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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 9:03 am 
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The long and short of it is really simple. The university is land locked. The only way they will not hurt future growth -- the next 20 years --- is to take back the land where Fouts feild currently sits. To do that, they have to either discontinue football --- which would hurt university growth and piss off the alumni who contribute most funds to the university --- or build the long awaited new stadium on the other side of the highway in "Mean Green Village".

You can see from this 2002 map what UNT's growth plans were. The "UNT golf course" was "Eagle point golf course" and is Mean Green Village now --- UNT's athletic village. A lot of their exansion plans were based on acquiring land that is already in use from it's current owners. In a city like Denton, that is not always the most pro-University or pro-business of cities, this may prove difficult and more importantly, time consuming. The easiest way to build more academic buildings close to the existing academic structures is to use the Fouts Feild stadium area.

Image

I have gathered a ton of news stories and whatnot. I am dissappointed I could not find the FAQ article on the creation of Mean Green Village that UNT wrote to soothe the anger of local land owners who built somewhat fancy homes on the sides of a golf course.

Basically around 2000-2002, the company/Hotel running neighboring Eagle Point Golf Course defaulted on its lease and stuck UNT with a failing golf course. The University decided to make lemonaide out of lemons and to convert the neighboring village into a state of the art athletic village, the crowing jewel of that would be a new stadium.

AD Rick Villarreal appears to have sold 2 presidents on his vision, but has had some problems with the Students and alumni --- UNT is a music college and a number of current and former students just can't grasp how athletics can make a degree worth more --- and had problems with his Coach Darrell thingyey melting down.

Regardless, it appears the university leadership is committed to this path.


Last edited by finiteman on Fri Aug 08, 2008 10:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 9:04 am 
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_North_Texas_Mean_Green_Stadium

Note: Construction has not been approved or started yet.

New North Texas Mean Green Stadium is the working title of a new stadium being built in Denton, Texas for the North Texas Mean Green football team. Located on the former Eagle Point Golf Course, the stadium will be the centerpiece of the University of North Texas's Mean Green Village. It will replace Fouts Field, which opened in 1951.

In February 2008, HKS, Inc. was selected to provide initial architectural and design services for the proposed new stadium.[1]

On July 7 2008, the University of North Texas increased the size of its CP program, freeing up a total of $70 million to finance capital projects.[2]

On July 22 2008, University of North Texas head football coach Todd Dodge said "I’ve been told we’d open [a new stadium] in 2010." [3]


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 9:05 am 
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This is the image from the "Mean Green Village" FAQ that I couldn't find earlier. This is the only image I have found that is CLEARLY a UNT Administration official vision.

Based on the location of the athletic center, the sadium would be in the triangle in the above map where 35W (from Fort Worth) and 35E (from Dallas) meet.

Will the stadium look like this? Who can say. I think this clearly addresses their current beef with Fouts feild --- note that none of the 30-35K seats are in the endzones. That leads me to beleive this is like Villareal's ideal plan.

I think this is a stadium that could be filled pretty regularly and migh quickly generate a buzz to expand to 50K---making movement to an academically higher caliber conference possible.

The athletic center sits in the west end zone.

Additionally note that the stadium appear to be dug in, which would allow a sensible and cost effective upper deck style future expansion.

Finally, Mean Green Village is also frequently mentioned as a site for future dorms --- UNT wants to add more on campus housing, meaning plenty of students will be very close to the stadium = good attendance numbers.

I LOVE this plan.

Image


Last edited by finiteman on Fri Aug 08, 2008 10:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 9:12 am 
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lots of great information in here. Links and the articles in case the links die.


http://forum.dallasmetropolis.com/archive/index.php/t-983.html


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 9:19 am 
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I'll try to do the rest of these in some chronological sense. This is from 2005, the end of the Darrell thingyey era. Essentially, thingyy had 1 brilliant recruiting class and a top defensive coordinator. He won with that class and his recruiting afterwards was absolutely awful.

http://www.dentonrc.com/sharedcontent/dws/drc/localnews/stories/DRC_UNT_athletics.b484275a.html

August 27, 2005

"....UNT opened its $7.4 million athletic center this year and purchased Denton Liberty Christian School’s campus, where new soccer and softball fields are being built. Construction has also begun on the Ronald C. Waranch Tennis Pavilion, the new home for the UNT tennis program, and a new artificial surface at Fouts Field, which will be ready for this season...."


The administration and AD realized he was killing the program with bad recruiting. He was making it hard to raise the money to build the new stadium to satisfy the AD and to allow the demolition and reuse of the land under Fouts Feild to satisfy the President and the board's ideas of future campus expansion.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 9:31 am 
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This is shortly after the hiring of Todd Dodge. thingyey was fired in a very uncerimonious way that showed very little gratitude for his years of winning. thingyey in return did several mickey mouse things on the way out to embarrass the school and his AD including the infamous "black jersey" game.

