Economies of Scale

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Economies of Scale

Post by wrv on Thu Jan 24, 2008 2:48 pm

Anyone else bemused by the U of O basketball arena being projected at a cool $200 million. I also understand the Duck athletic department is suggesting that the annual operating cost will be met by building revenues. To what extent the taxpayers have to chip in I am uncertain, but I doubt quite seriously that this building will be self-sustaining--we are in period where almost obvious exageration and puffery is an acceptable mode of presentation to the public when potential taxpayer contributions are involved. Accurate statements regarding revenue and costs are seldom given; no doubt many remember the recent OHSU tram debacle, which cost tens of millions more than projected by goverment officials, to the detriment of the taxpayers. Hope this is not the same sort of purposeful understatement by UO offficials. I will admit that the building plans appear impressive.

While I suppose it inevitable that taxpayers will subsidize the UO arena, it saddens me that there is not more accountability. It will, I believe, offer a contrast in which this university can take pride, having built its own basketball and general purpose arena at a reasaonable cost and with revenues meeting the operating costs, or so I understand.

Points for the UP administration on this.


Last edited by on Fri Jan 25, 2008 7:32 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Economies of Scale

Post by Geezaldinho on Thu Jan 24, 2008 3:21 pm

I hear you, wrv,

while UofO says it will pay for the venue out of revenues, the bonds to pay for it will be backed by the State. I hope that the lawmakers in Salem have the sagacity to demand that the revenue from all UofO venues be included in the payment scheme. I could see a scenario where Autsen revenues go directly to the athletic dept, while we pay for the debts.

But our legislators probably aren't that smart....

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Re: Economies of Scale

Post by PilotNut on Thu Jan 24, 2008 3:56 pm

This situation with the U of O arena really chaps my hide. Why should the tax payers be on the hook for this, a purely "luxury" item for UO??

I dont mind a little governmental support, as there is common good to having the arena in place... maybe a small tax break here, a zoning change there... but full state backing of the bonds? Especially when the data shows that the arena will not make money?! Mad

Lets not forget that we the taxpayers are also on the hook for the bonds issued for Reser Stadium...

UO has deep pockets... and to not fund raise to at least fund a portion of the construction... Wow. Suspect

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Re: Economies of Scale

Post by Rochin54 on Fri Jan 25, 2008 5:15 am

This is especially interesting/surprising given the recent feelings (or lack there of) for higher education amongst those in Washington. Folks in Washington aren't happy that University's are enjoying record endowments and endowment returns while increasing tuition much faster than the rate of inflation. This results in federally backed student aid programs footing the bill for increased tuition getting remitted to the school, while school's continue to hoard their endowment dollars.

Incidentally, I did a quick search online and couldn't find UPs financial statements/annual report - does anyone know if they are located on the interweb, or must one request them from the U?

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Re: Economies of Scale

Post by Stonehouse on Fri Jan 25, 2008 8:24 am

You don't need to request them from the U, though they'll probably give them to you.... we used to pull them from the IRS as public records when I was working for The Beacon. Not sure about an on-line search.

On the grander scheme of this topic... I've always felt that Congress is the one thing that could completely alter the shape of college athletics. A few years ago some congressmen were grumbling about the NCAA and its schools being deemed "not for profit" when in reality they make tons of cash on football and basketball. If they take away that status and make it taxable revenue just like any other business? Wow wow wow would that change everything. Unfortunately, all it would probably result in would be schools cutting sports like wrestling and swimming and tennis and golf and soccer and all of that. And of course I don't want that to happen. But this topic could come up again, especially when there are a lot of non-sports-fan people running around the Beltway.

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Re: Economies of Scale

Post by Geezaldinho on Fri Jan 25, 2008 8:41 am

Since UofP is a private institution, they don't have to publish a lot of data like individual's salaries and such. (You CAN find the salary of almost every California public system employee on line, if you look - wanna know how much Jillian Ellis earned?)

There is, however, a public US dep't of Education website that gives a breakdown of what every NCAA school spends on sports:

Institutional Data

Have fun.

