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Old 10-29-2018, 06:41 AM   #946 (permalink)
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Re: UVM New Arena Thread

Perhaps as a result of waiting this long, I can't help but be cynical until I hear concrete plans. Maybe the mall project is also making me skeptical!

Anyway, I find a few things troublesome:

1. I listened to Jeff Shulmann on 620AM this morning and he completed dodged the fundraising question. He said they need to raise $30m and will continue to raise money but did not say how far along they are. Only said they wouldn;t have gone to the BOT if they didn't feel good about things. Looking at the list of donor opportunities posted online, the only big ticket item that has been checked off is the basketball court @ $3m. Doing quick math, they only seem to have 6-7m in hand unless they are holding off on an announcement. It seems like this would be the time to make an announcement if there was one.

2. The cost has really gone up on this project. It was $60m, then $80m and not over $90m. I don't pin this on Jeff but someone at the University needs to be accountable to that. They keep seeing increasing costs, which I imagine won't get better any time soon with the new tariffs, as a result of their indecisiveness and inability to move forward. This project could have happened for $30m less 3-4 years ago is my understanding.

I hope this happens but some of the vague comments and lack of details have me worried! Anyone else feel this way? Better yet, can anyone offer assurance? Remember, this project has been "approved" by the trustees before...
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Old 10-29-2018, 06:48 AM   #947 (permalink)
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Re: UVM New Arena Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by llefebvrevt View Post
Perhaps as a result of waiting this long, I can't help but be cynical until I hear concrete plans. Maybe the mall project is also making me skeptical!

Anyway, I find a few things troublesome:

1. I listened to Jeff Shulmann on 620AM this morning and he completed dodged the fundraising question. He said they need to raise $30m and will continue to raise money but did not say how far along they are. Only said they wouldn;t have gone to the BOT if they didn't feel good about things. Looking at the list of donor opportunities posted online, the only big ticket item that has been checked off is the basketball court @ $3m. Doing quick math, they only seem to have 6-7m in hand unless they are holding off on an announcement. It seems like this would be the time to make an announcement if there was one.

2. The cost has really gone up on this project. It was $60m, then $80m and not over $90m. I don't pin this on Jeff but someone at the University needs to be accountable to that. They keep seeing increasing costs, which I imagine won't get better any time soon with the new tariffs, as a result of their indecisiveness and inability to move forward. This project could have happened for $30m less 3-4 years ago is my understanding.

I hope this happens but some of the vague comments and lack of details have me worried! Anyone else feel this way? Better yet, can anyone offer assurance? Remember, this project has been "approved" by the trustees before...
How can anyone not be a bit cynical, at this point?

Nothing happens w/out money, so will be interesting to see what takes place in order to meet the minimum fundraising goal.

No more BFP articles, no more radio shows, they just need To Do. Less talking, more Doing.
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Old 10-29-2018, 07:10 AM   #948 (permalink)
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Re: UVM New Arena Thread

agreed, the whole thing just seemed bizarre. If it is a political move by athletics to paint the BOT into the corner, then well done. I've always felt the unviersity should be funding more of this anyway. If they are at a point of no return, regardless of additional private funding, that's great too!
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Old 10-29-2018, 08:56 AM   #949 (permalink)
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Re: UVM New Arena Thread

There's definitely the indication that Gustafson and President Sullivan (and to a lesser extent Schulman) are trying to ram it through before Sullivan steps down in June, as the next president will likely not be bullish on athletics. Not that Sullivan is in anyway pro-athletics, but he's much less anti-athletics than past presidents and I imagine that's who the next president will be too.

From a pessimistic viewpoint it appears that the board's actions are more of a hail mary if anything, knowing this is the last opportunity they have.

That said, Becker and others are VERY optimistic now; they haven't been in the past so I'm holding out hope that there are donors behind the scenes that we don't know about. It's just so frustrating seeing all the money the trustees were so eager to put into that new STEM complex (bonded out $78M and Daigle "Hoped for" another $26m in donations, but they begin construction anyway) but are unwilling to accommodate this more modest proposal.
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Old 10-29-2018, 09:03 AM   #950 (permalink)
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Re: UVM New Arena Thread

The STEM complex should be the most relatable capital project to the Multipurpose Arena. Similar in size and scope.

