The board of regents have approved $1M for a new soccer field, $6.5M for football stadium renovations, $5M for the football fieldhouse replacement, $3.5M for a new fieldhouse for baseball, softball and soccer, $950,000 for synthetic turf, $1.2M for a new softball field, and $5M for baseball stadium renovations over the next 5 years. That's about $23M in athletic facility upgrades, and if playa4life is correct about donations, they still have another $7M to spend.
You've listed startup costs. Now your operational costs. Another poster was pretty much dead on when he talked athletic budget. Lamar's athletic budget is going to be in the 12 M range IMO at the FCS level as they will be pushing for FBS and would need to hit 15 at minimum for FBS. That money is going to come from somewhere. I think that is what makes $30M a reasonable number in their scenario.
A new $19M dorm was also approved to be built in the next few years. Lamar already has a 10K seat basketball arena. Although no one from the University has said they plan to go FBS, I'm sure they have considered it privately. Lamar will compete in the SLC for at least 4 or 5 more years, and based on the how things are going with the football team and with conference shakeups, will probably decide sometime after 2011 whether to go FBS or not.
I think this is the sensible path and we see eye to eye on this. I think this is where most of the cooler heads at Lamar are going with this. I think Tubbs might push at a faster pace, but I think if it really doesn't look viable (no conference home) my gut feeling is that he will pull back. As much as he wants this, the guy loves Lamar and wouldn't risk the fallout of an ill-conceived jump to FBS Indy.
Lamar is in a smaller market than say UTSA or Texas State, but they will basically have a monopoly on the market which those other schools don't. There's HS sports and a minor league hockey team that Lamar has compete with for fans, but that's about it. They should average at least 15K in football their first few years. After that it's hard to guess, the honeymoon will be over and they'll need to start winning.
Well, UTSA is in the best shape IMO, even though they share basketball with the Rockets. UTSA should in essence become San Antonio's pro team. I would not be suprised to see them filling the Alamodome with SA residents, not UTSA students within 5 years of jumping to FBS. In terms of Football, they have many of the same attribs as UT.
Additionally, If SA ever gets a pro team, UTSA could build a 35K on campus stadium and fill it with their student body and they would still have a very attractive native TV market. They are golden, even though basketball will struggle. A MWC/CUSA level invite is not out of the question with a few years of FBS under their belt.
On campus housing and student body size is a big part of attendance which then over time translates to fan support and TV viewership. Smaller privates like Rice and SMU can get away with lower viewership numbers because their alumni have huge buying power and as such are at a premium to advertisers.
None of the publics we are talking about have that advantage, so they have to be able to generate numbers. In that, smaller schools will be at a disadvantage and schools with heavy commuter populations (ie. people not likely to regularly attend games and become rabid fans) will also suffer.