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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 4:10 pm 
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School: Portland State
Location: Portland, OR
Designated Media Market: Portland (#23/210) 1.150M TV Households
Undergrad Enrollment: ~25k
US News and World Report Rank: Tier 4
Endowment: University of Oregon system ranks #404 nationally with 65M as of 2005.
Current Designation: FCS (Big Sky)
Proposed Destination: Division I-FBS (WAC)
Football Stadium: PGE park is acceptably close to campus (1 mile).
Stadium capacity: 20K
Football Attendance: 6648 average over 5 years.
BBall Stadium: on/near campus Stott Center
BBall Capacity: 1500
BBall Attendance: 1071 (71%) over the last 5 years

Argument:
Oregon and Oregon State are both statewide schools, but neither one is native to the Portland DMA. Portland State is. PSU has a large alumni base and as they are local to the city, their graduates likely stay there.

PSU's big problem is lack of money. They are a member of a very poor state system.

Athletically, PSU has always lagged behind. Their basketball facilities seem abysmal, playing in a 1500 seat arena --- that at least is apparently being rectified; The school is building a new athletic center. (We will see what the capacity is though. My guess is it will still be too small.)

The Football team experienced some success in the late 70's behind Neil Lomax and Mouse Davis. Davis is back as an assitant coach to Jerry Glanville today and PSU is again scoring in bunches.

The stadium appears to be lacking. It is close enough to campus to be optimal --- only 1 mile away --- but likely suffers from the fact that it is a multisport stadium.

http://www.worldstadiums.com/stadium_pictures/north_america/united_states/oregon/portland_pge.shtml

I have never been there, but looking at the layout, it seems pretty likely that it is not that great of a stadium to watch football in. I would guess about 10K of the seats are pretty much garbage. I think if a football Crazy PSU alumni ever became mayor of Portland, PGE Park might be converted into a very good football and soccer stadium by adding 6-12K permanent seating to the open side of the feild. That would be a key to long term success IMO.

Even with a middling stadium, I think PSU could probably make the jump to FBS semi- successfully. A game against Oregon or OSU would fill the stadium as would a game against Washington. WSU and Idaho would probably be good draws too. I think the rest of a WAC schedule would likely yeild over double what they draw in the Big Sky, getting their average over the NCAA hurdle.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 6:36 pm 
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This is complicated. Brace yourselves.

2006 FB Record 7-4, Attendance Average 7,296
2007 FB Record 3-8, Attendance Average (with Glanville as coach) 10,082

Go figure.

The problem: if Glanville does not improve on that, or if he doesn't work to draw better crowds, football may be finished at Portland State. The original rumors were that FB was dead at PSU until Glanville became available (obviously with Mouse Davis' arm twisting). If there isn't improvement at the gate, the program re-visits the precipice.

Largest crowd at PGE Park last year was 15,833... for the Portland Timbers in a regular season match against Charleston. Tell you something?

Merritt Paulson bought the Timbers and Portland Beavers last summer. His pop is Henry Paulson, who's merely the Secretary of the Treasury. He has proposed bringing Major League Soccer to Portland if the city builds a ballpark for the Beavers. The RUMOR is that he'd be willing to fund the ballpark (probably sans buying the property) AND improve PGE on his own dime, and there are several stadium employees touting this line. Thing is, MLS will certainly be the main tenant in that situation. Natural grass. Not necessarily help for PSU, but more movement in Portland than has happened in a while.

Now... a student rec center is being built, replacing an old building on the campus. Stott Center had been used since the start of the place for both intercollegiate AND intramural AND gym class work. With everything else out of the way, the AD is hinting that funding is available to renovate Stott Center and create an arena to be used for athletics AND major school gatherings. The RUMOR... 4,200 is the target size for the building. What I'm hearing is that donors are available to get this done, just a matter of time.

Now, let's presume football survives.

