Posted by Adam Jacobi
The Board of Governors in Florida just gave the final go-ahead to Florida Atlantic University to build a new stadium worth nearly $70 million, with construction starting next month. Here's the financial breakdown of the funding, if that's a serious concern of yours:
The Board of Governors, a panel overseeing Florida's 11 public universities, voted to approve a $44.585 million financing plan. Another $20.3 million for the project will be paid in cash from various university reserves, and the final $4.9 million from other projects.
The new construction is, on its face, a good move; FAU currently plays in a high school stadium that's over 50 years old and barely seats 20,000 fans. They share the place with two local schools and a minor league soccer team. It's not really a selling point in recruiting.
But what, exactly, is FAU getting out of all this? After all, if Villanova jumps to D-I, they're going to need a new stadium. But with that stadium, they get a boost in their divisional status and a spot in a BCS automatic qualifying conference.
On the other hand, once FAU's stadium is built, then what? They'll still be in the Sun Belt, which still won't have a meaningful television distribution deal. In other words, FAU's revenues outside of the gate aren't likely to rise much, and it'd be a long time before the added 9,500 seats and the (presumptive) added revenue per ticket pay for that $70 million price tag on their own. Sure, this is all part of fielding a I-A (FBS, whatever) football program, but doesn't that just raise the question of what the hell FAU is doing with a I-A program in the first place?