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UA to Renovate the JAR

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How much will a Zip fan be willing to pay for a ticket to see KD battle mighty Bluffton in the new renovated JAR? I thought with the plythera of riches JT raised we would be in the catbirds seat by now.

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Go big or go home. Half-assing it is what got us stuck with the JAR in the first place.

Go big or go home is what got us a big, giant, empty Info.

As much as I want us to upgrade all of our facilities and move to a bigger conference - the lack of interest in our teams does not warrant anything more. This might be the most responsible decision made in a while. This is what I have been talking about with my frustration in attendance. Folks, you can't keep building these big giant facilities and hiring top coaches if nobody is going to show an interest.

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a-zip I completely agree with you...but you also can go dumping what limited resources you have into a massively outdate building that will be replaced down the road anyways.

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Go big or go home is what got us a big, giant, empty Info.

As much as I want us to upgrade all of our facilities and move to a bigger conference - the lack of interest in our teams does not warrant anything more. This might be the most responsible decision made in a while. This is what I have been talking about with my frustration in attendance. Folks, you can't keep building these big giant facilities and hiring top coaches if nobody is going to show an interest.

Caleb Porter proved that a winning Zips team could draw crowds. What got us a "big, giant, empty info" was hiring iCoach. He dug us a bigger hole than the one on which the Info sits.

I agree that UA has to be careful with its funds, but putting millions into the JAR would be right up there with building it in the first place and hiring iCoach.

The reason the downtown arena never made it to the ballot is folks tied it to UA and UA only. It needs to be marketed as an entertainment venue for Akron and Summit County and not tied to UA in marketing it. It needs to be an "aside" that Zips Mens Basketball will play there. If UA believes it can come up with $20M to put into the POS JAR, then offer those funds toward help with the downtown arena if the voters pass it. See if we could also get LeBron to throw in some funds to help out, and keep the taxpayer investment even lower.

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Caleb Porter proved that a winning Zips team could draw crowds. What got us a "big, giant, empty info" was hiring iCoach. He dug us a bigger hole than the one on which the Info sits.

I agree that UA has to be careful with its funds, but putting millions into the JAR would be right up there with building it in the first place and hiring iCoach.

The reason the downtown arena never made it to the ballot is folks tied it to UA and UA only. It needs to be marketed as an entertainment venue for Akron and Summit County and not tied to UA in marketing it. It needs to be an "aside" that Zips Mens Basketball will play there. If UA believes it can come up with $20M to put into the POS JAR, then offer those funds toward help with the downtown arena if the voters pass it. See if we could also get LeBron to throw in some funds to help out, and keep the taxpayer investment even lower.

In the words of Chris Carter "C'MON MAN"…..what does it take to rank in the top 10 in college soccer attendance 2,500-3,000 people. Hardly something to get giddy about.

Our basketball team has 9 seasons in a row with 20+ wins. That is a lot of wins with a coach who is tied to this community. We have not had over 3,000 people at a game this year. Middle Tennessee (who is a good team) drew 2,700 people. The "go big or go home"…."build it and they will come" does not seem to work for UoA sports (I would love to be proved wrong).

I think you could make the JAR in to a TD arena and it would be "right sized". It could be nice and very loud. IF, for some crazy reason, a renovated TD/JAR consistently sold out…..charge more for tickets. If the demand was so high, THEN I could see justifying a new arena. Turn the JAR into a nice practice facility or maybe a hockey arena.

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It's not too late to make a Christmas wishlist, is it?

  1. All new seating. The stands themselves have to go, with the blue chairs and bleachers attached to them. The new seats should be closer to the court up top, leaving a small walkway instead of the track and a concourse behind the seats with tunnels that come out. You no longer need the upper JAR areas for phys ed classes since the Info supposedly has facilities for that in the 2nd and 3rd floors of the press tower.
  2. A way for fans to get to the restrooms and concessions without having to go up and then back down sets of stairs.
  3. A unified student section, with a dedicated way for students to get to it without having to mingle with the GA crowd. This should be the only section with bleacher seating.
  4. HD scoreboard (1080p led screen or better) and replace the stat boards with ribbon boards like the ones at the info.
  5. Replace the outdoor lighting around the top of the JAR. No more depressing orange globes. Put up some Xenon or LED lights that can be seen all the way from Canada.
  6. Do whatever it takes to install a bleeding-edge broadcast and streaming infrastructure while everything's torn apart.
  7. A raised playing surface that can be disassembled and removed for other events.
  8. A sound-proof booth for the band.

