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The Rocky Mountain Collegian

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Letter to the editor: A Frank Rebuttal

Tony Frank’s recent letter concerning the on-campus stadium has caused some to believe that the administration has given up trying to build a main campus stadium, which isn’t true. Rather it was a preamble to Dr. Frank’s request to the Board of Governors to delay their decision on the proposed stadium.

In Dr. Frank’s letter there were two important claims he made. First, said he admitted he was unable to raise $110 million he promised, and second, he stated that if given a delay in the deadline by the BOG he would “evaluate” four possible solution to this “stadium problem.” Although analyzing only these four solutions creates a false dilemma (because of the assumption that there are only four solutions); I have still included my own analysis of his presented solutions.

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  1. Fix Hughes
    • The figure of $30 million (which was presented to the BOG by Tony Frank) would do far more than just repair Hughes. Of that amount, only $8.6 million (30 percent) would pay for necessary repairs. Meanwhile $14.9 million (51 percent) goes towards non-essential things such as replacing the sound system ($700K) and renovating the suites ($1.3 Million).
    • The cost of $30 million would be spread out over an eight to 10 year period, so annually it would only cost the general fund a few million every year.
  2. Hughes 2050
    • The problem with this plan is the same that Dr. Frank gives for option #1, the money would come from the CSU general fund, but in this case would cost students even more.
    • While Frank does suggest that an “improved” Hughes might get more attention from donors, there is no evidence to suggest this; and given Dr. Frank’s past miscalculations of donor interest, this may not be a reliable claim.
    • Lastly, when you consider Dr. Frank’s own claims as to CSU’s impending financial crisis, drastically increasing spending does not seem to be a viable option.
  3. “Phased” main campus stadium
    • In this plan there would be a 12-story high construction site in the middle of campus for an indefinite amount of time, until Dr. Frank is able to find the remaining funds.
    • This would also require the school to make a commitment to indebt itself for $110 million, with no guaranty of receiving the remaining funds.
    • If the administration were unable to raise the remaining funds, then it would be likely that the school would pay the remaining stadium costs using student funds. So, bottom line: guaranty of debt, possibility of stadium.
  4. Public-Private partnership
    • The problems with this plan are self-evident.  CSU is a Public Land Grant University, this means that we don’t pay taxes. If we were to allow a corporation to build some or all of the main campus stadium, we would be creating a tax free revenue source.
    • Furthermore, under this plan we would not own our own stadium. This means on top of the current athletic department’s cost ($14 million), we would have to pay to use our stadium. Where would this money come from? The General Fund?
    • Lastly, we would have no control over what happens to this stadium which means this corporation could potentially sell/use our stadium without our consent.

The debate over this stadium has been happening for over two years, and on Thursday, it could be coming to a head. However, if the BOG grants Dr. Frank his wish, this matter could continue to be dragged out for months or even years more. While I do speak primarily to those who are opposed to the stadium, I also hope that previous supporters will by now realize that under the current circumstance, an on-campus stadium is not a viable option for the school. Regardless of how some may feel, it’s important that we as students take the initiative and go to the BOG meeting on Oct. 2 and tell Tony Frank it’s time to end this boondoggle.

William Clem is a sophomore at Colorado State University. Submit letters to the editor to letters@collegian.com.

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