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#1 RedHell

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 09:58 AM

I know Memorial Stadium is the 13th largest in the country at 85,197 seating capacity, and TO and the regents are thinking of expanding, but is there gonna be some real expansion? Hell, another 10,000 seats would be very nice, but just wondering, with all the old goobers in this state overly worried about the sellout streak, that they might just bypass expansion so we can keep that record.

If anybody knows or has heard anything, true or not, hey pass it on. Truly, I would love to see 15,000 seats added, so we could have 100,000. Now that would be some good money boys and ashton.


Sea of Red expected to grow

By Rich Kaipust

WORLD-HERALD EXCLUSIVE<br style=""> <br style="">

LINCOLN — Nebraska football fans are about to learn the first details regarding the future expansion of Memorial Stadium, a kickoff of sorts for the week setting up the NU-Texas showdown on Oct. 16.

Athletic Director Tom Osborne said Wednesday that NU will make an announcement later this week in connection with the Board of Regents agenda for its Oct. 15 meeting.

The university announced today that Osborne would hold a press conference at 11 a..m. Friday.

Expansion plans for 81,067-seat Memorial Stadium have been expected since Nebraska four months ago surveyed season ticket-holders and fans about potential interest.

Paul Meyers, NU associate athletic director for development, said results confirmed that demand was “very strong” for additional seating and suites.

One reason for expansion, Osborne said Wednesday, is keeping Nebraska competitive. He noted that with the move to the Big Ten, Nebraska will be competing with some teams with very large stadiums — and as a result, large athletic budgets.

“One of the reasons we're taking a look at enlarging the stadium is there are three stadiums in the Big Ten that seat over 100,000,'' he said. “That naturally allows you to bring in more revenue.''

Asked if a press conference about expansion was coming Friday, Osborne said: “We think there's at least a possibility we'll talk about it later this week.”

Meyers could not be reached for comment.

In July, Meyers hinted that work done to the East Stadium probably would not move capacity much higher than 90,000. Results of the survey showed that respondents considered the home sellout streak — now at 307 consecutive games — just as important as moving up the ranks in attendance.

Nebraska was No. 10 in home attendance in 2009 at 85,888 per game. Attendance figures can exceed stadium capacity because they include players, coaches, staff members, stadium employees, band members, auxiliary workers and others who may not have seats.

The next project would come on the heels of the North Stadium expansion completed in 2006. The Huskers added 13 suites and more than 6,000 seats, which went along with construction of the Osborne Complex and Hawks Center.

In 1999, 42 suites and 2,400 club seats were added to the West Stadium.

The Huskers play Thursday night at Kansas State before returning home for the Oct. 16 game with Texas.

It's a rematch of last year's Big 12 championship game — won 13-12 by the Longhorns when a second was restored to the game clock and allowed for a Texas field goal — and their last regular-season meeting as league rivals.


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#2 Yossarian

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 10:07 AM

I know Memorial Stadium is the 13th largest in the country at 85,197 seating capacity, and TO and the regents are thinking of expanding, but is there gonna be some real expansion? Hell, another 10,000 seats would be very nice, but just wondering, with all the old goobers in this state overly worried about the sellout streak, that they might just bypass expansion so we can keep that record.

If anybody knows or has heard anything, true or not, hey pass it on. Truly, I would love to see 15,000 seats added, so we could have 100,000. Now that would be some good money boys and ashton.


That was front page story in OWH today...I know, they are hard up for front page news.
-------------------
Sea of Red expected to grow
WORLD-HERALD

Published Thursday October 7, 2010

By Rich Kaipust

WORLD-HERALD BUREAU

LINCOLN — Nebraska football fans are about to learn the first details regarding the future expansion of Memorial Stadium, a kickoff of sorts for the week setting up the NU-Texas showdown on Oct. 16.
Advertising

Athletic Director Tom Osborne said Wednesday that NU will make an announcement later this week in connection with the Board of Regents agenda for its Oct. 15 meeting.

The university announced today that Osborne would hold a press conference at 11 a..m. Friday.

Expansion plans for 81,067-seat Memorial Stadium have been expected since Nebraska four months ago surveyed season ticket-holders and fans about potential interest.

