Sound and Fury....
Today's long-awaited gathering in the Joyce Center to announce renovation plans didn't provide much in the way of specifics. No start date was announced. While everyone on the dais promised speed and attention, nothing requiring a calendar was said. Few particulars were available, outside of capacity changes and the overall use of space in the new addition. Even the drawings were conceptual, made for the purposes of fund-raising and not meant to represent the actual finished product. Other than the details of BOT member Philip Purcell's leadership gift, I'm hard-pressed to come up with anything concrete resulting from today's meeting.
I suppose I should be grateful for small favors. The fact they've made any kind of announcement at all is an improvement over saying nothing and wondering what was afoot. And perhaps materials distributed to those who attended have more information that will be passed along in their articles.
While being so short on details makes evaluating the plan difficult, to be blunt, what I've seen so far doesn't impress me.
This $24.7 million project seems to be spending a lot of effort on the high rollers, as evidenced by a Stadium Club along with its 800 associated seats. I'm all for getting the no-show no-participate Loge Seat holders out of the lower bowl, but do we need to spend so much money to get it done?
It's also accounting for some revenue, as evidenced by the new Varsity Shop in the plans. I remember the days when one Bookstore on campus was enough. Do we really need a 3,000-square-foot replica on the other end of campus? What happened to walking?
The ticket office will be getting a much-needed expansion, so I suppose that's good as well. I fail to see why something like that has to be covered by donations, but perhaps wiser minds than mine can explain it.
Most troublesome, thus far in the tale, I haven't heard anything yet about the team. Kevin White pronounced the players' lounge adequate, but as someone who has seen it, I disagree. Other schools give their players more. Nothing has been said yet about training or other related parts of the physical plant. The flooring issues weren't addressed.
One wonders the purpose of these upgrades. I'm seeing a lot for the well-heeled fans and not so much for the other folks. If ND is going to spend almost $25 million on this effort -- $25 million that will be pointed to for years as basketball's turn at the trough, probably making further short-term investment unlikely -- it should be money well spent, not money meant for creating revenue streams.
One can only hope this represents a starting point rather than our destination, because if this is where we're going, I'd rather save myself the trip.
Labels: hoops facilities