New Arena To Cost $45 Million

Dream Jobbed 2.0

“Most definitely”
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#52
It should either be a shack that seats at least 6k or the most state of the art 3000 seat barn there is at that price and considering our needs. A tiny arena with mostly bleachers and new paint in the Freitas locker room is absolutely insane. Especially if HE is going to just let us keep playing at the XLCenter.
 
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#53
First the Werth Champions Center... a $35M practice facility for basketball.
Now, a $45M Hockey practice facility.
 

Dooley

Captain Smith-ing With UConn Athletics
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#58
This news is beyond embarrassing. UConn continues to display a very special level of ineptitude in all venue design/construction projects. Here's the recap of UConn sports venues in my lifetime:

1. built Gampel waaaaaaaaaay too small and way too cheap for two elite powerhouse hoops programs. Inevitable expansion limited based on design. Zero luxury box seating;
2. continues to enter into non-profitable lease agreements with the state and/or city of Hartford to play games at the dinosaur XL Center;
3. cut corners and capacity at Rentschler Field that is often cited as a reason for not being accepted into a P5 conference...when attendance was 40K, failed to expand/renovate off campus stadium to meet P5 preferences;
4. on-campus football facility donor asked to have name removed from complex after Pasqualoni hire;
5. took 3 decades of national championships to convince leadership to construct on-campus basketball facility, which (of course) had to be private funded. Lost several top prospects until built;
6. announces private fund raising campaign to renovate/expand soccer, baseball, and hockey facilities - 3 sports that won't get us any closer to getting out of AAC and becoming a self-sustaining AD;
7. will spend $45M to build the smallest facility in Hockey East and will only play there a handful of times a year against the worst opponents on the schedule in front of a couple dozen students;
8. city of Hartford/state of CT continues to fumble through yet another XL Center "renovate or build new" study while putting $0 into bringing the building into the 21st century...hurts recruiting.

Just horrendous leadership and vision.
 

CL82

Trust the process
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#59
If 2,500 seats meant that there were 2,500 chair backs and the arena was state-of-the-art, that would be one thing, but this is just the Frietas Ice Forum — capacity of 2,000 and deemed not fit for the men’s hockey team to compete at all — with 500 chair backs added in.

This. It's not that I'm against a more modest rink but it seems like compromise has produced a penny wise, pound foolish decision. The UConn Blog guys get it.


Sadly apparently the UConn BOT does not read the UConn Blog.
 

Dooley

Captain Smith-ing With UConn Athletics
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#60
If 2,500 seats meant that there were 2,500 chair backs and the arena was state-of-the-art, that would be one thing, but this is just the Frietas Ice Forum — capacity of 2,000 and deemed not fit for the men’s hockey team to compete at all — with 500 chair backs added in.

This. It's not that I'm against a more modest rink but it seems like compromise has produced a penny wise, pound foolish decision. The UConn Blog guys get it.


Sadly apparently the UConn BOT does not read the UConn Blog.
Yup. Quite literally putting lipstick (500 chair backs) on a pig (Freitas). And guess what - Freitas is still an undersized pig that won't produce a nickel of profit until 2048. Spectacular mismanagement by UConn but we've all come to expect mismanagement I suppose.
 
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#61
Benedict's follow-up interview with the Courant is even more embarrassing than this approval.

He claims part of the high cost is increasing the size of parking lots. It costs millions of dollars to cut down a few trees, put down asphalt and paint some lines?

He claims that this facility will be "the same, if not better than what our competitors have" Unless he's considering Merrimack as the "competitor" here, he's in the Twilight Zone if he thinks 2,000 bleachers and 500 chairbacks are going to hold a candle to QU, PC, BU, Lowell, BC, and UNH? Not to mention competing against Maine, NU, and UVM's old but charmingly attractive home venues.
 
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#62
If 2,500 seats meant that there were 2,500 chair backs and the arena was state-of-the-art, that would be one thing, but this is just the Frietas Ice Forum — capacity of 2,000 and deemed not fit for the men’s hockey team to compete at all — with 500 chair backs added in.

This. It's not that I'm against a more modest rink but it seems like compromise has produced a penny wise, pound foolish decision. The UConn Blog guys get it.


Sadly apparently the UConn BOT does not read the UConn Blog.
There's no way Freitas couldn't be expanded to fit 500 chair backs somewhere. Absolutely no way. It's such a criminal waste of money.
 

zls44

Your #icebus Tour Director
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#63
Benedict's follow-up interview with the Courant is even more embarrassing than this approval.

He claims part of the high cost is increasing the size of parking lots. It costs millions of dollars to cut down a few trees, put down asphalt and paint some lines?
His parking lot comment broke me. That was my breaking point.
 

CL82

Trust the process
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#64
There's no way Freitas couldn't be expanded to fit 500 chair backs somewhere. Absolutely no way. It's such a criminal waste of money.
This. I think the money is being spent in locker rooms and exercise equipment which is fine, but then it makes sense to just build them along side Freitas.
 
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#65
I don’t know why I see this as some little flag saying we messed up with football and we’ll never be a football school. But maybe... we did it with basketball. And some of our other sports.
 
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#67
What on earth are they doing??? 45 million for a 2500 person stadium with 500 seat backs they will only play lesser games in. This is one of the dumbest things I've ever heard. This is damn near criminally negligent.
 
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#68

Among the topics discussed:
  • The timeline for construction
  • The fate of the Freitas Ice Forum now that another on-campus facility is being built
  • How the XL Center will continue to be utilized
  • The impact a facility like this could have on coach Mike Cavanaugh’s ability to recruit
  • How this all squares with UConn’s finances
  • The potential for expansion (and more seats with backs)
  • The general sense of dread that’s gripped a UConn fan base that’s also dealing with a revamped men’s basketball program and a down-and-out football program
 
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Dooley

Captain Smith-ing With UConn Athletics
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#71
There are so many things UConn could do with $45,000,000 that could improve its profile. Building the smallest arena in Hockey East to play 3 games a year in front of 30 students is not one of them. Last minute reactive decision making at its finest!
 
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#72
There are so many things UConn could do with $45,000,000 that could improve its profile. Building the smallest arena in Hockey East to play 3 games a year in front of 30 students is not one of them. Last minute reactive decision making at its finest!
Students will go if it’s on campus. Look how many go to watch soccer consistently. People forget that student involvement is dying at at UConn not simply because of bad product but because students simply have no incentive to travel far. Not to mention the few games that manage to make it to storrs such as basketball are highlighted by big names such as USF, ECU and Tulane. I’m not against a small arena especially because students are financing most of this mess and at least the school is attempting (but failing) to build interest.
 
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#73
Can't listen now, anyone have a synopsis?
See topics discussed above - Mike Anthony does a nice job w/ his part (w/ the insight of someone who covered the team extensively in past).

It probably isn't going to completely change the opinions/cynicism of those who are dead set against it for whatever the variety of personal reasons/emotions are but would be helpful for someone who only gets their "news" from Twitter/Blogs..

I guess the XL Center "unknown future" discussion could have been expanded but it would have been beating the proverbial dead horse and some of the "facts"/opinions presented can be debated but's worth the 37 minute listen...

(It even has a @Storrs South mention)
 
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#74
There is such a thing as bad publicity
U-Con
CHN Podcast discussion: UConn rink discussion starts @ 7:10-ish to 20:00-ish.
CHN'siders Podcast

No surprise on article writers opinion on Podcast... John Buccigross offers his opinion (not negative) and then talks a bit about the Connecticut "Beanpot" style tourney (Yale, Quinnipiac, Sacred Heart, UConn) moving forward.
 

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