"An initial feasibility report showed that the university would be lucky to raise $5 million for the project. Since that time, the amount raised has bumped up from $3.2 million to $4.1 million with a pledge from the Pizzagalli Foundation promised by Jim Pizzagalli, the past chair of the UVM board"

Ie, they weren't terribly bullish then about meeting the fundraising targets on time that set for themselves, but went ahead with the project anyway. I'm optimistic this could be the direction we go in this year; perhaps they'll use the $65m they bond out this fall for the actual new construction, then wait on the reno to the Gut and the new Wellness Center until they're closer to the fundraising target.


https://vtdigger.org/2015/02/08/uvm-...-stem-complex/
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Old 10-29-2018, 10:41 AM   #951 (permalink)
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Re: UVM New Arena Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by llefebvrevt View Post
Perhaps as a result of waiting this long, I can't help but be cynical until I hear concrete plans. Maybe the mall project is also making me skeptical!

Anyway, I find a few things troublesome:

1. I listened to Jeff Shulmann on 620AM this morning and he completed dodged the fundraising question. He said they need to raise $30m and will continue to raise money but did not say how far along they are. Only said they wouldn;t have gone to the BOT if they didn't feel good about things. Looking at the list of donor opportunities posted online, the only big ticket item that has been checked off is the basketball court @ $3m. Doing quick math, they only seem to have 6-7m in hand unless they are holding off on an announcement. It seems like this would be the time to make an announcement if there was one.

2. The cost has really gone up on this project. It was $60m, then $80m and not over $90m. I don't pin this on Jeff but someone at the University needs to be accountable to that. They keep seeing increasing costs, which I imagine won't get better any time soon with the new tariffs, as a result of their indecisiveness and inability to move forward. This project could have happened for $30m less 3-4 years ago is my understanding.

I hope this happens but some of the vague comments and lack of details have me worried! Anyone else feel this way? Better yet, can anyone offer assurance? Remember, this project has been "approved" by the trustees before...
The cost increase is due to more detailed specs Iím sure. Not sure why you think they actually could do the exact same project 3 years ago for $30M less; inflation is the only variable. That the cost has increased and it still is a go is good news from my standpoint.

I talked to a friend who is on the BOD. He tells me itís a done deal, they anticipate the Arena to be done Aug. 2020. Granted it was a quick conversation, didnít get into nitty gritty specifics, but at least I talked to a real source vs a lot of the speculation here.
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Old 10-29-2018, 10:55 AM   #952 (permalink)
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Re: UVM New Arena Thread

Thanks, jfromvt. We need you - and others - to post things like this when you talk to actual sources to curtail the spectulation. Im not surprised by the increased cost - but definitely think it is unfortunate when they could have moved quicker. If binding is the path and fundraising is less the priority then they could have saved some significant dollars doing this project earlier. That's all I'm saying.

It seems like UVM comes out with grand plans to fundraise, fail to meet the goal and then the financing happens through the BOT. I'd love to see the Foundation and in this case athletics meet their fundraising obligation so people start seeing the value donations can have on campus. If I'm a modest donor why would I part with my resources if I know the university is just going to back up the difference? the more this happens, the less likely it is to meet a goal the next time.
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Old 10-30-2018, 06:26 AM   #953 (permalink)
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Re: UVM New Arena Thread

VTdigger just did a piece in much great depth and detail than the WCAX stuff or UVM press releases.

I was pleased to learn that.... "Capacity for the new basketball facility will be between 3,400 and 3,500, about a 10 percent increase from the current home of the university’s men’s and women’s basketball teams."

Hopefully there will be another ~150-200 standing-room tickets on the concourse, bringing total capacity to that 3,600-3,700 range many of us had agreed was a sweet spot.

https://vtdigger.org/2018/10/29/cons...-begin-winter/
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Old 10-30-2018, 10:31 AM   #954 (permalink)
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Re: UVM New Arena Thread

As a parent of a student, they do have a pretty significant "student fee" for athletics, which provides the department quite a chunk in terms of their annual resources. It also offsets the cost of recreation. they are lying about not having a fee for recreation. It is just called something different.

Why can't anyone get an on the record comment - or a public records request - around fundraising? It's not premature for Jacobson to say what has been raised thus far - unless it is not impressive.

I think we could all feel a lot better if we had more confidence in the privtae support.
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Old 10-30-2018, 10:40 AM   #955 (permalink)
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Re: UVM New Arena Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by llefebvrevt View Post
As a parent of a student, they do have a pretty significant "student fee" for athletics, which provides the department quite a chunk in terms of their annual resources. It also offsets the cost of recreation. they are lying about not having a fee for recreation. It is just called something different.