OSU and Oregon visiting Portland? Not for a 20K seater. Furthermore, the footprint is not suitable for the kind of expansion PSU would need to be viable in the WAC. They would need a new stadium. If they want UO and OSU, they need at least 40K seats IMO. That's a LONG way off, presuming things go better than they have been. It's not out of the realm of possibility... but I doubt it's the way to bet. There are opportunities on the horizon, but PSU needs to be a lot more active than they are in order to take advantage of them.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 10:21 pm 
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Thanks for your information Pounder. You really are one of the stars of this forum and I really appreciate the insight you add.

I think the attendance numbers are actually quite promising. If you look at it, PSU had a crap year and still jumped 3K in attendance. I am not a PSU fan, but I would hazard a guess their previous coach was not a run and shoot guy. Pounder?

If that is the case it is highly likely the team will see a dramatic improvement in their record in the coming season. going say 7-4 should be good enough for an extra 1-2 K in attendance. That is actually very healthy for an FCS school/budget.

Concerning the largest crowds being for soccer, that is not totally suprising. PSU has sucked for quite a while now, there is no NFL and it sounds like the owner seems quite committed.

The fact that Soccer and baseball dominate presently is not neccessarily a bad thing long term. Pro teams have a lot more clout in leading the cities to set aside the land for new stadiums. If a new baseball stadium is built, it COULD be the best thing to ever happen to PSU.

Lets say Portland gives Merritt Paulson the land for a baseball park in exchange for Paulson financing the conversion of PGE into 30K a football/soccer stadium. Even if MLS never comes, bumping up PGE capacity by adding 10K permanent seating to the baseball outfeild probably would bump up timbers attendance pretty noticeably.

That would give PSU the stadium required for a successful FBS jump.

The rec center if it seats 4K is probably acceptable for WAC standards.

I can concede that i was probably overly optimistic about OSU and Oregon coming to play in a 20K stadium, but I think they would come for a 30K stadium. It allows them more exposure in Portland, a short, cheap trip, and is just as viable as playing Rice or Houston (also 30k Stadiums) or any other WAC teams ---or really any non-BCS school not named BYU. An FBS PSU in a 30K stadium would not get both immediately, but they probably could get one. IMO.

Regarding the footprint, I hope you will expand on your comment about it not being suitable. I think the WAC would kill to get the Portland DMA if PSU was a marginal FBS school. Today they are barely a successful FCS school due to tiny facilitities capacities. With a 30K football stadium 1 mile from campus and a 4K BB arena on campus, they seem quite viable.



Quote:
There are opportunities on the horizon, but PSU needs to be a lot more active than they are in order to take advantage of them.


Totally agree. It seems within reach, if they engage the local government, the community, and Paulson.


Last edited by finiteman on Mon Mar 03, 2008 10:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 11:39 am 
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My footprint comment regards the possibility of expanding PGE Park, not WAC territory.

There is the "left field" that could and should be reformed such that the stadium takes on a horseshoe shape. The problem is that there's not much room for amenities. That's already a problem with the existing stands... really, it's a 20,000-seat stadium with room for 11,000, and that's after the city dug in to increase lobby space. Expanding out? Could happen on one side, but not the others, and that involves closing a street with access to a large number of nearby apartment towers. I don't think that's much of an option.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 4:46 pm 
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Quote:
There is the "left field" that could and should be reformed such that the stadium takes on a horseshoe shape. The problem is that there's not much room for amenities. That's already a problem with the existing stands... really, it's a 20,000-seat stadium with room for 11,000, and that's after the city dug in to increase lobby space.


What are your impressions of the seating capacity that could be added in the left feild area? The Stadium pictures appears to be a two tier stadium on the L side. Could both tiers be extended to the left feild area or only 1 tier? What is your impression of the number of seats that could be added in left feild? Is 30K a reasonable top end estimate with left feild expansion only? 28K? 25K? 22k?

Regarding Amenities do you mean snackbars and restrooms? Box suites?

