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Thread: It's a shame.

  1. #1
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    Default It's a shame.

    At this time every year I am reminded that I stand a snowball's chance in hell of ever seeing a Zag's game at the Kennel. It just seems like a damn shame that a basketball program with such a huge following plays in such a small facility. I am constantly seeing people on this board asking how to get game tickets, only to be given the "you don't stand a chance" type of answer. It shouldn't be this way. This community supports the Zag's in a big way and building a facility that excludes that community was wrong, and having one game a year in the arena doesn't rectify that mistake. The Zag's would sell out 10,000 easily, regardless of who they were playing. I understand that money plays a huge part in this, but I really think the powers that be at GU could have found a way to build something bigger if they had wanted to. The bottom line, the Zag's are a big time program that play in a small time arena.

    P.S.- I am sure I am not the first to voice (or should I say type) this opinion, so I apologize if I am beating a dead horse. I just wanted to vent my frustration.

    P.S.S- By calling Macarthy a "small time arena" I am in no way suggesting that it is not a wonderful facility. It's just way too small.

  2. #2
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    cry me a river. What can we do?

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    It is my understanding that the Zags could not get a permit for a larger arena. The city did not want the competition.

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    It is my understanding that the Zags could not get a permit for a larger arena. The city did not want the competition.

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    Default No permit?

    Is that true? What I recall hearing was that the university didn't want too big an arena ... the brass wanted to keep the "feel" of the old Kennel, which they thought would be lost in a larger facility. But never followed the details too closely.
    For what it's worth, you CAN get tickets to K2. It'll just cost you your firstborn via a ticket broker or online auction site. My wife tried to get us tickets for my birthday last year, and she discovered (I'm not making this up) that it would have only cost a little more to fly to New York for the Duke game than to buy tickets for a conference game at K2.
    Unfortunatly, we did neither.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jigga5 View Post
    cry me a river. What can we do?
    Nothing really. Like I said, I was just venting, that's all.

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    Thats a new one that I find difficult to believe. No offense to you - I question your source.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HOOTER View Post
    Nothing really. Like I said, I was just venting, that's all.
    Im jus playin with you.

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    We need to have Angelo clarify this, but the way I remember it, the cost to add about 2,000 (8,000 total as opposed to 6,000 MOL) seats to the arena would have nearly doubled the cost. Another way to look at it is that the cost of the "cheap seats" is far more expensive than the cost of the better seats.
    Maybe they could put a jumbo screen in the old Kennel and charge people to view it there. Not quite like seeing it live, but with a crowd nevertheless.

    Birddog

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    Quote Originally Posted by roxdoc View Post
    Thats a new one that I find difficult to believe. No offense to you - I question your source.
    Who?

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    Have the Zags ever sold out the Spokane Arena in recent years? I remember announcers discussing that point during a game televised from there last year. They were saying that K2 was about the right size since they were not able to sell out the arena.

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    John Blanchette wrote a good column about the factors involved in determining the arena's size a couple of years ago.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sullyzag66 View Post
    Have the Zags ever sold out the Spokane Arena in recent years? I remember announcers discussing that point during a game televised from there last year. They were saying that K2 was about the right size since they were not able to sell out the arena.
    That was the pre-season NIT. That didn't sell out because you couldn't buy tickets for individual games. Basically if you wanted to watch the Zag's play you had to buy tickets for a bunch of games that you weren't going to go to. Otherwise the Zag's always sell out the arena.

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    Quote Originally Posted by former1dog View Post
    Thanks! I will at least give it a shot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HOOTER View Post
    Thanks! I will at least give it a shot.
    Let us know how it goes. I'll guess $100 for the pair.

  17. #17
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    Default What's a shame?

    Quote Originally Posted by HOOTER View Post
    At this time every year I am reminded that I stand a snowball's chance in hell of ever seeing a Zag's game at the Kennel... I am constantly seeing people on this board asking how to get game tickets, only to be given the "you don't stand a chance" type of answer.


    Hooter, do you mean that you have no chance of seeing the Zags for face value, or that you really have no chance? Tickets change hands for every game on ebay and stubhub, and I bet you could find a ticket for most games by turning up at the MAC early with a sign saying you are looking for one. Will you have to pay up? Sure, but if it is for one game, you could probably manage.

    And as to your other point, I don't think it's a shame that the MAC seats 6,000. I think it's a great size - it's always full and probably will be, even in off years. I don't think you could say that of a 10,000 seat arena.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by HOOTER View Post
    That was the pre-season NIT. That didn't sell out because you couldn't buy tickets for individual games. Basically if you wanted to watch the Zag's play you had to buy tickets for a bunch of games that you weren't going to go to. Otherwise the Zag's always sell out the arena.
    That makes more sense. I wondered at the time why they wouldn't be able to sell out there. As I recall now, it was Rick Majerus who was talking about it. I should have known there would be more to the story.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by J-Mac Zag Forever View Post
    It is my understanding that the Zags could not get a permit for a larger arena. The city did not want the competition.
    Competition with what? The Zags are in no way required to play at the Spokane Arena (there is only one game there this year) and GU rarely opens its doors to concerts or other entertainment, so there is no competition.

    On top of that, the size had nothing to do with a permit. Withholding a building permit for fear of competition would land the city in a lawsuit in a heartbeat.