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Re: Economies of Scale

Post by Stonehouse on Fri Jan 25, 2008 9:30 am

Geezer, this is BRILLIAN! Fantastic find.

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Re: Economies of Scale

Post by Rochin54 on Fri Jan 25, 2008 10:10 am

I'm not really interested in what people make, I was thinking more along the lines of the University's overall financial position. I'm sure they publish an annual report including some information about the school, the direction they're headed, and the audited financial statements. Many school's (even private) have them online, I just didn't see it. It's probably something that one can request, though.

Geezer - cool website!!

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Re: Economies of Scale

Post by PilotNut on Fri Jan 25, 2008 10:24 am

As a donor to the school, I get an annual report that gives a high level over view of the financial condition of the U. Revenues, expenses, endowment, etc... I think UP's fiscal year ends 5/31 or 6/30... so I am sure there will be an update out this summer.

I know the general theme is that we are doing quite well, especially recently. While Fr. Tyson wasnt the most visible of Presidents, he did very well for us financially. Fr. Beauchamp seems to be cut from the same mold... the future looks bright for UP! sunny

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Re: Economies of Scale

Post by Stonehouse on Fri Jan 25, 2008 11:35 am

Yes indeed the future looks bright!

The big piece is still, of course, getting the land down below the Bluff. The deal was supposed to be done Jan. 1 of 2007... so it's been held up in legal wranglings for over a year now. I think things are still going toward the deal happening, and once that is done - wow! That will be just a huge, huge step and will really start changing what the campus can and will look like in the coming years.

The Engineering Building (no, wait... Shiley Hall now) is progressing... they did a lot of work over the break while students were gone. If you haven't seen the plans for it, you should check it out... it looks really cool. You can see it here: http://www.up.edu/ and then click "Donald P. Shiley Hall to transform engineering education" under spotlights.

And I think plans for a big new dorm are in the works too. Not sure about the timeline on that one, but I know it's supposed to be located over by Haggarty Hall. Heard it might be four stories and 350 rooms or so... about the same size as Shipstad, I think.

And the latest I've heard on the library is that they are going to tear it down completely and build a brand new one that will include student center stuff as well... basically taking over all the offices that are in St. Mary's. One sticking point has been where to temporarily house the library though... there aren't really a lot of good options. St. Mary's maybe for some of it... maybe Howard Hall... maybe the track of the Chiles Center? I really don't know.

The big one that we all want, I know, is the new Howard Hall. I've seen some very, very cool plans that would build it over the land where the baseball field is right now, out into the parking lot a bit, and then next to the back end of Merlo Field... it would put up luxury suites so you could watch games at Merlo from behind the goal. Now wouldn't that be something... luxury suites for women's soccer? Smile I would have to think that would be a first in the NCAA. But, of course, that would be contingent on getting the land below (in order to build a new baseball field) or - if they wanted to move fast - finding a temporary home for the baseball team (PGE Park?), which I'm sure would be a huge pain.

I don't know what would happen with good old Howard once that is done... my guess would be they'd tear it down and build a new classroom building.

Anyway, of course most of this stuff is several years in the future, but there's no doubt that the school has an upward trajectory right now and that there is some really, really exciting stuff coming down the pike.

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Re: Economies of Scale

Post by PilotNut on Fri Jan 25, 2008 12:01 pm

How cool would that "New Howard Hall" be...! Merlo Field has some opportunities to be even greater, with some $$$... Very cool.

The drawings I have seen show the complete removal of the main parking lot, replaced by a quad, and the new (and much larger) Library/Pilot House combo. Parking would shift to a new parking garage that would also be the car access point to the new lower campus... I think you would drive into the top of the garage at street level behind Corrado Hall, and drive down to end up at the lower campus.

