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View Full Version : What's with the 6,000-seat arena?



perspixx
12-08-2007, 02:13 AM
You guys would be able to fill an arena twice that size. Seems Gonzaga did its fans a great disservice by not aiming higher. They made getting into a GU basketball game harder than winning a Grammy, when it should be something everybody has a chance to do. No college basketball game is worth $100 a seat.

I'd be pissed off if my school's team suddenly caught fire, with every game sold out, and then the university only increased seating by 50%.

ZagNative
12-08-2007, 02:23 AM
We have this discussion frequently. Here's a thread (http://www.guboards.spokesmanreview.com/showthread.php?p=99606#post99606) from the end of October this year. The link starts at post #23, where Angelo gives a good explanation. See also the John Blanchette column referenced earlier in the thread for more background about the economics behind the decision to build a 6,000-seat arena.

Hope this helps.

Edited to add: In case you are not aware just how small Gonzaga is, current total enrollment is just 6610, with an undergrad enrollment of 4275 (University Admissions (http://www.gonzaga.edu/Admissions/Undergraduate-Admissions/FAQs.asp#2)). I note in this 2006 news release (http://www.csun.edu/pubrels/press_releases/fall06/enrollment.html) that your enrollment at that time was 34,560.

Note: I just discovered the Blanchette column is subscription only, but here's a salient point from it:


Money wasn't the only mitigating factor. Maybe a mile away from the MAC stands the Spokane Arena, which has its 10th birthday next year and can seat more than 12,000 for basketball. The Zags already play their annual game with Eastern Washington there and should a name opponent from some far-off galaxy be willing to swap not-quite-neutral court dates as Georgia did last year the Bulldogs would be happy to move the game downtown.

But in the end, what really mattered to Gonzaga was atmosphere.

"We recognize that intimacy has value, as well," is how Standiford put it.

"The hostility the crowd brings well, hostility is too strong a word, but the energy and vibrancy is what our coaches and players identified about The Kennel as being unique. That, specifically, is what we didn't want to lose. It was a challenge. The architects kept looking at us like we had two heads."For what it's worth, I'm one of those dedicated Zags fans in Spokane who can't get a season ticket at the MAC, but as long as they continue to play great basketball and I can enjoy seeing every game televised and catch an occasional game at the arena downtown, I'm reasonably happy.

Zagme-totheleft!
12-08-2007, 04:27 AM
Why would I be pissed if I only have to wait in a 2 hour line for a free ticket?

Students get in for free, it only requires some patience.

bayzag09
12-08-2007, 05:10 AM
i think the focus was on people who are not students. I agree with the intimacy factor. If its hard to get a ticket that just means the fans will be that much more juiced for seeing a live zag game. Make the arena seat like 15,000 and you might lose a little bit of the craziness

Zagme-totheleft!
12-08-2007, 05:21 AM
i think the focus was on people who are not students. I agree with the intimacy factor. If its hard to get a ticket that just means the fans will be that much more juiced for seeing a live zag game. Make the arena seat like 15,000 and you might lose a little bit of the craziness

yes, well for those who do not have such access to tickets, it would be a special occasion to see a live game. especially if you got to sit next to Stockton, quietly sitting there in the middle of that section across from the students.

GonzagaLove
12-08-2007, 07:59 AM
I agree. Wish it seated at least 2,000 more.

GoZags
12-08-2007, 08:18 AM
I'd be pissed off if my school's team suddenly caught fire, with every game sold out, and then the university only increased seating by 50%.

In actuality, K2 holds over 103.7% more seats than the original Kennel (6,000 v 2,852). Your stated increase of 50% is most likely predicated on the published capacity of the old building -- 4,000.

4,000 was actually a bogus number created by Fitz (former Athletic Director) as subterfuge. When the WCC initially accepted Gonzaga -- the original mandate was that the conference games be played at the Spokane Coliseum (now the site of the Arena). The conference said our gym was too small. Then Fitz came up with the 4,000 number. The actual number of seats (well, not seats pre se but fold out bleacher type benches) was 2,852. I know..... I've counted.

Zagdawg
12-08-2007, 08:27 AM
Chances are you would not be sitting next to Stockton--unless you forked up the cash for season tickets.

There is a game at the arena each year and in Seattle for those who want to see the team in person--

I remember sitting in the old gym Kennel watching a game and not even 1/2 of the seats were full--times have changed.

I also remember going to support the Zags in the blue/white scimmage this year and the free event was not full.

The market depicts the prices that can be charged for the seats ....we will see very soon what they charge for the seats and some may become available-- I know I wouold be willing to pay double what I am paying now to watch the Zags-- would you?

For those who decided to pay the money for the season tickets or who decide to stand in line for hours or even days to see a game--well that is the luck of the draw-- I wish I would have invested some hefty cash in Microsoft when it went public--but alas I did not :) ---

I agree 2000 more would be nice --

roxdoc
12-08-2007, 08:40 AM
If they had just made it so it could have been expanded a little bit...just in case:(

mdZag23
12-08-2007, 08:57 AM
I think in an ideal world, we would all like to see a larger stadium but the economics just don't point to it. It would be great if GU had all the other academic and housing facicilities that it needs as well, but that also is not the case.

