Empty promises and empty seats: After 15 years, Rentschler Field struggles to match expectations (Putterman)

nelsonmuntz

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Hartford is dead. Nobody wants a fully urban UConn campus. I wouldn't have gone there if it was in Harford. You want a city school go to Trinity, BU or Fordham or something. Hartford proper doesn't even have the land to create a campus like U Washington or U Minnesota have in the city.

You're thinking backwards. Turn Storrs into an economic engine. Develop it to the max. Screw Mansfield NIMBYs, the state should override and create development zones everywhere around there, and update the connection to 84. Turn it into a proper college town, one people who graduate from want to stay in. UConn health center should have been built at the junction of 44 and 195. Build in mixed use retail and office buildings. Give some big biotech companies huge tax breaks to locate there. Turn it into something more like Lawrence, KS or Chapel Hill, NC.
The Mansfield NIMBY's aren't just a little bit hostile, they hate the school and the students. They have undermined and attacked the school every chance they get. At some point it the state needs to question whether it is worth it for the school and the state to invest in an area where there is widespread opposition to that investment.

Storrs is in the middle of nowhere. It is almost 15 miles from the closest highway down a 2 lane road. There is nothing for at least 20 miles east, north or south of the campus. The closest big town, Manchester, is 18 miles to the west. Why would a state that is bleeding money spend a nickel on investing more money into Storrs.

We all know how this is going to end if UConn continues on its current path. UConn will become a shell of its former self as state subsidies dry up, Hartford will die once and for all, and the athletic program will become UMass. That outcome is as sure as the sun will rise in the east and summer will follow spring. The state has to solve multiple problems at once, and the fact that some of us liked going to college in an isolated, rural campus is not a good reason to follow a strategy that is guaranteed to fail.
 

nelsonmuntz

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I will add another thing. I think explosive costs of education along with the emergence of online schooling as an alternative is going to dramatically change the nature of higher education. The current cost escalation is completely unsustainable, Media was the first industry to have its entire structure shaken to the core by technology, then came retail. Education is begging for such a change. The nature of education has not changed much in the United States since the middle to end of the 19th century. It is going to change very soon, and it is a reasonable bet that when that change occurs, large, remote, rural campuses will be a liability, not an asset.
 

Exit 4

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I will add another thing. I think explosive costs of education along with the emergence of online schooling as an alternative is going to dramatically change the nature of higher education. The current cost escalation is completely unsustainable, Media was the first industry to have its entire structure shaken to the core by technology, then came retail. Education is begging for such a change. The nature of education has not changed much in the United States since the middle to end of the 19th century. It is going to change very soon, and it is a reasonable bet that when that change occurs, large, remote, rural campuses will be a liability, not an asset.
You are making big vision points that I happen to agree with. On education, I expect the weakest schools academically to slowest wind down their physical campuses first. I anticipate the big tangible and indulgent on campus university experience will remain intact for the top 400 schools for some time yet. It will take several generations to wean our psychological attachment to the full experience for those willing to make the financial investment (ie student loans). And I think there will always be a place for the physical university, it’s just that it will be a luxury that far fewer can and should justify.
 
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Abandon Storrs for Hartford? The campus in Storrs is actually one of the schools major assets,. The problem is that it hasn't been promoted enough. The mother of a high school senior in Marblehead MA told me she was visiting schools last fall, and reluctantly took her son to look at UConn. She was so blown away by the unexpected beauty of the UConn campus--she thought it would resemble UMass---she told all her friends that their kids should consider a visit to UConn. Several other parents took her advice and were similarly impressed. All of them said" we had no idea how beautiful that campus is". It's exactly where UConn should be putting its money.
 

the Q

BY Misanthrope
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Abandon Storrs for Hartford? The campus in Storrs is actually one of the schools major assets,. The problem is that it hasn't been promoted enough. The mother of a high school senior in Marblehead MA told me she was visiting schools last fall, and reluctantly took her son to look at UConn. She was so blown away by the unexpected beauty of the UConn campus--she thought it would resemble UMass---she told all her friends that their kids should consider a visit to UConn. Several other parents took her advice and were similarly impressed. All of them said" we had no idea how beautiful that campus is". It's exactly where UConn should be putting its money.
Stores and Stamford.