    Bottom line:
    Quote Originally Posted by Shanachie
    ...it's a great size - it's always full and probably will be, even in off years. I don't think you could say that of a 10,000 seat arena.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZagNative View Post
    John Blanchette wrote a good column about the factors involved in determining the arena's size a couple of years ago.
    Thanks for the article. It was very informative. Actually, if I remember correctly, I read that one when it first came out. I guess the part that bugs me the most is that community inclusion was very low on the priority list when planning the new arena. They knew that absolutely no tickets would be available to the general public and that was of little concern. The article also mentions other new arenas that never sell out, which I think is a non-issue in this case. I understand that nothing can be done about this, and my complaining is in vain, but as a die-hard fan I've just had a hard time getting over this. Not to be dramatic, but it has always felt like a slap in the face. One thing I would like to see, as mentioned in the article, is more games played at the Spokane arena. That would certainly be a nice gesture to the "general public" and a step in the right direction.

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    argh! damn Spokesman requiring a subscription for the online content...anyone want to test my inbox again?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shanachie View Post
    Hooter, do you mean that you have no chance of seeing the Zags for face value, or that you really have no chance? Tickets change hands for every game on ebay and stubhub, and I bet you could find a ticket for most games by turning up at the MAC early with a sign saying you are looking for one. Will you have to pay up? Sure, but if it is for one game, you could probably manage.

    And as to your other point, I don't think it's a shame that the MAC seats 6,000. I think it's a great size - it's always full and probably will be, even in off years. I don't think you could say that of a 10,000 seat arena.
    I've seen the Zag's play in person a few times (at the Spokane arena and at Key arena) so I'm not saying that I have no chance to see them. What I am saying is that, as much as I wish I could, I can't afford to pay hundreds of dollars for tickets on ebay or from a scalper, and I shouldn't have to. Call me crazy, but I just think that a big time program should have a big time facility. The Zag's are much bigger than just a college basketball team, they are Spokane's team. Actually, it's much bigger than that. They have fans all over the country and even the world, as evidenced right here on this message board. They should have a facility that lives up to their reputation.

  23. #23
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    I make this same post every six months or so.

    Birddog is right. Arena math/economics is more complex than most people realize.

    The 6000 seat MAC cost approximately $25,000,000 to build. As the Blanchette article points out, at the time the time the MAC was constructed, 8,000 seat arenas averaged about $37,000,000.

    As the Blanchette article also points, quoting assistant AD Chris Standiford, Gonzaga reasonably believed at the time that they could have sold out an 8,000 seat arena. BUT, and this is a huge but, under the circumstances that existed at the time, an 8,000 seat couldn't have paid for itself, even if sold out.

    $25,000,000 at the time tapped the donors dry (in fact, Fr. Spitzer had to go back to the McCartheys several times and have them up their donations, for which every Zag fan should be eternally grateful--when you see either of the McCarthey brothers at a game or on campus, walk up to them and thank them for their incredible generosity). There was no more donation capital for construction and Gonzaga would have been worse than foolish to fund a bigger arena with debt because the income stream from an 8,000 seat arena couldn't have serviced the debt, even if every seat in the house were sold out for every game.

    An unfortunate reality/dilemma of stadium economics is that the last seat built in a new arena, i.e., the 8,000th seat, is the most expensive to construct and produces the least revenue of any seat in the house. The reason is that construction costs go up exponentially, primarily because of the price of structural steel.

    Here's some incredibly simplistic math, but it illustrates the point. Assume 2,000 more seats, each selling for $20 for 13 home games and 1,000 more Bulldog Club memberships (1 for every pair of seats) at $200 per year. That generates $720,000 gross revenue a year. Assume you borrow $12,000,000 on a 30 year note at 6%. It will take monthly payments totaling $864,000 a year to pay the mortgage, and that's before you take into account the greater operating costs (heat, lights, staff, etc.) that an 8,000 seat arena would require. That's a revenue shortfall of $150,000 year--without operating costs being figured in. Then there's the matter of what happens if the team becomes a .500 team for a few years and you only sell 6,000 seats a game. You're flipped even worse.

    An 8,000 seat arena would have been a glorious monument to hubris that wouldn't have made financial sense.

    Hope this helps.

    JHoop should chime in if I'm wrong on my mortgage assumptions.
    You have to love the Gonzaga fan. Not satisfied to be affronted merely by common hosings at the hands of ragtag referees, he plows all avenues of discontent. - John Blanchette

    Gonzaga University...Home of the Zags...The Bulldogs. If you pronounce it "Gone Zaw Ga," they'll know you're not from here and they may charge you more for your coffee. - Garrison Keillor

  24. #24
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    Wow. Fantastic explanation, Angelo. I saved the thread so if I ever find myself seeing this complaint again, I'll remember why I'm so glad the Gonzaga powers that be are running the place.

  25. #25
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    Nice explanation Angelo. But using the logic of:
    the last seat built in a new arena, i.e., the 8,000th seat, is the most expensive to construct and produces the least revenue of any seat in the house.
    Why are other schools buiding 10, 12, up to 20 k seat arenas? And I don't buy into the argument that UK built Rupp arena with football money.

    How much revenue does TV bring in? How much revenue does this successful basketball program generate?
    I miss Mike Hart

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