Paul Meyers, NU associate athletic director for development, said results confirmed that demand was “very strong” for additional seating and suites.

One reason for expansion, Osborne said Wednesday, is keeping Nebraska competitive. He noted that with the move to the Big Ten, Nebraska will be competing with some teams with very large stadiums — and as a result, large athletic budgets.

“One of the reasons we're taking a look at enlarging the stadium is there are three stadiums in the Big Ten that seat over 100,000,'' he said. “That naturally allows you to bring in more revenue.''

Asked if a press conference about expansion was coming Friday, Osborne said: “We think there's at least a possibility we'll talk about it later this week.”

Meyers could not be reached for comment.

In July, Meyers hinted that work done to the East Stadium probably would not move capacity much higher than 90,000. Results of the survey showed that respondents considered the home sellout streak — now at 307 consecutive games — just as important as moving up the ranks in attendance.

Nebraska was No. 10 in home attendance in 2009 at 85,888 per game. Attendance figures can exceed stadium capacity because they include players, coaches, staff members, stadium employees, band members, auxiliary workers and others who may not have seats.

The next project would come on the heels of the North Stadium expansion completed in 2006. The Huskers added 13 suites and more than 6,000 seats, which went along with construction of the Osborne Complex and Hawks Center.

In 1999, 42 suites and 2,400 club seats were added to the West Stadium.

The Huskers play Thursday night at Kansas State before returning home for the Oct. 16 game with Texas.

It's a rematch of last year's Big 12 championship game — won 13-12 by the Longhorns when a second was restored to the game clock and allowed for a Texas field goal — and their last regular-season meeting as league rivals.

World-Herald staff writers Leslie Reed and Henry J. Cordes contributed to this report.

Contact the writer:

444-1042, rich.kaipust@owh.com

#3 johnnyhusker82

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 10:20 PM

East will match West, and vice versa.

About 8k more seats.
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#4 RINGKONG

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Posted 08 October 2010 - 05:40 AM

press conf. at 11 to discuss expansion

here is a link to the live feed.

http://huskerextra.com/live/

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#5 BDB

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Posted 08 October 2010 - 08:57 AM

5,000 additional seats. 2,500 general seats, 2,000 club seats, 500 in suites. East concourse to be expanded, fire sprinkler system and other safety improvements as well as shell for research space. $55,500,000, mid-late-2011 through June 2013.

Starts on page 52: http://www.nebraska....genda-10-10.pdf

#6 RedHell

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Posted 08 October 2010 - 12:39 PM

Nebraska plans stadium expansion

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Nebraska unveiled a $56 million Memorial Stadium expansion plan Friday that would boost capacity to about 90,000 people and keep it competitive with Big Ten crowds accustomed to massive facilities at Penn State, Ohio State and Michigan.

Athletic director Tom Osborne said the Big Ten considers Nebraska to be among the top teams in the revamped conference, which it joins next year. Memorial Stadium's current capacity is 81,067, while stadiums at those other universities all seat more than 100,000.

"You don't have to keep up with the Joneses all the time, but you at least have to be in the league," Osborne said.

The proposed expansion, which will go before university regents next Friday, will add about 5,000 seats to the east end of the 87-year-old Memorial Stadium, including more than 30 luxury boxes with indoor and outdoor seating for 400 to 500. Between 2,000 and 2,200 seats would be in a new covered and heated section.

Osborne said the modest expansion should help Nebraska accommodate more fans while also preserving its sellout streak, which is the longest in college football and dates to 1962.

"It doesn't make sense if we have 110,000 seats if 20,000 are empty," he said.

Following a $226 million renovation, Michigan Stadium, the venerable Big House, this year seats 109,901 people, the most in college football.

Osborne said the Nebraska project would be paid for by about $25 million from the athletic reserve fund, $15 million in revenue bonds and $15 million generated by the advance sale of the luxury boxes, club seats and naming rights to a 40,000-square-foot research facility that's included in the expansion.

The project would be done before the 2013 football season.

The university said the project would also add a three-story lobby on the east side of the stadium, a new ticket office, meeting space, safety upgrades and other amenities.

