Thursday, October 05, 2006

Sound and Fury....

Christmas Day seems to have left us wanting a little. It's like opening the boxes and finding a drawing of what should be in there.

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.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was disappointed to hear that the seating capacity will fall to under 10,000. I would think you would add more seats not take away!

10/06/2006 07:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Until Notre Dame makes it a priority to spend some money on basketball, and it doesn't look like thats happening in a serious way, they will be a perenial heart-of-gold NIT team.

During my years in the Bend, they were competitive, with players like Murphy, Humphrey, Carroll, and Thomas. The guys they're sending out today look like your average suburban high school. Shorter, slower, and less athletic than the competition.

Mike Brey is a good guy, make no mistake about it. But he simply isn't suited to building a perenial NCAA Tourney caliber team.

MIKE MONTGOMERY won big at Stanford with similar academic standards to Notre Dame. MIKE MONTGOMERY is a high caliber guy. You never, ever heard about his players not graduating or getting in trouble. His most noticeable drawback is the fact that he unleasehed Mark Madsen and his dance moves on the rest of us.

Until Notre Dame spends some money on the team, replaces Brey, and brings in a big-time coach, then this is what we can continue to expect.

10/06/2006 07:41:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home