This university is in the process of kicking off a $200M + Capital Campaign to fund additional facilities, one of which is a new Soccer facility and several other academic projects.

I'm a huge HOOPS fan, have season tickets, live all the way across the state, and I love how the the athletic dept. and the university have taken advantage of this Golden ERA of Zag Hoops and created a fantastic environment that a lot of us can enjoy.

However, it would have bordered on unethical fiduciary responsibiltiy to ask donors to pony up that type of extra money for 2000 seats, when there are so many other deserving places to spend it.

If you are trying to create a world class university, you need world class facilities across the board......not just for basketball.

Just my two cents

thespywhozaggedme
12-08-2007, 09:27 AM
8000-8500 would've been perfect. The admin. goofed but a lot of people are afraid to say so. I guess they could expand, they did at Gallager-Iba a few years ago in Stillwater and in Eugene but that would probably cost big bucks.

VanZagar
12-08-2007, 09:58 AM
It takes more than just sellout basketball to pay for a large facility. A larger arena would have to compete directly with the spokane arena for large concerts and other events. Both facilities would likely end up unsuccessful.

Many years ago the cougs had a successful program and huge crowds in a large facility. How many years was the place virtually empty between then and now? Will it be full 5 years from now? Without state funding Beasly would have been a colossal failure. It's hard to imagine the Zags not being the darlings of Spokane but times can change. Other similar institutions like DePaul and Marquette have risen to national prominence then drifted back into the pack. A University cannot make its financial decisions based on the aspirations of us fans.

MDABE80
12-08-2007, 10:13 AM
Zag basketball is underserved with this 6K arena. Money was the overriding concern...no matter what anyone says. BUT, the critics of the K2 size always forget that this was built with private, NOT state, federal or TAX money. We pulled the dough out of pocket to build it..........all private donation money. It's like it's always been at GU: we just don't have that vast ### of public money to build anything.

Sure, we could add some seats. Very expensive ones which likely wouldn't pay for themselves for 10+ years. And the reconfiguration would make the place a bit more cramped. I've always been impressed at the comfort of the Mac.

Jesuit universites ( especially small ones) must chose their priorities. The mission of GU is still education. Those programs and those new buildings must be funded. Angelo might know more about this but basketball takes care of itself with some monies left over. It surely doesn't drive the rest of campus development.

GoZags
12-08-2007, 11:37 AM
8000-8500 would've been perfect. The admin. goofed but a lot of people are afraid to say so. I guess they could expand, they did at Gallager-Iba a few years ago in Stillwater and in Eugene but that would probably cost big bucks.

You are wrong.

The Administration did not goof -- and you've just made up the statement that "a lot of people are afraid to say so".

Unless, of course, you personally wanted to come up with the extra $25,000,000 -- or knew where to raise it.

Birddog
12-08-2007, 11:43 AM
You are wrong.
GoZags, You beat me to it. Obviously this subject needs to be stickied somewhere (right next to the one that declares that we should jump conferences ) so that when it comes up, it's readily available for all to see and digest.

Birddog

perspixx
12-08-2007, 12:42 PM
Zag basketball is underserved with this 6K arena. Money was the overriding concern...no matter what anyone says. BUT, the critics of the K2 size always forget that this was built with private, NOT state, federal or TAX money. We pulled the dough out of pocket to build it..........all private donation money. It's like it's always been at GU: we just don't have that vast ### of public money to build anything.The public money excuse doesn't work. Public universities in California can't use California general fund money for new arenas, either.

ZagNut08
12-08-2007, 02:03 PM
but they can use public funding to pay for their other buildings, allowing donations to focus on sports facilities

perspixx
12-08-2007, 02:05 PM
but they can use public funding to pay for their other buildings, allowing donations to focus on sports facilitiesYeah, we wish. Here at CSUN, our president is focusing on raising $50 million in private funds for a $100 million performing arts center.

thespywhozaggedme
12-08-2007, 02:24 PM
GoZags,
can you provide me a link explicitly stating it would've cost $25,000,000.00 more for 2500 more seats? Anyone in the contracting biz that can either verify or refute GZ's claim? Thanks

MDABE80
12-08-2007, 02:34 PM
Per.......now. Back when Pauley, etc were built all kinds of pUblic money was used. I was there...and yes ..now the rules are different. But point out one single public Pac X place that wasn't initially build with taxpayers dough......PLUS Go Zags is correct. Now the money management has been shifted.
My recollection is that each seat at K2 would have cost well over $10K /chair. It was unclear how much more but I do remember the cost spiraled.
Not having the money, it just wasn't possible. It also accounts for the baseball field being delayed for so long. The dough went to Baskets not to baseball even though the land was free (well free is debatable if you ask the accountants). We all wish there would have been a way to keep the closeness/charm of the new building but had the dough to add more chairs. Just not doable at the time.

