecemeal attempt to slowly go big, this is it. The UC is trying to turn the football program into a real moneymaker, a cashcow for the school, just like every other bigtime football program in the country – is that a bad thing? We know how GD expensive EVERYTHING in the Bay Area is, so why is it surprising that a stadium in texass or mi or wa cost way less? You can get a 5 bedroom in a decent neighborhood in mi/texass for what, 100K? The cost of the stadium seems about right to me. It is gonna be there forever…let’s move on from the gloom and doom and talk of rolling heads. I am excited to be in that awesome and very expensive stadium come fall.

  • 707 Bear

    Here I go again: The new Memorial was financed with the belief that our fan base was on par with the other great college programs around the country. It is’nt.

    We couldn’t get our fans—students especially—to come to SF for the 2011 season. That’s all the evidence you need.

    I’ll be at Memorial in the fall no matter what, but I’m part of the loyal group that is way too small for this financing scheme.

    Go Bears! 66 Days to Go!!!!

  • The Wisdom Cow

    707 Bear is very correct. H8sRed, too.

    I get annoyed by the articles that almost all lean toward making it a bigger story than it is. The comparisons to UW got off on the wrong foot from the get go – on a fault vs in a seismic area should have been acknowledged as a factor in the price differences instead of saying the projects were twinsies, but whatever.

    The truth is Cal doesn’t even need to start winning to start making more money. Look at Stanfurd, even winning doesn’t bring them in, in and of itself. On this front, Dykes was probably the correct hire. The offense will lead the league in plays run. Games will be exciting, even if we lose, at least most games should be exciting, anyways.

    The plan is clearly to follow the Cohan scheme of sports management. Dazzle them and make money. It should work, at a minimum, to shut up “the sky is falling” crowd within a few years. The headlines will be, “How Cal Got Things Back On Track,” though the hole will still be large.

    The fact that Dykes may well be able to make a winner, if the DC can carry his weight, is gravy.

    I have my doubts, still, as to whether the football formula of Dykes can win without top notch DCs allowed to have their own feifdom (needing a guy like Franklin, ironically, who likes the idea of being a coordinator in a good place more than ambitions toward bein a HC). It’ll take guys like that for the DC position (I’m pleading ignorance on Buh, but didn’t like the switch to 4-3, especially after reading much on defending the vertical pass protection sets), or a steady stream of top DC minds, to really put the team over the top.

    That said, financially speaking, Dykes and an exciting, high tempo offense, will increase the butts in the seats. I have no doubts about that.

  • Boaltblue

    It was ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY to renovate the stadium and build that new training facilities. We have those assets because of Jeff Tedford and Sandy Barbour, and I give to them many thanks.

    While I hope that the football program can be self-sufficient and pay off the debt for both the stadium and the training facilities, as a football fan, I will just enjoy the new stadium and indirectly reap the benefits that the new training facilities bestow upon our athletic teams.

    Whether the fans, students, or taxpayers carry some financial burden for the new assets, so be it. The stadium and training facilities are here to stay.

    Go Bears!

  • Juancho

    My only issue is the seat licenses.

  • Bobsac

    If you think the stadium financing scheme was a ridiculous pipe dream, wait until the Delta Water Tunnels boondoggle gets approved if common sense & the Endangered Species Act don’t stop them. The stadium looks like a bad tune of around an extra $ 100 – $ 200 million. The Water Tunnels would be about $ 50 billion down the drain. That said, Go Bears. Win games & help us enjoy some Saturdays not thinking about the boondoggles our State govt is up to.

  • milo

    Yeah it was a debacle but again, what were the alternatives? Build a new stadium off-site? Build elsewhere on campus? Screw the National Register?

    See that’s the rub, none of the above were realistic. UC really had no other options and yes it hit the quadruple whammy of tree sitters, a bad economy, losing and playing off-site for a year.

    Winning will fix most of the problem.

  • Dan

    To all those praising Tedfraud on here for years, giving him all the credit referring to the new digs as the “House That Tedford Built”, I always replied it would one day be known as “The Debt That Tedford Built” … And here we go.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Bobsac, how about when we learn just how bad KJ raped Sacramento to keep the Kings. It’s the only possible justification for the NBA, that Sac gave so much, setting such an example, where Seattle was going to use private funds, unacceptible for other owners to vote for, who may otherwise be asked to pay their own way some day.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Milo, the tree sitters are never blamed or noted, and neither are the panoramic view society, they cost the school, and now the state, an obscene amount of money. Some stories really need to factor that crap into the equation.

  • Bobsac

    Wisdom Cow, I had forgotten about the Kings giveaway. Add to that the east span Bay Bridge going from under $ 1 billion to over $6 billion with a bunch of defective parts. We need the Bears to make the Rosé Bowl this year to help us thru the pain of all the hits to our minds & our wallets from the State, the Big U, & KJ.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Great point on the east span. Cal’s renovations don’t come close to that clusterhump, which ain’t anywhere near done yet.

  • BlueNGold

    Wow, the nattering nabobs of negativism are out in force today! The article that H8sRed linked from Golden Bear Blogs did a great job of not only explaining all of the components of the financing plan, but also of refuting the arguments that were raised by the Chron, Yahoo and the Washington paper articles that projected failure. And Juancho, the reason for selling seat licenses, as opposed to seat tickets, is to create a fund to invest, which is also a component of the revenue projected to be available to pay off the debt.

  • rotfogel

    “If you build it, they will come”…in the case of Cal football should have been “If you build it, you better play well or else they won’t come”.