Those are going to be the two big campuses. UConn is big into expanding Stamford right now.
 
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The Mansfield NIMBY's aren't just a little bit hostile, they hate the school and the students. They have undermined and attacked the school every chance they get. At some point it the state needs to question whether it is worth it for the school and the state to invest in an area where there is widespread opposition to that investment.

Storrs is in the middle of nowhere. It is almost 15 miles from the closest highway down a 2 lane road. There is nothing for at least 20 miles east, north or south of the campus. The closest big town, Manchester, is 18 miles to the west. Why would a state that is bleeding money spend a nickel on investing more money into Storrs.

We all know how this is going to end if UConn continues on its current path. UConn will become a shell of its former self as state subsidies dry up, Hartford will die once and for all, and the athletic program will become UMass. That outcome is as sure as the sun will rise in the east and summer will follow spring. The state has to solve multiple problems at once, and the fact that some of us liked going to college in an isolated, rural campus is not a good reason to follow a strategy that is guaranteed to fail.
The University can APPROVE projects on their own land and on their infrastructure; moreover, they have water and sewer when just on the other side of the street the Town does not. There has been a reluctance to knock over the NIMBY force in the local populace; that was unfortunate.

So ... let's talk Public Finance and getting projects done WITHOUT the full faith and credit of the State of Connecticut. It is done all the time. Connecticut - this state - doesn't need to reinvent the wheel: the examples are all over: things get done by Wall Street engineering based on slim CF scenarios that get placed in municipal bonds = Tax Exempt Bonds.
 
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You are making big vision points that I happen to agree with. On education, I expect the weakest schools academically to slowest wind down their physical campuses first. I anticipate the big tangible and indulgent on campus university experience will remain intact for the top 400 schools for some time yet. It will take several generations to wean our psychological attachment to the full experience for those willing to make the financial investment (ie student loans). And I think there will always be a place for the physical university, it’s just that it will be a luxury that far fewer can and should justify.
Please remember ... most of this is about 18-22 year olds. Those four years - genuinely - are about "rite of passage" and pulling yourself up into maturity. Pure internet education and blackboard learning via computer have nothing on the PROCESS of interacting with others and growth. I preferred doing that in the woods of Storrs. I was not a candidate for NYU streets. And my observance as a parent has been that MANY that dive into the latter - streets around lower Manhattan - come up flailing.
 

the Q

BY Misanthrope
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Please remember ... most of this is about 18-22 year olds. Those four years - genuinely - are about "rite of passage" and pulling yourself up into maturity. Pure internet education and blackboard learning via computer have nothing on the PROCESS of interacting with others and growth. I preferred doing that in the woods of Storrs. I was not a candidate for NYU streets. And my observance as a parent has been that MANY that dive into the latter - streets around lower Manhattan - come up flailing.
That’s what appealed to me about my first school. It was the best of both worlds.

It was a campus baked within the city, not just buildings in a city.

I loved it.

Just wish the sports part went my way.
 
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mayhaps this place should be called the 'barnyard' since that's where chicken little lives in a 1 br. co-op apartment. sadly, some here have 'doomed' as a mantra. the rent, xl, and gampel are all here now, and not a figment of someone's imagination. these, and UConn overall, are sooo much better than what we had a few decades ago. progress. and, it can get better. here's a place, for example, that was supposed to fall into the ocean, like, yesterday. guess not. A long weekend in New Haven: where to eat, what to do, and where to stay
mom's regularly sez we could all use a little more gratitude and patience in our daily lives.
 