Earlier this year, Nebraska asked fans about an expansion project, and the support was overwhelming.

The last stadium expansion was in 2006. When Osborne started as an assistant coach in 1964, the stadium could only hold 44,829 people.


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#7 Scrotum McDick

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Posted 08 October 2010 - 12:58 PM

$55 million to add 5000 seats? Is that Obama math?

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#8 fieron

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Posted 08 October 2010 - 08:13 PM

$55 million to add 5000 seats? Is that Obama math?


Job creation?

#9 RINGKONG

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 05:14 AM

$55 million to add 5000 seats? Is that Obama math?


pepperoni pizza dispensers?

Running has an uncanny ability to mellow the soul, to take the edge off hard feelings, and put things back into healthy perspective.
Yeah, it's a 50 caliber. They used to use it to hunt buffalo with... up close! It's only legal in two states. And this isn't one of them.

poster-38.jpg


#10 Scrotum McDick

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 08:47 AM


$55 million to add 5000 seats? Is that Obama math?


pepperoni pizza dispensers?


Tom Osborne hates pepperoni pizza.

NEBRASKA, THE HOME OF THE MAROON, SILVER, AND BLACK!


#11 RINGKONG

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 09:19 AM



$55 million to add 5000 seats? Is that Obama math?


pepperoni pizza dispensers?


Tom Osborne hates pepperoni pizza.


Tom Osborne is a nazi bastard.

Running has an uncanny ability to mellow the soul, to take the edge off hard feelings, and put things back into healthy perspective.
Yeah, it's a 50 caliber. They used to use it to hunt buffalo with... up close! It's only legal in two states. And this isn't one of them.

poster-38.jpg


#12 johnnyhusker82

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 12:40 PM




$55 million to add 5000 seats? Is that Obama math?


pepperoni pizza dispensers?


Tom Osborne hates pepperoni pizza.


Tom Osborne is a godly nazi bastard.

k
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#13 johnnyhusker82

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 09:54 PM

Memorial Stadium expansion likely complete by 2013 season
By BRIAN CHRISTOPHERSON / Lincoln Journal Star |


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Memorial stadium project location (courtesy image)

Proposed stadium improvements
Cost: $55.5 million

Source: Private donations, $40.5 million; bond revenue from new seating, $15 million

Key components

5,000 new seats (2,000 to 2,250 new club seats, 400 to 500 seats in about 30 new indoor/outdoor suites and 2,500 to 2,800 general admission)
Dedicated restrooms and concessions in each new seating area
New grand lobby
Expanded concourse
Additional first-aid areas
Where: Above and around east balcony, similar to West Stadium

Interior shell: About 40,000 square feet of new space (Athletics will retain half for future growth; other half will go to future office and lab space for research in the "foundations of behavior that contribute to health, injury and disease.")

When: Work could begin in November 2011; completion by fall 2013

Proposed Haymarket Park improvements
The Nebraska athletic department also is asking the NU Board of Regents to approve a new indoor baseball and softball practice facility at Haymarket Park.

The athletic department would be responsible for financing the $4.75 million project, which would be a 22,000 square-foot facility just north of Hawks Baseball Field. Haymarket Park does not currently have indoor batting cages.

Look at what awaits Nebraska in the Big Ten and count the seats. You'll need more than an abacus for the chore.

Ohio Stadium: 101,568 seats.

Beaver Stadium: 107,282 seats.

Michigan Stadium: 109,901 seats.

Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan. Those three football programs are considered by many to represent the upper echelon in the Big Ten Conference.

Also note, as Nebraska Athletic Director Tom Osborne did Friday, that those programs and their 100,000-plus seat stadiums help each of their athletic departments' budgets soar to upward of $100 million a year.

"So that puts us in pretty fast company," said Osborne, who heads an athletic department with a $75 million annual budget. "And I really don't particularly subscribe to the theory that you have to keep up with the Joneses all the time. But you better at least be in the league."

So, no, the Huskers aren't going to try to match the Joneses, but on Friday Osborne did unveil plans to make the Nebraska football team's home closer in size to those aforementioned future conference brethren.