I think you are going to get some of this. I was briefed on some of the ideas that came out of that study a couple of years ago, and here are a couple of things that stuck out at me.

1) Moving the seats forward and eliminating the track, and putting concessions/concourse behind the current upstairs seating. The only drawback is that this is where we'll lose some of our capacity by making those corridors wind around and behind the upstairs seating areas.

2) The possibility that the VIP area will move to the downstairs concession area, with a glass wall looking out onto the court from behind the South basket.

3) All individual seating.

4) The JAR's structural makeup makes it impossible to expand the facility.

I knew that the University would come out with their own plan after the outcry against a downtown arena during the months leading up to the last election cycle. Only time will tell if it's a bluff in our negotiations to get something done with the City.

But the truth remains that we would prefer our own facility, rather than a "shared" facility (yeah right) with the City. To tie this with another recent discussion, we could probably get more if the people and businesses around here would throw their financial and social support towards us. There's still too many people around here who think that the "home team" is the school down towards the bottom of the state. Until then, we have resource limitations. And with a pretty consistent 3,000 range in attendance through an entire era of winning basketball, how do we force anyone to seriously look at the "increased capacity" argument?

This would still take me somewhat by surprise if it actually happens. But, the JAR renovations, as I see it, can still accomplish a lot of things. I would mostly be upset that we would probably delay our ability to attract higher conference affiliation by having a small facility, and that we can't build any luxury suites.

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... I think you could make the JAR in to a TD arena and it would be "right sized". ...

The structure of the JAR will not allow it to be made into a TD Arena even if the full $38 million is dumped into it. It would be nicer than now but would lack the wraparound seating and sight lines of modern arenas among other things. As mentioned previously, replacing all the bleacher seats with chairback seats would result in a maximum capacity of less than 4,500. Just two seasons ago the Zips averaged 4,553 paid attendance at all home conference games. Spending $38 million to turn the JAR into a poor imitation of a modern arena with seating capacity reduced to less than the team recently averaged for a whole season's conference home games makes absolutely no sense.

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These plans to renovate the JAR only make sense if they are meant to satisfy a CUSA committee in order to gain entrance. If this renovation is not a part of switching leagues, it should be 86'd.

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CUSA's average basketball arena capacity for its current 14 member schools is just over 8,000. Reducing the JAR's capacity from 5,500 to less than 4,500 would not be a great way to impress a CUSA membership committee.

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In the words of Chris Carter "C'MON MAN"…..what does it take to rank in the top 10 in college soccer attendance 2,500-3,000 people. Hardly something to get giddy about.

Our basketball team has 9 seasons in a row with 20+ wins. That is a lot of wins with a coach who is tied to this community. We have not had over 3,000 people at a game this year. Middle Tennessee (who is a good team) drew 2,700 people. The "go big or go home"…."build it and they will come" does not seem to work for UoA sports (I would love to be proved wrong).

I think you could make the JAR in to a TD arena and it would be "right sized". It could be nice and very loud. IF, for some crazy reason, a renovated TD/JAR consistently sold out…..charge more for tickets. If the demand was so high, THEN I could see justifying a new arena. Turn the JAR into a nice practice facility or maybe a hockey arena.

There's actually been two games over 3,000 this year if I remember correctly, but I see what you're getting at.

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CUSA's average basketball arena capacity for its current 14 member schools is just over 8,000. Reducing the JAR's capacity from 5,500 to less than 4,500 would not be a great way to impress a CUSA membership committee.

This would suggest the plans need scrapped, then.

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The only CUSA school with a basketball arena capacity of less than 5,000 is the University of Texas at San Antonio with an arena built in 1975 that seats 4,080. UTSA plans to replace it with a new 10,000-seat arena as the second phase of the school's Park West sports complex.

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Like most of you, I can't get this off of my mind.

And here's the bottom line....

WE are a very small minority. The dreams of a few dozen of us here, and a few thousand more in the community, for the future of UA basketball does not add up to the support needed to make it happen. Our ONLY SOLUTION is to raise more money.

There's a school down in the South-Central part of our state that gets plenty of money for their basketball program, and they were eliminated in the first round of the tournament last year, and haven't won a title since 1958 !!! Why? Because their alums and supporters still BELIEVE that they always have a chance to win a title, no matter the results of the last 56 years.