nelsonmuntz

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You are making big vision points that I happen to agree with. On education, I expect the weakest schools academically to slowest wind down their physical campuses first. I anticipate the big tangible and indulgent on campus university experience will remain intact for the top 400 schools for some time yet. It will take several generations to wean our psychological attachment to the full experience for those willing to make the financial investment (ie student loans). And I think there will always be a place for the physical university, it’s just that it will be a luxury that far fewer can and should justify.
If you look at inflation, $1.00 of stuff in 1990 costs about about $1.90 today. $1.00 of school in 1990 costs almost $5.00 today. I don't know exactly HOW it will happen, but the cost of higher education is on the verge of collapse. The ROI for higher education does not justify the cost for the vast majority of schools.

Are people going to spend $400k for an English degree because it is fun to party? First of all, college is not as much fun as it was when we went, secondly, the cost is insane. I think that a blended experience is possible, but it has to be more cost effective. Whatever that is, I don't think continued investment in remote rural campuses is the way for any state to go in the future, much less Connecticut.
 

whaler11

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If you look at inflation, $1.00 of stuff in 1990 costs about about $1.90 today. $1.00 of school in 1990 costs almost $5.00 today. I don't know exactly HOW it will happen, but the cost of higher education is on the verge of collapse. The ROI for higher education does not justify the cost for the vast majority of schools.

Are people going to spend $400k for an English degree because it is fun to party? First of all, college is not as much fun as it was when we went, secondly, the cost is insane. I think that a blended experience is possible, but it has to be more cost effective. Whatever that is, I don't think continued investment in remote rural campuses is the way for any state to go in the future, much less Connecticut.
anyone building physical space on any campus right this second is insane. you may as well invest in malls
 
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I will add another thing. I think explosive costs of education along with the emergence of online schooling as an alternative is going to dramatically change the nature of higher education. The current cost escalation is completely unsustainable, Media was the first industry to have its entire structure shaken to the core by technology, then came retail. Education is begging for such a change. The nature of education has not changed much in the United States since the middle to end of the 19th century. It is going to change very soon, and it is a reasonable bet that when that change occurs, large, remote, rural campuses will be a liability, not an asset.
This I can agree with online schooling in the next decade will reign in the sky rocketing cost of a getting a college degree. The student loan debt crisis is begging for an industry disruption.
 

nelsonmuntz

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This is a much longer discussion, but there are so many rules on campuses today that it is not nearly as much fun as it was when I went. I don't know when UConn was at peak fun, but I think the early 90's could make a pretty good case.
 

John

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This is a much longer discussion, but there are so many rules on campuses today that it is not nearly as much fun as it was when I went. I don't know when UConn was at peak fun, but I think the early 90's could make a pretty good case.
Describe some of the now-forbidden fun you had.
 

UConnDan97

predicting undefeated seasons since 1983
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Status quo has worked out great for UConn.
The distance between "status quo" and "ludicrous" is gigantic. If you can't tell which of those two bins should be the bin that we put the relocate the campus idea, then I'm pretty sure I know which bin to put you in...
 
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The distance between "status quo" and "ludicrous" is gigantic. If you can't tell which of those two bins should be the bin that we put the relocate the campus idea, then I'm pretty sure I know which bin to put you in...
There’s been a significant trend to populate collegetown regions. Arguing Stamford or Hartford is dumb; those urban areas can develop around their own educational AND medical institutions.

Ann Arbor & Chapel Hill & State College & Athens & Gainesville. Etc etc

UConn can be so much more. The location - imho - is wonderful.
 
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the Q

BY Misanthrope
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There’s been a significant trend to populate collegetown regions. Arguing Stamford or Hartford is dumb; those urban areas can develop around their own educational ANad medical institutions.

Ann Arbor & Chapel Hill & State College & Athens & Gainesville. Etc etc

UConn can be so much more. The location - imho - is wonderful.
I’m not arguing for or against it.