As long as there's approval from the NU Board of Regents next week, Memorial Stadium is expected to hold more than 90,000 fans by the time the Huskers start the 2013 season.

The plan calls for an increase of about 5,000 seats to East Stadium, which would put Nebraska among the Top 10 programs nationally in game-day stadium attendance.

The new seating would include 2,000 to 2,200 club seats on a new, covered and heated club level with an adjoining event area and access to an outdoor terrace. There'd also be roughly 2,800 additional general seats and 500 skybox seats.

The revamped East Stadium would feature an expanded concourse, which, according to a regents agenda item, "will include a new grand lobby that celebrates the original Gate 20 entrance and east facade."

When completed, East Stadium would be similar in height to West Stadium, which houses skyboxes, club seats and the press box.

The price tag for all this is projected at $55.5 million. Osborne expects $40.5 million of that to come from private donations, the rest from bond revenues.

"As you know, the state is suffering a shortfall," he said. "And I can see people saying with the state budget and the university experiencing difficult times: How can you do this?

"And the reason we're doing it is we think as we move into the Big Ten we need to be competitive. Secondly, we have generated a certain amount of reserve that most athletic departments don't have, which we tap into."

Osborne expects the new seating to generate roughly $7 million in new revenue annually.

He also cites the heavy demand for the seats expressed in market surveys conducted four months ago. More than three-fourths of season-ticket holders and donors surveyed said they backed the idea of adding seats to Memorial Stadium.

Of the more than 2,700 people who completed the Internet survey, 86.8 percent responded favorably to expansion.

"We wouldn't be sitting here today if we hadn't done the market survey," Osborne said. "If demand was soft and people didn't want the seats, we wouldn't do it."

Regent Tim Clare said he initially was skeptical.

With the state and university strapped financially, he knows that building and spending money right now can give off the wrong perception.

"But I think the message needs to remain that while this is happening, the funding source is not coming from state tax dollars," Clare said. "Instead, the funding source is coming from private donations and monies within the Athletic Department."

Expansion is not expected to cause any current East Stadium seats to be removed or season-ticket holders to be relocated.

As for future ticket price hikes, Osborne said they're not anticipating any right now.

"This is not a particularly good time to increase ticket prices," he said.

Within the six new proposed levels of the new East Stadium would be 40,000 square feet of created shell space. Half of that would be used by the Athletic Department, with the rest serving as office and lab space for research.

The expanded area would include a new Huskers Authentic retail area and a game-day ticket office.

The plan also would provide for a future connection between East Stadium and South Stadium.

Construction could begin in November 2011 after next season winds down.

Memorial Stadium now has a listed seated capacity of 81,067, although games routinely draw as many as 86,000 fans. So, expansion could bring a game-day crowd to around 91,000.

As good as that sounds, Osborne has been cognizant of the danger of putting in too many seats, keeping in mind Nebraska's 307-game sellout streak that brings many Husker fans pride.

Demand, however, suggests to him the streak can live on with expansion.

"Now there is no guarantee," he said. "Because you can have a couple two or three bad years and that ticket demand isn't going to be automatic.

"You have to have a good team. We feel good about where we're going. We feel good about the coaches we have here ... but there are no guarantees. But we're making an educated guess that this will work fine."

Reach Brian Christopherson at bchristopherson@journalstar.com or 402-473-7439.
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#14 johnnyhusker82

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 09:56 PM

Stadium expansion to include research space

By KEVIN ABOUREZK / Lincoln Journal Star |


As television news cameras and reporters trained their attention on him, Nebraska Athletic Director Tom Osborne shifted the attention toward a relatively unknown athletic department employee.

"Actually, this was Doak Ostergard's idea," he said of a plan to marry a 5,000-seat expansion of Memorial Stadium to building 20,000 square feet of research space in the East Stadium.

Ostergard is the Athletic Department's outreach director and former Huskers athletic trainer.

"If you know Doak, you know he doesn't have very many good ideas, but he had one," Osborne said Friday, laughing. "So we said since we finally got one, we better take advantage of it."

