State Government

VIPS To Look Down On Bleacher Fans

We note that Boise State will ask the State Board of Education for approval at a Monday meeting to build a luxury suites-club seats-press box addition to Bronco Stadium.

The project will cost $35.9 million, with $28 million financed through a bond sale. The athletic department will pay for the rest in cash. Nice deal for the rich and famous.

Will they be able to consume adult beverages upon high as they look down on the poor shivering or sun bleached masses sitting in prohibition seats?

Comments & Discussion

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  1. 35.9 million!
    How many young people could we send to college for 35.9 million?

    How many people could have good medical care?
    How many people could we feed?

    Could 35.9 million produce the technolgy for less polluting cars and help getting us off oil?
    Guess we shouldn’t think that way. The rich need to be pampered and it’s our duty to except those facts.

  2. Yossarian_22
    Jan 3, 2007, 12:19 pm

    This is one good reason I hate sports! It’s really about all of the wasted money and resources put into things like stadiums and training facilities, etc.

    MIT isn’t known for any sports accomplishments, but it IS known for its academic prowess. Wish we could say the same.

    Robert is absolutely right re how the money is spent. I can’t believe all of the insane press that the Fiesta Bowl is getting. 3000 US kids and maybe 600,000 Iraqis killed in Iraq and we celebrate over trivial contests of machoism.

    If people want to play and watch football, let them use their own money to build the facilities and play/watch. Use the weekends to go to the park and get a game going.

    Another problem I have with the fandom is that hundreds of people were allowed to run in the streets w/o any consequences from law enforcement to answer to. But when a group that advocates a political issue steps into the street w/o a permit, the cops come down on them. I guess this is waht passes for “democracy” in America.

    Note to all activists, be sure to wear orange and blue at your next march for universal health care or living wage action, then you’ll be “politically correct.”

  3. It’s easy to get caught up in class envy. I hope Mr. Guardian and his loyal readers can resist the impulse.

    Yeah, it would be SWEET to have a paid-for-life luxury skybox to look down from, on the mighty Broncos and the crawling hordes of common rabble. And indeed, it will be the well-heeled (and/or influential) who enjoy those lofty perches. (Does anybody think the Board will say “no” to the proposal? Highly unlikely.)

    But bear in mind… the expansion is NOT a gift to the Jack Simplots and Steve Appletons of the community. The $28 million will be repaid by them. And the Athletic Department is sitting on a wad of cash, due to the success of the football program. (And the sold-out bleachers, TV contracts, etc., which have resulted.) Why not invest it in an improvement to the facility? Is there any reason to think it won’t pay for itself, many times over, as long as the Broncos keep winnin’?

    Yeah, $36 million could pay for a lot of feedin’ and doctorin’ and book-learnin’. (Advance new low-emission vehicle technology? Not likely.) But eventually we’ll get a Miss America who will take care of all that stuff. GO BRONCOS!!! (/sarcasm)

    Guardian: Your open question about “adult beverages” is truly intriguing. It will be VERY interesting to see if the strict no-alcohol policy is relaxed for the mucky-mucks. (And if so, to watch ’em try to spin it so it’s palatable to all the poor and sober fans down below.)

  4. The FOX announcers asked a question in the beginning of the Fiesta Bowl. “Can the little Dog run with the BIG Dogs?” By the end of the game the answer was obvious.

    If you look at the top college football and basketball programs, they are profit centers. In fact, Congress has looked into revising the not-for-profit status given to college athletic programs. As Bikeboy stated, the profit from ticket sales, TV contracts and donations go to pay that debt. For this program to take the next step in becoming a perrenial football powerhouse, these improvements are needed.

    As long as BSU general funds are not used, I don’t see a problem. Of course, there always be the argument that taxpayers/government will have to back those bonds. Sometimes that is a valid point, but I don’t see that here.

    I do think that if the a drink is allowed in the castle they should allow it in the dungeon.

    This post could be loaded with cliches’: Build it and they will come, When in Rome, If you want to run with the Big Dogs…., What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

    EDITOR NOTE–Thanks Clancy, it takes one to know one.