But UConn is looking to grow Stamford significantly
 
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This is a much longer discussion, but there are so many rules on campuses today that it is not nearly as much fun as it was when I went. I don't know when UConn was at peak fun, but I think the early 90's could make a pretty good case.
late 70s - mid 80s
"...the Connecticut law full circle since 1972, when the state lowered the drinking age to 18 from 21. The drinking age was raised to 19 in 1982 and to 20 in 1983.... to 21 in 1985"
 

HuskyHawk

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This is a much longer discussion, but there are so many rules on campuses today that it is not nearly as much fun as it was when I went. I don't know when UConn was at peak fun, but I think the early 90's could make a pretty good case.
Early 90's was not the peak. The fun level had gone down between when I started in 84 and graduated in 88. I think peak fun was late 70's to early 80's. In 1983 you could drink in common areas. In 1984 we had the "in transit rule". By 1985 that was eliminated. In 1984 and prior they had large school sponsored beer hall type events in the ROTC hanger and elsewhere. By 1986 those were gone. We had MTV on campus two years in a row when I was there, that was a lot of fun.
 

HuskyHawk

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There’s been a significant trend to populate collegetown regions. Arguing Stamford or Hartford is dumb; those urban areas can develop around their own educational ANad medical institutions.

Ann Arbor & Chapel Hill & State College & Athens & Gainesville. Etc etc

UConn can be so much more. The location - imho - is wonderful.
Agreed. I was amazed when I looked at the population of Lawrence, KS the other day. In the early 90's when I was there it was 45-50,000 people. Now it's 95k. The reason is that students love the town so much they don't want to leave. So they create businesses and find ways to stay.
 
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Everyone knows I am lukewarm at best about the football program for a lot of reasons. That said, UConn's problems go much deeper than the stupid stadium. Location is a problem, but that problem is Storrs, not East Hartford or Hartford. Storrs is in the middle of nowhere, is expensive to support, and results in duplicative costs. UConn 2000 wrapped up 20 years ago, and the school is only 10-20 years away from another major construction facelift. It is not worth spending another nickel on that Storrs campus.

I think UConn should move the entire school to Hartford over the next 20 years, and turn Storrs into a satellite campus for eastern Connecticut, at maybe 10-20% of its current size. You could put most of the university downtown just by taking over abandoned buildings or buying the ones that were still on life support for pennies. I would make the XL Center the center of the "campus", and shrink the arena down to 10k seats. I would turn the rest of that building into classrooms and dorms. There are probably 15 abandoned or semi-abandoned buildings within 3 blocks of the XL Center that could be turned into classrooms or housing relatively cheaply.

Moving the school to Hartford would save the school and Hartford, which is effectively saving the state from a pending problem when Hartford ultimately face plants. It would bring students closer to their recruiters, put them in an urban setting that will be more vibrant and interesting, and eliminate the constant hostility between the school and the locals in eastern Connecticut.

I would start by moving the Business School to Hartford. Graduate School could be moved in a couple of years, and then transition the undergrads over the next 10. Engineering would go next, then eventually the humanities. Every graduate program could be based out of Hartford within 10 years, and the final transition could be done within 20 years.

If THAT was the school's plan, then an East Hartford stadium would be more viable.
Just when you think you've seen it all on the BY... Yikes Head bang
 
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Just when you think you've seen it all on the BY... Yikes Head bang
I think we are well and truly into the off season without much to talk about. It will only get worse. No spring game this year. Wake me up in late August when I have to make a decision whether or not to watch the Wagner game in person or go to the shore a day early. Thinking I can watch the game in Southold or New Suffolk.
 
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The problems with the Rent are not just limited to declining UConn football attendance numbers. UConn only plays six games there a year. The real issue is the stadium gets very few other big scale bookings. It has not had a single concert in ten years. Very little new development has occurred in and around the stadium because it makes little business sense to build near something that is empty nearly every day of the year. The Rent is always going to struggle given its limited usage (which is not likley to change). Even if UConn sold out all its games, that will not change this dynamic.
 

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