Todd Dodge is a former UT QB who was the head coach at Southlake Carroll, a team in an extremely rich Dallas suburb.

Southlake is ridiculous. At one point the Dallas Cowboys rented the school's indoor practice facility.

Anyway, Dodge turned Southlake into a nationally reknown high school program. They were constantly ranked in the top 5 nationally and rarely ever lost a game. Div I schools came to Dodge to learn his offense. I beleive Missouri and Kansas ran it last year --- could be wrong on that but don't think I am.

Anyway --- as hot a high school coaching name since Gerry Faust. UNT saw an explosive offense, an attention to detail, cheap enough/ risky enough to be hired, but respected enough to be envied by other Div I schools, and provided a recruiting in --- everyone knows Todd Dodge in DFW high school football circles, so they hired him to bring in players and be the face to excite fans and alumni and deliver their new stadium.

Important to note a new president in this article ---equally on board with the new stadium.


July 29, 2007
http://www.dentonrc.com/sharedcontent/dws/drc/localnews/stories/DRC_Fouts_0729.bf29fda1.html

"....Villarreal and UNT president Gretchen Bataille both have stated publicly that the school is raising money for a new football stadium and that the early stages of a capital campaign are underway.


The challenge now for UNT is determining how it can raise the money to complete what would be the biggest — not to mention most expensive — project in athletic department history. Villarreal estimated the facility UNT wants to build to replace Fouts would cost about $52 million.

Both Villarreal and Bataille said the university has yet to commit to a timetable for breaking ground on a new facility.

....UNT provided a figure of $1.5 million in response to a Freedom of Information Act request asking for the amount of money pledged by UNT boosters and businesses for a new stadium but did not provide a sum set aside for a stadium by the university.

“There is a real desire to replace Fouts Field and it’s in the long-range plan,” Bataille said. “What we are doing now is assessing the possibility of undertaking the project.” ..."


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 9:34 am 
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UNT was given a sum of money (1.5M) by alumni to get designs made for the new stadium to assist in fundraising for that project.

February 8, 2008
http://www.dentonrc.com/sharedcontent/dws/drc/sports/stories/DRC_UNTCoachHire_0208.9ea22822.html

"Board approves HKS Inc. for stadium work

The UNT board of regents selected HKS Inc. to provide architectural and design services for a proposed new football stadium on Thursday.

The proposed stadium would seat 30,000-35,000 and could be expanded to 50,000 seats. The stadium would be built on the land adjacent to the Mean Green Athletic Center and would replace Fouts Field, which opened in 1952. "


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 9:38 am 
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Todd Dodge is infamously quote in an article that is linked EVERYWHERE stating that he his holding UNT's administration to having a new stadium by 2010. Clearly he took the job with that promise and is holding everyone's feet to the fire --- in a somewhat professional manner. The undercurrent is certainly, "if you lied to me I will bail on UNT."


Jul. 22, 2008

http://www.star-telegram.com/288/story/774327.html

"...UNT coach Todd Dodge reiterated Monday his hope and desire to be in a new stadium no later than 2010.

"I’ve been told we’d open in 2010," Dodge said. "That’s when I’m holding them to it. For this program to go where it needs to go, we’ve got to get a new stadium."...

UNT remains in the funding phase, in search of a naming-rights sponsor amid faltering economic times. An architect has been on board.... "


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 9:39 am 
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A new UNT recruit turns up the fire even more....

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/drc/sports/college/stories/DRC_UNTFootball_0725.8b600515.html

Jul 24, 2008
"Recently North Texas went on the defensive, picking up a commitment from Hilbert Jackson of Rowlett, Texas...“I liked it because they’re building new stuff and building a new stadium,” he said..."


Last edited by finiteman on Fri Aug 08, 2008 10:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 9:40 am 
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Denton UNT blogger with paper weighs in.

http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/archives/2008/07/

Jul 22,2008
"....the most interesting part of the story is what Dodge had to say -- no big surprise there. Dodge expressed confidence in UNT's ability to build a new stadium last year and didn't back off this year. The kicker was Dodge said he was told when he was hired that UNT would have a new place by 2010.

To me that is significant.

If you hired a new coach with the assumption that a new stadium would be in place by a certain date and he went out and sold players on having a new facility by that date, it makes it pretty important to come through.

Something will have to take place pretty soon for that to happen. In an interesting side note, Florida Atlantic coach Howard Schnellenberger said the Owls are aiming for 2010 as well and will have to get something done in the next few weeks in the way of financing to make that goal a reality. ..."