  5. From what I heard the president of BSU state recently is that most of the suites are already sold and thats where some of that cash came from.

    I for one think the sports at schools are a good thing, beats having the kids sit around getting fat.

  6. curious george
    Jan 3, 2007, 7:26 pm

    620 students could have all their Tuition, Room & Board, and Health Insurance paid, for their entire Undergraduate Degrees – for the cost of the proposed skyboxes.

    Which just happens to be the total number of students currently enrolled at BSU who are seeking degrees in Civil, Electrical, Computer, and Mechanical Engineering.

    These 620 career engineers would earn a combined yearly salary of $41.5M. Or more to the point, these engineers would pay approximately $3.2M of Idaho income tax per year (not counting the sales tax they would pay on all of their purchases). This would be just about $107M of state income tax over their combined career salaries of $1.4B.

    I’ll leave it to others to decide whether the cost-to-benefit ratio of “investing” in skyboxes vs. a true investment in education is even worth a more detailed analysis.

    I’m not coming down hard on sports at universities, in fact I’m pretty sure that the Broncos just finished a great season without the “benefit” of the wealthy looking down on them from skyboxes. And (by the way), since the skyboxes would be leased (just like dorm rooms) the of-age tenants would be able to drink alcohol.

    EDITOR NOTE–Does this mean that season ticket holders “lease” their bleacher seats as well? Do they drink beer in the dorms?

  7. You might be surprised to know… I understand it, alcohol is already served in the Presidents box. But if the University wants to make BIG money and pay for all the expansion….SELL BEER AT THE STADIUM!

    I’m not a real smart man, but I bet there are a few beer drinkers at Bronco Stadium.

  8. I love watching BSU’s football success but isn’t it just being spun by the growthaholics as another angle to get more people to move here?
    And C. George, you make an excellent point about where the most bang for the buck comes from.
    But you are being somewhat optimistic with your numbers by assuming all those professionals would stay in Idaho for the duration of their careers.

  9. curious george
    Jan 3, 2007, 11:05 pm

    Yup, you can drink in your dorm room (if you’re of-age).

    James, don’t let BSU hear you say that their engineering alumni can’t find jobs in Idaho! Unfortunately, a lot of new graduates do have to leave the state to find work and can only return when they’re more established. But the 620 engineering students mentioned above are only about 40% of the total enrollment in the College of Engineering.

    Wouldn’t it be great if there would be as much a committment to living up to the oft-repeated KBSU-tagline, “A Metropolitan Research Institute of Distinction” as there is to catering to the apparent hedonism of the Athletics Department?

    Maybe I’m wrong. I’m sure BSU will soon be releasing plans for its Fine Arts Department Skyboxes, its English Department Luxury Seats, and its Biology Department Penthouse Suites.

    I’ve heard rumors that the Music Department will be forming its own version of the Bronco Athletic Association. They’ve been toying with the simple enough name, Music Department Association – perhaps hoping to capitalize on the acronym MDA. Of course, music majors will have to get used to being called Jerry’s Kids.

  10. It’s great that this BSU football team has fans and demand is high, but these young men will graduate and move on. Who gets stuck paying off the $28 million in bonds if things aren’t quite as rosy a few years down the road?

    Just look at the new Ada County Courthouse if you want a recent example of a deal that sounded good on the surface, but was unsustainable.

  11. I’d be amazed if the sports really do pay their own way. Have “we” — the taxpayers — ever really seen an audit or anything to show our money, and that of the students, don’t go into sports?

    But, if sports really do bring in the bucks, why don’t those wonderful sporty people share a big chunk of that dough with the university that makes their lives possible?

    After all, doesn’t the academic portion of the school exist only so the athletes can play in the university-level leagues as they prepare for pro sports? Hmmm?

    (I don’t see fans cheering or the Boise Daily turning its entire paper over to,say, somebody getting a Rhodes scholarship or suchlike.)

    As for the Daily. Isn’t it interesting that a football game gets hundreds more inches of type than a former president of the United States, at the time of his death?

    I wonder what affects America — and the world — more: what Gerald Ford did in his brief presidency, or a bunch of guys winning a game. Hmmm ….