People here don't have that belief. Until they do....the necessary dollars aren't coming.

So, what could change that? There's really only a few possibilities.

1) Knocking off a few big opponents to start to change the belief structure.

2) Seize every opportunity to PUBLICIZE anything related to our desire to grow the program and elevate into a higher league. It doesn't matter if it's fact, fiction, or someone's dream. Talk about it. And talk about it as often as possible. It raises how potential fans and supporters in the community view us.

3) Hope that we find a very rich person who loves UA as much as the head of Nike loves the Oregon Ducks.

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The structure of the JAR will not allow it to be made into a TD Arena even if the full $38 million is dumped into it. It would be nicer than now but would lack the wraparound seating and sight lines of modern arenas among other things. As mentioned previously, replacing all the bleacher seats with chairback seats would result in a maximum capacity of less than 4,500. Just two seasons ago the Zips averaged 4,553 paid attendance at all home conference games. Spending $38 million to turn the JAR into a poor imitation of a modern arena with seating capacity reduced to less than the team recently averaged for a whole season's conference home games makes absolutely no sense.

I find it hard to understand how a fiscally responsible person would spend twice as much to build something that would likely be only half (or less) full the majority of the time (even for conference games). DIG - even using your numbers from 2 years ago for conference games would not fill a renovated JAR, let alone a new arena.

I think NE Ohio has spoken. They have done so with their lack of support for a football team that has Terry Bowden and Chuck Amato as coaches in a state of the art football stadium. They have done so by only putting 4,553 in the seats for home conference basketball games two years ago. They have done so by not supporting a new basketball arena.

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I am not an alumni, I believe I stated so just saying that I was a fan of the school because it is tied to the area.

It is real simple....the JAR is an awful place to watch basketball. But, no matter how terrible a place is, people will go see good basketball. Nobody that is Joe Akron is going to watch Akron play the MAC, sans Ohio and Ken.t. Cleveland St was even a good draw. A couple posts back, somebody mentioned Middle Tennessee, nobody in Akron has ever heard of that school before.

I know it is beating a dead horse, but Dambrot has done this to himself. He wants a super soft schedule and play schools like Bluffton and the likes at home, he doesn't deserve attendance.

I am never going to pay to see games against schools I have never heard of and I played college basketball. So how on earth do you expect to get the average Joe to come?

New arena or not, nobody is coming to watch the awful schedule this school puts out year after year.

If we could ever get into the CUSA, those are better name teams with the likes of UTEP, Marshall, Old Dominion, LaTech, Charlotte, etc.. but what it really allows is better competition and the ability to then have a better out of conference schedule with Ohio, Can't added to their new conference slate and hopefully the ability to get higher quality mid majors and low BCS programs to come into town. A better conference schedule at home, better competition, and still draw local crowds.

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Like most of you, I can't get this off of my mind.

And here's the bottom line....

WE are a very small minority. The dreams of a few dozen of us here, and a few thousand more in the community, for the future of UA basketball does not add up to the support needed to make it happen. Our ONLY SOLUTION is to raise more money.

There's a school down in the South-Central part of our state that gets plenty of money for their basketball program, and they were eliminated in the first round of the tournament last year, and haven't won a title since 1958 !!! Why? Because their alums and supporters still BELIEVE that they always have a chance to win a title, no matter the results of the last 56 years.

People here don't have that belief. Until they do....the necessary dollars aren't coming.

So, what could change that? There's really only a few possibilities.

1) Knocking off a few big opponents to start to change the belief structure.

2) Seize every opportunity to PUBLICIZE anything related to our desire to grow the program and elevate into a higher league. It doesn't matter if it's fact, fiction, or someone's dream. Talk about it. And talk about it as often as possible. It raises how potential fans and supporters in the community view us.

3) Hope that we find a very rich person who loves UA as much as the head of Nike loves the Oregon Ducks.

Bingo. I'd add that we need to change the Alumni/Student Body. All of us were/are heavily involved with UA athletics, UA (and well...us as Alumni) need to find a way to transfer this enthusiasm to them.

This isn't a judgmental question (I really am curious) how many of us on this forum are currently engaged with current students in some fashion?

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I find it hard to understand how a fiscally responsible person would spend twice as much to build something that would likely be only half (or less) full the majority of the time (even for conference games). DIG - even using your numbers from 2 years ago for conference games would not fill a renovated JAR, let alone a new arena. ...

Can we at least agree on the numbers?