I know a lot of schools like Texas State and Georgia Southern? (2 movers, can't remember for sure) talked about a 25K stadium as their FBS goal stadium wise. I think that is a little small, but I guess if you could sell it out regularly you could average a semi-healthy 22K.

I think that would be where it would be difficult getting the Ducks or Beavers in regularly, unless their ADs wanted to help PSU to help drive stadium expansion to make a regular game there more viable for them for recruiting purposes. I guess call an OSU or Oregon game unlikely at 25K, with minor possiblities in a few scenarios.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 12:48 pm 
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Tiers? It's basically a single bowl... well, half of one. Completing the horseshoe would probably make a 30K stadium. HOWEVER, if Major League Soccer is the driver, they won't want it that big, which is why San Jose State didn't let MLS back in (probably to the Spartans detriment).

Amenities: concessions, room to get there and get in line. Crowds are hopelessly jammed in the concourse when the place is full. There's actually enough suites (behind "home plate" in the current baseball configuration), plus I'm sure some would be built on the east side.

MEANWHILE...

Portland State managed to win the Big Sky regular season title AND the conference tournament, so they make their first visit to March Madness next week. The school has gone public with at least saying a conceptual drawing for Stott Center expansion/replacement is in the works. Previous administrators have stated a belief that donors have "pledged" enough money that they think it can happen in a reasonable time frame, but they are talking about a fundraising campaign to get the project done anyway. Target is 4,200 to 4,500... they'd be smarter to be slightly bigger, or to engineer enough indoor space around it for expansion should 1-A become a possibility.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 6:23 pm 
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Quote:
Tiers?...


I went back and looked at the pictures again and I can see it is a bowl setup now. I thought it had a second deck. Not sure what I saw there.

My counter arguement to the "too big" arguement would be to make removable tarps with "Portland" on it to cover the end zone area for soccer games (and maybe most football games too). I would think being behind the goal is not a great seat for any sport anyway. I think tarps would cut it back down to say 22-25K for a regular game--- that might work for everyone. They can pull the tarps off when Oregon or State come in or if the soccer team has a playoff game there that they think will draw more than 25K.

With regards to the concourse area... i got no real ideas beyond maybe with a little planning they could expand the facilities and queing areas under tne new seating. That is the best i've got. I guess that isn't a deal breaker, just inconvenient.


Quote:
Target is 4,200 to 4,500... they'd be smarter to be slightly bigger, or to engineer enough indoor space around it for expansion should 1-A become a possibility.


Agreed. I think they are building the right size arena, but they would be smart to plan in a way to expand it to 7K or so a few years down the road. 4500 will be good for FCS profitability and is right sized for now (allowing the potential for big FCS level sellouts that would build excitement for the program.), but they will need at least 1-2K more if they want to consider FBS in the future.

I think the thing I find most upsetting about schools like PSU is the fact that they really don't seem to get that adequate seating = revenue = atheletic program health. IMO almost half of FCS schools are losing gobs of money because their football stadiums and basketball arenas are too small. Every FCS school with an enrollment over 10K should have a 22K stadium and a 4 K arena minimum. Instead 10-15K stadiums and 1-1.5K arenas are the norm. It's like they didn't have a financial model. (Actually with the number of 15K stadiums in FCS it appears THAT was the financial model at one point. No financial model is readily apparent in FCS school BB though.)

They are just giving money away and making their AD's job that much harder. They should all strive to adopt the Montana or Delaware financial model.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 10:09 am 
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This was a gross oversight on my part, but Memorial Coliseum (capacity 12k), the former home of the Portland Trailblazers is still standing and is a mere 1.5 miles from the campus of Portland State university.

I think it is entirely possible that may be why the new proposed arena mentioned above is relatively small at 4K. The idea may be to have an on campus stadium that you can regularly sell out and then use the Coliseum for big time games. Eventually when sell outs become more and more regular, they could move more and more of their men's schedule to the Coliseum and Stotts would be a perfect home for their women's basketball team.