Actually, if you know Ostergard, you know he's had plenty of good ideas, including an ankle rehabilitator and a shoulder harness that have resulted in two patents.

It's that kind of research and innovation Nebraska hopes to foster through the research space.

The Athletic Department and the Office of Research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln would partner to complete the research center, with athletics picking up $1.5 million of the cost and the research office paying for the rest. A total price tag on the research center wasn't given.

The center would use cutting-edge imaging technology, including an MRI machine, to better understand foundations of behavior that contribute to health, injury and disease.

"I am thrilled that we have found an innovative way to combine our research strength and our athletic strength and create this unique partnership," said Prem S. Paul, vice chancellor for research and economic development.

He said research on identifying and treating concussions likely would take place in the research center. Other areas of research could include strength and conditioning, nutrition and athletic medicine.

University departments that could benefit from the center include biological systems engineering, biology, psychology and economics.

Osborne said the Athletic Department plans to use the imaging technology to treat its own student-athletes.

"We'd like to develop a research presence in the athletic community that would be second to none, and I think this space would certainly give us a great start," he said.

Reach Kevin Abourezk at 402-473-7225 or kabourezk@journalstar.com.
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#15 johnnyhusker82

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 10:13 PM

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#16 johnnyhusker82

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 02:38 PM

Athletic fund gets NU over bumps
By Henry J. Cordes
WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER


First the University of Nebraska athletic department absorbs a $9.2 million penalty for leaving the Big 12, without seeming to break a sweat.

Then the department announces a major expansion of Memorial Stadium, planning to spend $55 million to boost the population of Nebraska's figurative third-largest city.

Helping make both of those megabuck moves possible are an up-till-now little-discussed athletic department reserve fund held by the University of Nebraska Foundation.

Some $7.2 million from the reserve fund — fed over time by the premiums some fans pay to get the best seats at Cornhusker athletic events — is being put toward offsetting the Big 12 penalty.

“The foundation has been tapped for shortfalls in the past,'' NU Athletic Director Tom Osborne said last week. “The availability of the foundation account made it possible for us to exit the Big 12.''

The foundation fund has similarly been used many times before to cover big unplanned expenses (think $5 million for contract buyouts of former coach Bill Callahan and deposed athletic director Steve Pederson).

And the foundation fund helps pay for planned big-ticket items such as the stadium expansion announced last week. Some $25 million in reserve funds will be used to jump-start the construction plan, which also is to be paid for by stadium revenues and solicited private contributions.

The University of Nebraska Board of Regents will consider both the stadium expansion and the Big 12 penalty at its meeting Friday.

Nebraska is one of only a handful of universities that completely funds its athletic programs with athletic revenues and donations, not receiving any student fees, tuition or state tax dollars. That's possible largely because of the powerhouse Husker football program that not only has sold out 307 consecutive games at Memorial Stadium but also brings in millions in television, licensing, marketing and donor dollars.

Given that revenues and expenses can fluctuate year to year, the private reserve funds provide the department with flexibility to keep its budget in balance. The funds also leave the department in an enviable position compared with the rest of the university, which is likely to face major budget cuts this year due to reductions in state tax revenue.

NU officials won't disclose the amount currently in the reserve fund, but it exceeds $32 million — the amount pledged for the Big 12 penalty and Memorial Stadium expansion.

Osborne said the department in recent years has been building up its reserves in anticipation of construction projects. Osborne said the $32 million in withdrawals won't leave the department with depleted reserves, but he said it will need to watch its expenses and look to build up the fund in the future.

“We don't want to give people the impression we have an unlimited amount of money we can pull out any time we like,'' he said. “We're going to take it down to a level we feel we'll have adequate reserves, but there's a little more discomfort.''

Each year the fund does gain a fresh $15 million infusion from the annual seat premiums. But the fund also gets tapped once each year for whatever is needed to bring the department budget into balance — taking a bigger hit in years like this.

The World-Herald raised questions about the athletic reserve fund in the wake of the announcement last month of the $9.2 million settlement between the Big 12 and Nebraska.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor Harvey Perlman had said at the time Nebraska would utilize some $7 million in reserves to meet the obligation.