Simple math point #1: A $38 million renovation of the JAR gives you a semi-modern arena with chairback seating for 4,450. A thoroughly modern TD Arena clone with chairback seating for 5,100 can be built for $51.5 million. That $51.5 million is NOT "twice as much" as $38 million. If 4,450 capacity is the goal, a slightly smaller TD Arena clone could be built for less than $50 million. But 4,450 capacity should not be the goal (see below).

Simple math point #2: Average home conference attendance at the JAR two seasons ago was 4,533. A $38 million JAR renovation gets you 4,450 chairback seats. Since 4,533 is larger than 4,450, the conference average from two years ago is greater than the capacity of a renovated JAR. Beyond that, 4,533 is the average. Several of the games were close to the 5,500 capacity. With a renovated JAR you'd likely be turning away up to 1,000 fans at several games per season (Can't, OU, Buffalo, Toledo).

Please double-check the bolded sections above and let me know if you agree with the math.

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Is seating capacity really such a huge issue? St. Mary's "arena" only holds 3500. Also, don't forget potential VIP seating/ getting rid of that stupid square design and going to bowl seating will also help. Simple economics...what happens when demand is greater than supply? I don't see how it would hurt the U at all. If we aren't building a new arena, then who really cares if only basketball and volleyball will be played there along with an occasional ceremony. I care a lot more about aesthetics and meeting the needs of the fans at the game than the number of fans it holds.

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blah blah blah blah blah

You guys are so full of yourselves. A guilded turd (JAR) is still a turd (JAR) and stinks just as much as ever. Soccer is sooooo easy to draw crowds, big deal. eff u. If that was the case, where were the crowds during the Lolla years. The crowds came because Akron could defeat top teams and actually compete for something other than a weenie MAC Championship.

Renovate the JAR all you want. WVU won't come there. tOSU won't come there. What "big" program are you going to get to come to the dump JAR?

I convinced former alumni to give Zips Football a chance with the new Football Stadium. Problem was iCoach.They bought tickets for those 2 years and vowed not to return. I don't blame them. TB has done nothing yet to convince anyone to return from the abyss. His last name doesn't mean jack. Winning games, going to bowl games and winning them is what matters.

Beating up on Blufton and Malone and winning 20+ games/season against little sisters of the poor and the MAC doesn't draw disinterested students and alumni.

Go ahead, flush another $20M+ into guilding the turd JAR. Absolutely INSANE.

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You guys care way too much about where money is going that isn't yours. I guess that'll happen when people have agendas to push for each sport. As bad a football attendance is, its still averaged about 3x as much as soccer and basketball.

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blah blah blah blah blah

You guys are so full of yourselves. A guilded turd (JAR) is still a turd (JAR) and stinks just as much as ever. Soccer is sooooo easy to draw crowds, big deal. eff u. If that was the case, where were the crowds during the Lolla years. The crowds came because Akron could defeat top teams and actually compete for something other than a weenie MAC Championship.

Renovate the JAR all you want. WVU won't come there. tOSU won't come there. What "big" program are you going to get to come to the dump JAR?

I convinced former alumni to give Zips Football a chance with the new Football Stadium. Problem was iCoach.They bought tickets for those 2 years and vowed not to return. I don't blame them. TB has done nothing yet to convince anyone to return from the abyss. His last name doesn't mean jack. Winning games, going to bowl games and winning them is what matters.

Beating up on Blufton and Malone and winning 20+ games/season against little sisters of the poor and the MAC doesn't draw disinterested students and alumni.

Go ahead, flush another $20M+ into guilding the turd JAR. Absolutely INSANE.

Using soccer CROWDS as an example? I personally never said soccer was easy to draw a crowd…what I said was I don't consider getting 3-4K people together is much of a crowd for anything.

Let me ask it to you this way. If you had to go to the board and justify spending 70,80,90, 100 million dollars on a new arena…..what examples would you use to show that it was a good investment? Our successful soccer program that averaged 3,500 people? We built a brand new football stadium and started attracting WVU and OSU? Cleveland State built a new basketball season and it is packed?

BTW - the person who said they didn't know who Middle Tennessee was…………..They are in Conference USA - the conference some aspire to :rofl::rofl:

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You guys care way too much about where money is going that isn't yours. I guess that'll happen when people have agendas to push for each sport. As bad a football attendance is, its still averaged about 3x as much as soccer and basketball.

Exactly. Deficit spend to eternity. It's the American Way.

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