But that obviously is a very optimistic view of things that assumes a committment to basketball and athletics in general that may not be there. There is talk of doing other things with the Coliseum that could close that door for PSU.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memorial_Coliseum_%28Portland%29


Last edited by finiteman on Sat Apr 19, 2008 10:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 12:46 pm 
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Memorial Coliseum: it is still owned by the City of Portland... but managed by the Blazers and Paul Allen via Global Spectrum. Arguably, they're trying to force out the MC's only tenant, the Portland Winter Hawks (they don't make enough, owners want improvements to MC, moving out the Winter Hawks means Allen can negotiate with leagues other than the WHL and NHL). Arguably, Paul Allen still sees that as a lot, perhaps for parking, perhaps for a big box retailer. The city flirted with a rec center proposal. In short, I think its days as an arena ARE numbered.

Back at PGE Park, there's some speculation that Merritt Paulson would reduce some of the capacity of the main stand (restaurant and other shopping is suggested) while completing the horseshoe to be "level" with the remaining bowl.

Apparently, the leading candidate for student body president at PSU is seriously anti-athletics. Stay tuned there.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2008 10:18 am 
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Pounder wrote:
Apparently, the leading candidate for student body president at PSU is seriously anti-athletics. Stay tuned there.


Any update?

I see PSU is again around 8K attendance during what looks to be a 4-5 win season.

Secondly, what is the football stadium just to the SE of PGE? Do you know? High school? It looks like about a 4K stadium today... It seems like if they straightened out SW Salmon St, (or removed that 2 block segment of road completely...) they'd have room to add a big Northern deck to that stadium. Additionally the eastern end zone could be bowled to bring the stadium to 15-22K maybe. That might make it an ideal home for PSU and the Timbers (leaving PG&E for the Beavers). That hits me as potentially a much better place for PSU to play---much closer to the field, closer to campus. Eventually it could be dug down ala U of Houston's stadium if a decision was made to remove the track.

Just an idea. Anyway, do you know what that stadium is?


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 5:39 pm 
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Finite... that's Lincoln High School. Those stands actually ended up condemned during last season, and probably were touched up a bit over the offseason to be usable again. Because the turf is FieldTurf, many of the city high schools are playing "home" games there... plus soccer. (In the old days, even baseball was played there... you don't want to know how, since the track has been there a long time.) It's too busy as it is now.

It would require a major upgrade with money the school district doesn't have, nor Portland State. There's also the mess of Portland State fans who currently can buy beer at PGE Park... obviously can't do that on the high school campus.

Mind you, down the line, there's preliminary talk of moving Lincoln. The original campus, BTW, is where PSU is now. It's too close to downtown... somewhat, thing being that there have been so many condo developments and improvements near PSU and in Northwest Portland that I have no clue where a new campus might best serve the student population. Once upon a time, it needed to be up in the hills further west... now I'm not sure the will to move it is there. It was a proposed site for the prospective MLB stadium, but surely not in current talks.

BTW, that's a paper 8K. I went to the game against Montana, they claimed 12,000... never more than 9K in the stadium. I'm not sure I like their position.

Another thing... nobody ever raised a further stink about student body offices, so I presume that's been settled amicably. I do know the new University President has talked about supporting athletics, but there's nothing concrete yet to back that up.


Last edited by pounder on Thu Nov 20, 2008 5:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 7:45 pm 
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Man it is a real shame public institutions don't do more "win win" deals. It seems like there is one waiting to be done there.

PSU buys the land, building, and stadium at lincoln high. The school facilities are used as new classrooms for expanding the campus. (Whereas money for sports is often not available, money for campus growth seems a lot easier to find --- especially at a large, land locked university.) PSU then goes into a partnership with the Timbers to redevelop the stadium as a 22K football/soccer stadium ala what Texas Southern is doing with the Houston soccer team. The issues with beer are then not as difficult to handle as the beer is then on a university campus (or even private land!) and not a high school campus. PSU would play their football and soccer there and maybe even reserve the right to play baseball at PGE in the future as part of the deal.