More money will be made available in time. Just how to modify what we have might be the tough question to deal with.

perspixx
12-08-2007, 02:36 PM
At any rate, thanks for the info. I hadn't considered the financial viability being so limited... with complete control of the Spokane media market, I figured Gonzaga would be able to raise any funds they need.

GoZags
12-08-2007, 02:38 PM
GoZags,
can you provide me a link explicitly stating it would've cost $25,000,000.00 more for 2500 more seats? Anyone in the contracting biz that can either verify or refute GZ's claim? Thanks


$25m (actually $25m+) would tie to the first post in the thread -- asking why the 6k wasn't doubled. Easily found (linked in this thread) is the extra $12m to add 2k seats (to total 8k -- or the low end of what you'd stated). Also included/linked, if you'd care to read and/or absord was the rationale behind the decision not to go to 8k.

Now Spy -- please name some of those who've goofed and are afraid to say so. I'm assuming, since you've definitively stated that they've goofed and were afraid to admit it --- that you know who they are. Please, please name them. Are they Regents? Trustees? Staff of the University? Staff of the Athletic Department? Other benefactors? Who?

thespywhozaggedme
12-08-2007, 03:35 PM
I specifically mentioned 8000-8500 and you threw out $25,000,000. Now you say that you weren't referring to my post even though you quoted it. Uh, okay. In my opinion the administrators goofed big time by making the Kennel 2 too small. In my opinion 8000-8500 would've been ideal; big enough to accommodate the demand and small enough as not to compete head to head with Spokane Arena.

Why are you so angry at what is simply my opinion? Breath in, breath out. ;)

GoZags
12-08-2007, 03:47 PM
So I am correct -- you've simply made up your statement that the decision makers goofed and they are afraid to say so.

That is a huge difference from YOU thinking they goofed. But it's the internet -- so feel free to make stuff up and pretend you know what you're talking about. You specifically stated something as a fact and now are going back on it.

And as for your ascertation of the use of the "quote"? The salient part of your quote was that the admin. goofed and were afraid to admit it. It just so happens that you also referred to 8,500. Wow. You got me there. Or in other words, Uh.... Okay.

TheBeast
12-08-2007, 04:00 PM
I don't care about the total number of seats, I just wanna know why they never show just how nuts the KC is!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJdL9sg-Faw

BoltZag
12-08-2007, 10:17 PM
You are wrong.

Bingo.

As are most people who post on this topic.

ZagsGoZags
12-09-2007, 12:07 AM
Last year we played Memphis in the arena. I never get to see a zags game in their gym. How would some of you compare the atmosphere of that Memphis game to the Kennel?

MedZag
12-09-2007, 12:29 AM
Last year we played Memphis in the arena. I never get to see a zags game in their gym. How would some of you compare the atmosphere of that Memphis game to the Kennel?

As someone who was at that memphis game, I can say its the closest I've ever seen the arena be to the atmosphere of the kennel. That being said, its still really night and day during a big game. The spokane arena simply wasnt designed with basketball in mind (its awesome for watching the spokane chiefs or shock). Part of it is simply that the student section is such a substantial fraction of the seats in the kennel and is RIGHT on the floor (whereas in the arena we dont get as many seats - have to buy our own tickets - and get stuck behind the basket on one end). When the student section gets jumping during a game in the kennel it looks like the whole PLACE in moving (and the floor of the court shakes, as players can atest). The sound echoes everywhere (you can hear the noise of the arena halfway across campus by crosby)

That being said, the spokane arena during the memphis game last year was definitely louder than the kennel normally is during a lesser game is - like tonight sounded like from people who were there.

roxdoc
12-09-2007, 09:29 AM
I thought the Memphis game was just as loud as the games I've seen at the Kennel (UW, etc). The "everyday fans" were much much louder and agitated than the season ticket people at the Kennel. (Lot of pent up fan demand)The biggest problem I saw was that the students were in the end zone. If I remember correctly the students were on break - didn't seem like there were so many.

zagco
12-09-2007, 01:03 PM
Zagco has seen the Zags play at the Arena. He thinks it provides a big time atmosphere due to its size. It's also a good location, central to downtown. The vibe is good. Gonzaga crowds, to somewhat of an outsider like Zagco that does not live in Spokane or get to see many games in person, do come across as somewhat reserved. It's Zagco's impression that expectations are high and the crowd is composed of a segment of fan that tends to be more reserved on the whole. His one main complaint about the Arena for basketball is the more gentle slope of the seats. In comparison to Boise State's arena, which is about the same size (12,500), Spokane's Arena seems flatter. As a fan, Zagco feels more distant from the play than he does in Boise, even if he's sitting in the second or third deck in Boise, where you literally look down instead of out at the play. Overall, he feels it's better to play home games on the campus where the students get their seats, but Gonzaga has a unique situation here the demand for the product far exceeds the supply of seats at K2, which causes him to support the idea of playing a couple games per year at the Arena.