However, the athletic department budget in itself has no built-in reserves. The budget for 2009, for example, showed revenues of $74.9 million and $74.8 million in expenses, a surplus of $71,688.

In response, Osborne recently detailed how the reserve functions.

For years, the university has charged a premium for the best seats at NU football, volleyball and basketball games. For example, in addition to the cost of the ticket, those with club seats in Memorial Stadium are required to make an annual contribution to the athletic department of $1,500 to $5,000 per ticket.

The premiums are considered tax-deductible donations to the athletic department and, as a result, are paid to and held by the nonprofit University of Nebraska Foundation. The seat premiums bring in about $15 million annually for the fund.

The athletic department draws on the funds for annual operating expenses and other one-time costs. At the end of the budget year, the foundation writes a single check to the athletic department for whatever is needed to bring the department budget into balance.

“We always draw a certain amount to balance our books,'' Osborne said.

Osborne said the premium reserve shouldn't be confused with other endowed funds at the foundation. The endowments fund specific items, and the university is barred from drawing down the principal.

Amounts withdrawn from the reserve fund have varied widely in recent years, from $13 million in 2007 to $3 million in 2009.

Osborne said the department already had healthy reserves when he succeeded Pederson as athletic director in 2007.

That was a good thing. Among the expenses paid for by the fund in the 2008 budget year were the contractually obligated buyouts of $2.2 million for Pederson and $3.1 million for Callahan after both were fired.

Osborne said it was helpful to have those dollars in hand rather than being forced to try to raise them privately. “It's never real appealing to people to give money to pay somebody off.''

The department drew only a combined $7 million from the foundation reserves over the past two years, allowing more than $20 million in added funds to build up.

That was partly because the department was marshaling resources to help pay for the stadium upgrade and other upcoming athletic facility projects. Osborne said he also made $1.5 million in department budget cuts as part of the effort to build up the reserves.

But then in June came Nebraska's dramatic move to the Big Ten Conference. One immediate result of the move was that the Big 12 in June withheld a $1.2 million payout that NU was due from the conference.

In all, it was estimated NU would face a $19 million penalty for its exit. As Osborne and Perlman traveled to Dallas to work out a possible settlement with the Big 12, they knew the foundation fund left them with significant ability to pay whatever was negotiated.

In the end, it was agreed last month that the conference would withhold an additional $8 million in conference revenues from Nebraska, bringing the total unanticipated revenue shortfall to $9.2 million.

Because the department already was planning to spend $9 million in reserves to meet its budget for the current year, and with the upcoming construction plan, Osborne said he told Perlman he wasn't comfortable taking the entire penalty out of the reserves.

That's why they decided to make up for $2 million of the shortfall by reducing from $2.5 million to $500,000 for one year the amount the department has traditionally paid to support the academic side of the university.

While the reserve fund allowed the department to absorb the $9.2 million penalty, Osborne said it would be inaccurate to say it was painless. The $7.2 million in reserves could have been spent on other projects beneficial to the athletic department.

But he said the reserves saved the university from a long court fight that would have “undoubtedly engendered a certain amount of bad feeling.''

NU Regent Randy Ferlic of Omaha said the academic benefits of the Big Ten move alone make the cost of leaving the Big 12 worth it. He said the university is fortunate the athletic department had the reserves to make the move an easy one.

“I'm disappointed that it cost us even a penny,'' he said, “but we were lucky.''


Contact the writer:

444-1130, henry.cordes@owh.com
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#17 johnnyhusker82

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 06:42 PM

Osborne announces proposal to add 5,000 seats to Memorial Stadium
By Max Olson


Published: Monday, October 11, 2010

Updated: Monday, October 11, 2010 00:10

Related Articles
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Huskers throttle Wildcats 48-13 as Martinez returns “T-Magic”
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Five months ago, Lincoln voters approved a $344 million bond that kick-started a three-year plan to build a downtown arena. On Friday, Nebraska's Athletic Department declared it's far from finished with upgrading its facilities.

NU Athletic Director Tom Osborne announced plans to add 5,000 more seats to Memorial Stadium, an ambitious project that would cost $55.5 million and, more importantly, help Nebraska compete with its new big-budget, big-stadium foes in the Big Ten Conference.