The city takes the money from that purchase and builds a new Lincoln High school with a 4K stadium where Lincoln student teams and other local area teams can play regular season games.

PSU can even let some high school playoff games happen at the new "lincoln" stadium. The landlocked PSU nets a lot of added space from the deal.

regarding potentially inflated numbers...In your opinion does the fact PGE is a baseball stadium and they play there instead of a true football stadium supress their numbers? I would think it would almost have to. It is just a very wierd thing not to have an equal sized opposing bandstand as you watch football.

It is nice to know that the student body is not raising cain to get rid of the program.


Last edited by finiteman on Sun Nov 30, 2008 7:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 7:46 pm 
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First problem: "PSU Buys."

A while ago, I'd have said "what money?" In reality, they have a bunch of new buildings to the EAST of the old campus; new engineering school, the rec center going up, etc. Furthermore, since "sustainable" is the operative word in Portland (and since Portland is virtually regarded as a "brand name" when it comes to civic planning issues), I think that, in more than one way, they're going in another direction. In fact, the school received a $25 million challenge grant (requiring matching funds) to use to "green" the campus.

Second problem, but it's not a problem: PGE Park may look like a baseball stadium. It's not. In the future, it simply won't be. The MLS proposal has real momentum... 2 votes out of 5 for sure (with the 5-person city council), probably a 3rd waiting for the shoe to drop, or fecal matter to hit the fan, or what have you.

Why not a baseball stadium? AAA ball averages 6 or 7K per game... of the three teams that can currently put 20,000 in their stadia, Omaha is moving out, Portland will probably do the same, leaving only Buffalo (whose official capacity is under 20K... and who ALSO doesn't fill half their seats). Baseball in that facility (Multnomah Stadium / Civic Stadium / PGE Park) never lasts long enough to satisfy a 30-year lease... the original Beavers (who left Vaughn Street Park afte 1956) leaving after 1972, the next expansion Beavers leaving after 1993, both spending 16 years there. The current Beavers average 5,600 per game ANNOUNCED, definitely inflated. They need a SMALLER park. Even if the MLS proposal fails, I don't think the Beavers will last long. With 18 years to go on the bonds, the lease between the Timbers / Beavers and the city only runs through 2010. I expect history to repeat if the proper changes are not made.

Think of it this way. Three new ballparks are opening for AAA teams this year. Huntington Park in Columbus, Gwinnett County Ballpark in suburban Atlanta (yes, the Braves' farm club), and [name that park, current temporary title Sierra Nevada Ballpark] in Reno. None of them will have the supposed requisite 10,000 fixed seats, with Columbus and Lawrenceville making it up with grass berms, and Reno's grass berm perhaps not adding with the seats to even reach 10,000. The trend is clearly away from larger stadia. PGE Park, as a renovation, was supposed to be a clear multipurpose facility, and that has NOT worked. Baseball has to go. The plot of that land screams rectangle, not really baseball.

One last, the city doesn't really fund schools, or at least it's not supposed to. The school districts are autonomous here. Between the city, the school district, and the state via PSU, that's a lot of bureaucracy to get aimed in the same direction. My gut of late says that Lincoln HS probably gets rebuilt on site. My declaration probably dooms it to another solution, who knows.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 1:03 pm 
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The Pac 10 is not going to add any of those schools, nor is Portland State attracive to the MWC. Possibly to the WAC should that conference lose Boise St and Fresno St to the MWC, thus allowing the MWC to become the 7th BCS conference.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 5:16 pm 
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Curious problem here.

http://www.portlandtribune.com/sports/s ... 3383678300

I think the reasoning is a bit specious for threatening wrestling. However, more important... that's the 6th men's sport at PSU. Am I getting my regs mixed up (FBS v FCS vice 1 v 2), or are they required to have 6 to stay in D-1?

Even short of that, this doesn't pass a smell test or two.


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