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The Harold Alfond Foundation's $90 million gift to UMaine Athletics will be distributed over the next 10 years, serving as a long-term investment in UMaine's student-athletes, staff, and community. It is the lead gift in a planned $110 million investment in athletic facilities on the Orono campus, all expected to be funded through private philanthropy.
 

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That is great news!
 

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Never want to hear Maine complain about money ever again. :)

Question: if Maine ends up building an on-campus facility to house basketball, what becomes of the Cross Center? I know they host concerts and stuff, but do they have other tenants to fill their schedule? Does Maine have some kind of lease agreement with them? For how long?
 

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Never want to hear Maine complain about money ever again. :)

Question: if Maine ends up building an on-campus facility to house basketball, what becomes of the Cross Center? I know they host concerts and stuff, but do they have other tenants to fill their schedule? Does Maine have some kind of lease agreement with them? For how long?
Good question. In the end it is not UM's problem.....but the City of Bangor has to be thinking....why the hell didn't we spend a few more million to configure this arena for hockey?....DUH! They now have a white elephant "casino" across the street that will most likely be shuttered sooner rather than later....and now a white elephant arena that may lose their prime tenants (UM basketball) and can't even host ice hockey events in freakin Bangor, Maine because of their short-sighted and miserly ways.
 

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Good question. In the end it is not UM's problem.....but the City of Bangor has to be thinking....why the hell didn't we spend a few more million to configure this arena for hockey?....DUH! They now have a white elephant "casino" across the street that will most likely be shuttered sooner rather than later....and now a white elephant arena that may lose their prime tenants (UM basketball) and can't even host ice hockey events in freakin Bangor, Maine because of their short-sighted and miserly ways.
I seriously have never understood why that arena was not built so it could host ice hockey, skating, etc. Made no sense then and even less now. I wonder if they are able to retrofit it? Probably cost a small fortune for that anyway.
 

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Harold Alfond was the best thing to happen to sports in the state of Maine by far. Extremely humbling amount of generosity. And it's not just UMaine and the NESCACs that his family has given so much to... high school sports, community YMCA centers, community ski programs, etc. Inspirational when compared to the absence of philanthropy from the Bezos-Trump-Musk billionaires of today.
 

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Amazing! Can't wait for new basketball/hockey arena(s)! And THAT is how it's done Vermont. ;)馃弨馃彃
That is indeed how it's done.
 

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I seriously have never understood why that arena was not built so it could host ice hockey, skating, etc. Made no sense then and even less now. I wonder if they are able to retrofit it? Probably cost a small fortune for that anyway.
I don't get the "there should be ice" argument. What hockey team would go in there that would draw enough fans to even turn the lights on? The Bangor area has the D-I college team. Portland has the pro team. Lewiston has had a revolving door of junior hockey. Frankly, of the three, none are lighting the world on fire with attendance. Does the state really need a fourth hockey option? And "Disney on Ice" and those types of shows bring their ice in with them.

I don't think the plan or hope was to ever have an "anchor tenant." During the deliberations, Maine basketball was not really mentioned as a permanent tenant. Heck, the arena schedules over Maine's preferred dates all the time. Concerts and conventions were always the plan.

Will the arena/convention center ever make money itself? Probably not, but that isn't the point of city or state owned assets. If it was a solid gold money-maker, some private company would have built it. The area needed a convention center, and local shops and restaurants and hotels benefit from that. The area needed to replace the Auditorium before it fell on someone's head, and a 100,000+ sized metro area can't not have a municipal arena, so we have a municipal arena. It cost what it cost. 15-20 times a year Cyndi Lauper or Monster Trucks or Bull Riding swings through and people eat at the Sea Dog. High school basketball has a venue north of Augusta for regional tournaments. The Bangor area doesn't need it's 403rd swing and miss at professional sports. The QMJHL or whoever doesn't need to tilt at another junior hockey windmill in the state of Maine. This is life in America's hinterland.
 