Last edited by finiteman on Fri Aug 08, 2008 10:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 9:50 am 
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The official response to Dodge's comments. Now it could be saving face, but I don't buy that. I think both the President and the AD recognize that Dodge took the fall for a mostly talentless team last season and took a big hit to his credibilty and is looking at, at best, a 7-5 year this year and possibly another stinker as his recruits are still quite young. I think they get that they OWE Dodge to back this play for the stadium and more to the point, THAT'S WHY THEY HIRED HIM.

I think Villareal is being very truthful in saying that he appreciates Dodge saying it. President Bataille is being a little too humble on this, IMO and is mimizing how important it is to the university that the students come through. While it possibly can be done without current student support, it would take years longer, cost the school Dodge and probably Villareal and a ton more credibility. IMO they need the students to vote for an athletic fee --- just like I paid when I attended UT back in the day. That is probably required to hit the 2010 plan. I fully expect to see that put out to the students to vote on early in the Fall semester.


August 3, 2008
http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/spt/colleges/northtexas/stories/DRC_UNT_notebook_0803.c0b0306.html

"...North Texas athletic director Rick Villarreal wasn’t at all surprised when Todd Dodge went on the record as saying he expected the school to have a new football stadium by 2010.

As a matter of fact, Villarreal couldn’t have been happier with the way his head football coach has pushed for UNT to build a new venue.

“He needs to be out there saying what we need,” Villarreal said during UNT’s annual Kickoff Cookout on Saturday at the Mean Green Athletic Center. “I don’t have a problem with that and never have with anyone. Coach Dodge is positive about it and is excited about what we are trying to get done. When you are positive about it in the public, it helps us. It’s no secret that it is a priority for us.”

UNT has had a stadium in its long-term plans for several years. The completion of several other athletic venues has pushed a new football stadium to the forefront of the school’s agenda.

Dodge said during Sun Belt Conference media days last month that he was told when he was hired that UNT would have a stadium by 2010 and that nothing that has happened since has convinced him that will not happen.

The possibility of an increase in the student athletic fee or a fee specifically for a new stadium has been discussed as a possible way to fund a new stadium.

“I wouldn’t do that, Rick wouldn’t do that. It’s up to the students,” UNT president Gretchen Bataille said of instituting a student fee. “The leaders are talking about it. It’s inappropriate for a president or an athletic director to tell the students what they ought to do.” ..."


Last edited by finiteman on Fri Aug 08, 2008 9:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 9:53 am 
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The paper's UNT blogger apparently agrees with my general assessment.

http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/archives/2008/08/

August 5, 2008

"...And finally, a reader wanted to know how UNT would pay for a new football stadium. He seemed to be opposed to putting the vast majority of the financial burden on the student body.

Quick aside -- hide while you can, there are probably some alumni who want to play you a visit.

I don't think there is any big secret that UNT wants to go the direction of raising student fees in some form or fashion, finding a naming rights sponsor and putting together a campaign that would hopefully raise the rest of what is needed from alumni and boosters. UNT appears as if it is getting closer to having enough money on hand to go forward with a campaign to convince students to vote for a fee increase and a corresponding campaign to raise money from alumni who are not in the heavy-hitter category and have yet to be approached."


Last edited by finiteman on Fri Aug 08, 2008 10:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 9:55 am 
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The President weighs in and says the stadium absolutely must be built.


Friday, Aug 8, 2008
http://www.star-telegram.com/college_sports/story/803985.html

"DENTON — Whether a proposed new football stadium at North Texas meets with opposition or financial barriers, university president Gretchen M. Bataille said Saturday the project must move forward no matter how long it takes.

During the Mean Green’s annual football kickoff cookout, Bataille called a new stadium "the one piece that’s missing" in UNT’s construction of new sports facilities since 2005. She reiterated that UNT won’t break ground until $30 million is raised or pledged — half of the projected $60 million cost.

"Until we have half the money in pledges or cash in hand, we’re not going to turn dirt," said Bataille, who wouldn’t say how much had been raised. "Until we know we’ve got that commitment — it could be corporate or private funds or student fees — we can’t in good conscience go out and start digging a hole."

Bataille favors a student referendum on a new per-semester-hour athletic fee to help finance the project. UNT currently has a student services fee that helped pay for a new campus recreation center and natatorium, as well as other women’s athletic facilities. It’s rumored that a vote could occur as early as this fall.

If students pass it, the Board of Regents, and likely the Texas Legislature, would need to approve an athletic fee. Currently, the athletic department budgets out of the student services fee pool, and "that is not the way to run an athletic program," Bataille said.

"We do need a separate athletic fee, stadium or no stadium," she added. "Obviously, we have a good reason now to institute one."

The stadium would sit across I-35E from Fouts Field, on the old UNT golf course. UNT has spent over $1 million on a site survey and architectural design.

"If we’re going to take our rightful place in the Sun Belt Conference, as well as the country as a Division I institution, we simply have to have a new stadium," Bataille said...."


Last edited by finiteman on Fri Aug 08, 2008 10:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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