    And the folks with the orange and blue shirts, faces, etc., sure pushed Iraq and thousands of our military people off the front page, the TV and much of the Web.

  12. Gordon said, “I wonder what affects America — and the world — more: what Gerald Ford did in his brief presidency, or a bunch of guys winning a game. Hmmm ….”

    Wrong question. It should be “I wonder what will sell more newspapers: the Broncos winning the Fiesta Bowl, or the funeral of a former president, who served before 50% of the population was even born.”

    I can’t fault the Statesman… they’re making a business decision. They’re in business to sell newspapers, NOT necessarily to keep their readers informed of current events. (Arguably, bad decisions by editors are why printed-news readership is down by 10% or so every year. Maybe they SHOULD give Ford’s funeral more coverage.)

    Regarding the apparent emphasis of sporting events over war, poverty, death and destruction, disasters, etc. – might I suggest that sports are a means that many people use to temporarily emotionally escape the misery on every side. Same thing with the cartoon page, Entertainment Tonight (GAG!), MySpace, etc.

  13. Please don’t get me wrong I’m a BSU Football suporter. Love my season tickets. The sad part is they are getting so expensive I’m not sure how much longer I’ll beable to buy them.

    Acording to the Statesman this morning under the heading Raises there is still a 2.15 million funding gap on the new stadium suites and the 3 million he hope’s to make on the Fiesta Bowl game could be used to fill the gap. Gee shouldn’t that be used more more important things than a nice seat for the wealthy.

    What am I not understanding here?
    Maybe it has to do with being a growthophobes?

  14. Gordon and Robert made some great points especially about using sports money surpluses for struggling students who go to BSU to get a degree and add to society not to hero worship some local footballers.

    These new ultra-plush stadium ” boxes” are going to cost the state 27 million in a bond issue the taxpayers will be told to pay back. Why not save that money and let the self-important hot-shots who need these luxury digs sit with us peons? Then lets use 10% of all sports profits to finance academic programs and for low-income students who are struggling to get their degree?

    I urge every citizen to contact your state legislators and let them know you like to see something like the above for all the students at BSU as we enjoy ALL the great sports programs at BSU for men and women.

    EDITOR NOTE–As we understand it the taxpayers are on the hook only as a guarantee for the bonds.

  15. I think a majority of these posts on the subject smack of pure socialism. “Let’s take that ill-gotten athletic money and give it to the engineering department”.

    The comparison to President Ford is a poor one within this context. He was a collegiate athlete. After playing football through college, I can tell you that, for me, I learned more about life on the field than in the class room. The need to assemble a team in order to attain a common goal, working for the good of the group rather than flying solo, etc. etc.

    The world needs engineers and nurses, and teachers, and historians. But more often than not, it seems the “team”is led by an ex-jock. I hope that some day people will see that we are not all a bunch of pampered idiots that serve no purpose other than to give you something to cheer about on Saturday afternoon. With regard to the stadium expansion, the minds we need to expand our academic efforts are drawn to a successful university.

    Like it or not, athletics give the school the platform to emphasize the scholastic. As far as the “sky-boxes” go, the businesses and individuals that are going to shell out the Major bucks to have them are paying their way. And I would wager that the leaders of those successful companies are filled with ex-jocks. the most valid point being made is one of growth. No question that the increased success of the university will spawn more growth. It is what it is!

  16. Follow the money (trail).

  17. Ok, several thoughts flit through my sleep-deprived head. One is to mention, yet again, the Roman Circus model to keep the citizenry’s attention away from important topics and on, in this case sports. Another is, did I hear on the media correctly that the stadium expansion would be FOUR STORES tall, is that an increase TO that height, or BY that much?

  18. Dr Spielvogel
    Jan 9, 2007, 10:21 am

    Who is buying the luxury boxes? Corporate sponsors
    How are they paid for? Corporate profits
    Who generates Corporate profits? The public, either directly or indirectly.

    One way or the other, the public is paying.

    When the Governor’s Mansion, maintenance courtesy of the public, looks our over his subjects like a castle from medieval times, what else could the public expect?

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