Osborne also unveiled a $4.75 million project that would give Nebraska's baseball and softball teams a new practice facility, and he admitted a $20 million project to renovate the Bob Devaney Sports Center and make it the new home of Husker volleyball is in the works.

The University of Nebraska's Board of Regents will be asked to approve those first two projects during their meeting on Friday in Omaha. Osborne said the board likely would receive a formal proposal on the Devaney plan in December.

The Memorial Stadium project would be built behind and over the East Stadium balcony and would be completed for the 2013 season. The baseball facility would be located at Haymarket Park and would include batting cages, pitching mounds and a full-turf infield for practice.

Osborne is well aware of how the $80.25 million in proposed spending on facility upgrades might come off to some. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln must make serious budget cuts for the eighth time in 11 years, and the state's legislature is facing a revenue shortfall of more than $600 million.

"I can see people saying, ‘How can you do this?'" Osborne said. "The reason we're doing it is we think, as we move into the Big Ten, we need to be competitive."

Nebraska's athletic department won't use any state dollars or student fees to fund the projects, and Osborne said it has built up a reserve of funding in recent years that will allow NU to pay "for at least half of all of these projects" with money it has saved up.

More than $40 million of the money for the Memorial Stadium work will come from private donations, and the remaining $15 million will come from bond revenues. All of the funding for the proposed 22,000-square-foot indoor baseball facility would come from the athletic department.

That the project won't use state money is a key reason why Regent Tim Clare said he'll defend the proposal at Friday's meeting.

"I was skeptical as to the timing," Clare said. "But at the end of the day, after considering all the benfits of what it would do and considering what the athletic department gives back to the university itself, I think it's something that's very worthwhile."

Memorial Stadium's official capacity is 81,067, but its average attendance this year through three games is 85,620.

That 5.6 percent average overcapacity this season is second-best in the nation among big-stadium schools behind defending national champion Alabama.

The proposed Memorial Stadium expansion plan calls for between 2,000 and 2,500 new club seats, 30 skyboxes and up to 2,800 general seats, all located on the eastern portion of the stadium. The stadium was last expanded in 2006, a renovation that focused primarily on the North Stadium.

As much as the program would profit off more seating, such an expansion would also give more Husker fans a chance at landing the season tickets they've long coveted.

"We've had waiting lists of about 3,000 people who want season tickets if they ever became available," Paul Meyers, NU associated athletic director for development, said in June.

But there is some risk in building onto a stadium that was already revamped only five years ago.

The biggest concern with expanding is the risk of ending Nebraska's record-setting sellout streak.

Since 1962 and through 307 games so far, every seat in the stadium has been sold.

"It doesn't make much difference if you have 110,000 seats if 20,000 of them are empty," Osborne said.

Reaching the 90,000-person plateau would put NU in the top 10 nationally in home attendance, but Big Ten schools Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State each have stadiums that hold more than 100,000 fans. In fact, Michigan just completed a $226 million project that increased its stadium capacity to an NCAA-best 109,901.

And those three powerhouses have far more than that - they each also tout annual athletic department budgets of more than $100 million.

Nebraska's is approximately $75 million this year, and Osborne said the $7 million in new annual revenue that the East Stadium seats would offer can help close that gap.

"I really don't particularly subscribe to the theory that you've got to keep up with the Joneses all the time," Osborne said, "but you better at least be in their league."

"As we start competing with some of those schools in the Big Ten, (the new revenue) won't necessarily get us all the way there, but it'll certainly move us in that direction."

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 07:18 PM

Osborne announces proposal to add 5,000 seats to Memorial Stadium
By Max Olson


Published: Monday, October 11, 2010

Updated: Monday, October 11, 2010 00:10

Related Articles
Football team faces Big 12 animosity on first road test
Huskers throttle Wildcats 48-13 as Martinez returns "T-Magic"
Big Ten Basics: getting to know Northwestern
Five months ago, Lincoln voters approved a $344 million bond that kick-started a three-year plan to build a downtown arena. On Friday, Nebraska's Athletic Department declared it's far from finished with upgrading its facilities.