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I don't get the "there should be ice" argument. What hockey team would go in there that would draw enough fans to even turn the lights on? The Bangor area has the D-I college team. Portland has the pro team. Lewiston has had a revolving door of junior hockey. Frankly, of the three, none are lighting the world on fire with attendance. Does the state really need a fourth hockey option? And "Disney on Ice" and those types of shows bring their ice in with them.

I don't think the plan or hope was to ever have an "anchor tenant." During the deliberations, Maine basketball was not really mentioned as a permanent tenant. Heck, the arena schedules over Maine's preferred dates all the time. Concerts and conventions were always the plan.

Will the arena/convention center ever make money itself? Probably not, but that isn't the point of city or state owned assets. If it was a solid gold money-maker, some private company would have built it. The area needed a convention center, and local shops and restaurants and hotels benefit from that. The area needed to replace the Auditorium before it fell on someone's head, and a 100,000+ sized metro area can't not have a municipal arena, so we have a municipal arena. It cost what it cost. 15-20 times a year Cyndi Lauper or Monster Trucks or Bull Riding swings through and people eat at the Sea Dog. High school basketball has a venue north of Augusta for regional tournaments. The Bangor area doesn't need it's 403rd swing and miss at professional sports. The QMJHL or whoever doesn't need to tilt at another junior hockey windmill in the state of Maine. This is life in America's hinterland.
All valid, but I think the point I'm making is why not at least have that option? The Alfond always has groups looking to rent and book ice time, whether it be local high schools, local youth groups, adult leagues, etc.
 

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Bangor already has a public rink in Sawyer Arena. That's plenty for the groups that are actually from Bangor. To the extent that Hampden Academy, Brewer, Old Town/Orono, etc. don't have the ice for their citizenry, well, that's what they get for Penobscot County refusing to contribute money to the arena.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Bangor might be the biggest loser in all of this. They're likely to lose their only major tenant, and in the end, they might lose the Tournament as well. The University has made it very clear that through this Alfond grant, they want them used widely by the campus community and the state. They want to host every regional and state championship they can. The University sees the value of bringing hundreds, if not thousands, of prospective students to campus any way they can. Not to mention, they'll probably give the MPA a better deal than what Spectra and the CIC has.
 

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Bangor might be the biggest loser in all of this. They're likely to lose their only major tenant, and in the end, they might lose the Tournament as well. The University has made it very clear that through this Alfond grant, they want them used widely by the campus community and the state. They want to host every regional and state championship they can. The University sees the value of bringing hundreds, if not thousands, of prospective students to campus any way they can. Not to mention, they'll probably give the MPA a better deal than what Spectra and the CIC has.
I can definitely see that happening. CIC management has been horrible and has turned everyone off to events being held there. The other thing too is that Orono is finally starting to become more of a destination college town. Many new breweries, restaurants and other businesses compared to 5 or 10 years ago. As far as Bangor goes.....they put their eggs in the CIC/Casino/Concerts basket.....good luck with that.
 

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Bangor might be the biggest loser in all of this. They're likely to lose their only major tenant, and in the end, they might lose the Tournament as well. The University has made it very clear that through this Alfond grant, they want them used widely by the campus community and the state. They want to host every regional and state championship they can. The University sees the value of bringing hundreds, if not thousands, of prospective students to campus any way they can. Not to mention, they'll probably give the MPA a better deal than what Spectra and the CIC has.
Eh. It would hurt a bit, but it isn't like the big Class A or AA schools play at Bangor anymore. And the days of "Turn out the lights in Jonesport- the whole town is headed to the Auditorium" have passed as well. I guess I don't see this as a disaster in any way for Bangor.
 

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Eh. It would hurt a bit, but it isn't like the big Class A or AA schools play at Bangor anymore. And the days of "Turn out the lights in Jonesport- the whole town is headed to the Auditorium" have passed as well. I guess I don't see this as a disaster in any way for Bangor.
It should be noted that the As might be back in Bangor if the proposed reclassification goes through. The CIC itself is a money pit, losing upwards of $4M a year. To lose nine full dates and around 40K people coming through the building is still a loss.
 
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