Per an article in the Beacon ( http://media.www.the-beacon.net/media/storage/paper1193/news/2007/11/29/News/Triangle.Park.Deal.Moves.Forward-3123494.shtml ), the parties had all come to agreement again on the land purchase, and it was just a matter of working out the legal part, again. That will be so HUGE for UP.... an instant 50% increase to campus, and close to a 100% increase if/when that other piece of land down below is also acquired!

I read somewhere that the lower campus will focus on facilities that dont require much digging or basements (due to the remediation used)... so athletic fields, green space, etc., will be down there. The drawing I have shows a new baseball stadium and several fields & buildings there (I am guessing buildings that support the athletic fields... locker rooms, etc).

I am getting all giddy again thinking about it! bounce

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Re: Economies of Scale

Post by Stonehouse on Fri Jan 25, 2008 12:14 pm

Wow... and check this latest Beacon article out:

The administration is considering breaking ground for a new residence hall this spring, although funding for the project has yet to materialize.

"We are hoping to find benefactors who can help in making the decision to go forward an affirmative one, but we are still in the initial stages of finding those donors," said John Goldrick, vice president for enrollment management and student life, in an e-mail. Goldrick declined to comment further on the discussions about the new dorm.

http://media.www.the-beacon.net/media/storage/paper1193/news/2008/01/24/News/Campus.Crowding.Accelerates.Dorm.Talks-3167225.shtml?reffeature=popuarstoriestab

I'll reserve my comments about John Goldrick, but seeing "Goldrick declined to comment" in the article made me smile... I think just about every one of my old Beacon articles included that phrase. Smile

But wow... breaking ground this Spring? That's way sooner than I was thinking.

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Re: Economies of Scale

Post by Geezaldinho on Fri Jan 25, 2008 12:58 pm

I've seen some very, very cool plans that would build it over the land where the baseball field is right now, out into the parking lot a bit, and then next to the back end of Merlo Field... it would put up luxury suites so you could watch games at Merlo from behind the goal. Now wouldn't that be something... luxury suites for women's soccer? I would have to think that would be a first in the NCAA.

I'm pretty sure Tennessee's Regal Stadium has a few Fat Cat boxes. Hey! come to think of it, Harry Merlo has had his for years....

If you haven't seen pictures of Regal, check them out here: Regal Stadium

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Re: Economies of Scale

Post by PurplePrideTrumpet on Sat Jan 26, 2008 7:27 pm

I just read this thread today and there's a lot of stuff to cover here:

-First, look no further than the beautiful AT&T Park in San Francisco for a stadium built with private money. If UO wants a new arena they can raise the money themselves. Haven't they asked their nice Uncle Phil for money yet? I know the comparison between a university and an MLB franchise isn't exact, but I don't like the idea of using tax money to fund stadiums.

-After the last women's game I was feeling nostalgic and took a walk around campus. I saw the land down by the river and it will be exciting to see whatever is built there.

-As far as a new library, the sooner the better. UP's library always seemed a little small to me, and I would sometimes search for the articles I needed on the computer and go to PSU or Reed, who actually had the journals. And Reed has an awesome library--it looks great, and it's big.

-As for Goldrick, I didn't see too much of him when I was in school (I was on relatively good behavior Very Happy), so I don't know much about him. At my freshman orientation he told the parents something to the effect of, "In one year at ND I kicked out 12 students, and in all my time at UP I've kicked out 6 or 7, which speaks to the character we have here."

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Re: Economies of Scale

Post by ManOfVision on Sun Jan 27, 2008 12:25 pm

Hi Pilots fans! This is my first post on this forum, so be gentle.

The issue of a new library at UP has been a big issue for me for quite some time. The current library is a joke in terms of size, decor, and holdings. In my opinion, a library should be the nicest building on a college campus, and I cringe each time I think of UP's building. I remember when I was a student several years ago, there was talk of combining the library and the Pilot House into a single structure, but nothing ever came of it. I would also hope that St. Mary's could be torn down at some point, as it constitutes a significant eyesore compared to other nearby buildings such as the chapel and Swindells.

As for the residence halls, how about replacing/expanding some current buildings as opposed to just adding new facilities?

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