NU Athletic Director Tom Osborne announced plans to add 5,000 more seats to Memorial Stadium, an ambitious project that would cost $55.5 million and, more importantly, help Nebraska compete with its new big-budget, big-stadium foes in the Big Ten Conference.

Osborne also unveiled a $4.75 million project that would give Nebraska's baseball and softball teams a new practice facility, and he admitted a $20 million project to renovate the Bob Devaney Sports Center and make it the new home of Husker volleyball is in the works.

The University of Nebraska's Board of Regents will be asked to approve those first two projects during their meeting on Friday in Omaha. Osborne said the board likely would receive a formal proposal on the Devaney plan in December.

The Memorial Stadium project would be built behind and over the East Stadium balcony and would be completed for the 2013 season. The baseball facility would be located at Haymarket Park and would include batting cages, pitching mounds and a full-turf infield for practice.

Osborne is well aware of how the $80.25 million in proposed spending on facility upgrades might come off to some. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln must make serious budget cuts for the eighth time in 11 years, and the state's legislature is facing a revenue shortfall of more than $600 million.

"I can see people saying, 'How can you do this?'" Osborne said. "The reason we're doing it is we think, as we move into the Big Ten, we need to be competitive."

Nebraska's athletic department won't use any state dollars or student fees to fund the projects, and Osborne said it has built up a reserve of funding in recent years that will allow NU to pay "for at least half of all of these projects" with money it has saved up.

More than $40 million of the money for the Memorial Stadium work will come from private donations, and the remaining $15 million will come from bond revenues. All of the funding for the proposed 22,000-square-foot indoor baseball facility would come from the athletic department.

That the project won't use state money is a key reason why Regent Tim Clare said he'll defend the proposal at Friday's meeting.

"I was skeptical as to the timing," Clare said. "But at the end of the day, after considering all the benfits of what it would do and considering what the athletic department gives back to the university itself, I think it's something that's very worthwhile."

Memorial Stadium's official capacity is 81,067, but its average attendance this year through three games is 85,620.

That 5.6 percent average overcapacity this season is second-best in the nation among big-stadium schools behind defending national champion Alabama.

The proposed Memorial Stadium expansion plan calls for between 2,000 and 2,500 new club seats, 30 skyboxes and up to 2,800 general seats, all located on the eastern portion of the stadium. The stadium was last expanded in 2006, a renovation that focused primarily on the North Stadium.

As much as the program would profit off more seating, such an expansion would also give more Husker fans a chance at landing the season tickets they've long coveted.

"We've had waiting lists of about 3,000 people who want season tickets if they ever became available," Paul Meyers, NU associated athletic director for development, said in June.

But there is some risk in building onto a stadium that was already revamped only five years ago.

The biggest concern with expanding is the risk of ending Nebraska's record-setting sellout streak.

Since 1962 and through 307 games so far, every seat in the stadium has been sold.

"It doesn't make much difference if you have 110,000 seats if 20,000 of them are empty," Osborne said.

Reaching the 90,000-person plateau would put NU in the top 10 nationally in home attendance, but Big Ten schools Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State each have stadiums that hold more than 100,000 fans. In fact, Michigan just completed a $226 million project that increased its stadium capacity to an NCAA-best 109,901.

And those three powerhouses have far more than that - they each also tout annual athletic department budgets of more than $100 million.

Nebraska's is approximately $75 million this year, and Osborne said the $7 million in new annual revenue that the East Stadium seats would offer can help close that gap.

"I really don't particularly subscribe to the theory that you've got to keep up with the Joneses all the time," Osborne said, "but you better at least be in their league."

"As we start competing with some of those schools in the Big Ten, (the new revenue) won't necessarily get us all the way there, but it'll certainly move us in that direction."

To aid in the revenue enhancement, Nebraska will also be adding The RingKong Pepperoni Pizza Research Facility and using the money earned on the Ring's patents for new styles of pepperoni pizza to fund the football team and the additions of a men's hockey team, along with a women's hockey team.


Pray for Obama. Psalm 109:8
Psalm 109:8
"Let his days be few; and let another take his office. "




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