Why can't anyone get an on the record comment - or a public records request - around fundraising? It's not premature for Jacobson to say what has been raised thus far - unless it is not impressive.

I think we could all feel a lot better if we had more confidence in the privtae support.
There was some talk a few years ago about needing to create a "foundation" so that donors who wanted their identity protected could do so. I'm sure the "foundation" also keeps the fundraising out of the public domain...

I would suggest, if you are a donor and want specific results about the campaign, you personally ask someone from the foundation or Victory Club. They may give you the number...they may not...
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Old 10-30-2018, 12:04 PM   #956 (permalink)
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Re: UVM New Arena Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by llefebvrevt View Post
As a parent of a student, they do have a pretty significant "student fee" for athletics, which provides the department quite a chunk in terms of their annual resources. It also offsets the cost of recreation. they are lying about not having a fee for recreation. It is just called something different.

Why can't anyone get an on the record comment - or a public records request - around fundraising? It's not premature for Jacobson to say what has been raised thus far - unless it is not impressive.

I think we could all feel a lot better if we had more confidence in the privtae support.
There's multiple strategic reasons why those involved with the fundraising campaign do not want to disclose the current committed amount. That being said, it's probably a safe assumption that the committed capital thus far is below target- if it wasn't, I think there would be more public disclosure around positive news. People typically don't see articles or headlines like "University embarks on fundraising campaign to create new basketball court; falls significantly short of target- wonders what to do next". Personally, I'm completely fine with only those that "matter" for lack of a kinder way of saying it- ie the check writing donors and UVM Leadership- President, Trustees, UVM Foundation team, AD, etc/ having knowledge of the current and prospective fundraising.

The VT Digger article that VCat 2015 posted is the first article I've seen that has some real, tangible information. Most importantly is this part:

The resolution requires the university brings in $30 million in gifts exclusively for athletics or the project by February 1, 2019. Of those $30 million in gifts, at least $15 million must be through signed commitments scheduled to be received as cash by the end of 2021.

I suspect UVM has assurances that it will at least hit the minimum cash target of $15mm to be able to spend by 2021- and still be able to move forward, if not the full $30mm. Otherwise, I'm not sure there would have ever been this recent Board of Trustees vote.
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Old 10-30-2018, 12:22 PM   #957 (permalink)
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Re: UVM New Arena Thread

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As a parent of a student, they do have a pretty significant "student fee" for athletics, which provides the department quite a chunk in terms of their annual resources. It also offsets the cost of recreation. they are lying about not having a fee for recreation. It is just called something different.
Yeah, that few was around as well when I was a student- so that fee likely definitely already still exists as you point out. This might be an additional "new facilities/building fee" that gets tacked on which would be my guess. Something I am a member of down here just went through massive renovation, so all members now have a $25/month New Building Fee tacked on to our bill through 2024 or whatever it is. UVM will likely do this.

There was another student activities fee which gave some students access to various season tickets- I know Hockey was definitely part of it, which a lot of my friends parents just signed them up for- but that was an opt-in situation and I always opted out.
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Old 10-30-2018, 03:14 PM   #958 (permalink)
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Re: UVM New Arena Thread

today's article by Abrami indicates the new arena will seat 3,200 for basketball and 4,000 for events. That is 200-300 less seats than indicated by the VTDigger article.

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Old 10-30-2018, 03:15 PM   #959 (permalink)
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Re: UVM New Arena Thread

Thank goodness for VT. Digger. As traditional media sources get decimated by layoffs and fewer resources it's great to see investigative journalism still alive a well; albeit in a different format and in a different space.

Really happy that they have added a "few" extra seats. I'm also happy to see that they can start construction before all the fundraising goals have been met. Given all the announcements on social media and in traditional media there must be donors they have lined up to reach that $15 million requirement so we can reach that goal by February. The 2020-2021 season is only two years away!
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Old 10-30-2018, 06:05 PM   #960 (permalink)
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Re: UVM New Arena Thread

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today's article by Abrami indicates the new arena will seat 3,200 for basketball and 4,000 for events, thta is less seating than indicated by the VTDigger article.
I think the VTDigger figures must have included standing room/total saleable tickets (referenced capacity) while the Free Press was actual number of seats.

Also, they might not know the exact configuration either. For example, they have two zamboni-sized entrances to the court yet this is a basketball-specific arena, are those really necessary? Maybe there are some alternative plans that have those gaps covered up with seats and those details havenít been finalized or decided on yet.
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