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Facilities: The "OTB Feasibility Study", Part 3....and Some Final Thoughts

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You want to see the Athletic Department's feasibility study. So do we. But you couldn't wait...neither could we. So after careful deliberation, painstaking research, and a few shots in the dark, here's the big finale.

scarletknights.com

We've shown you eleven projects that we think are needed.  We even told you when you could (should) start them.  So, here are the final - and reeeeeally big - three.

Priority

Project

Break Ground

Operational

11

Renovated RAC

2017 Spring

2019 Fall

13

New Arena

2018 Spring

2020 Fall

14

Football Indoor Facility

2019 Spring

2020 Fall

Priority 11, Renovate the RAC:  It's down a ways on the list because a) we already have the practice facility which helped a lot, and b) it was going to cost a bunch and, as you've seen in the previous two articles, we had other issues to address.  What goes in here?  We move wrestling, volleyball, and gymnastics here for their practice facilities, their locker rooms, their team areas.  It will become their primary competition arena (for now - sorry, Dave) and there would still be the Livingston Rec Center (gymnastics) and the College Ave Gym (wrestling, volleyball) available for conflicts in scheduling...again, for now.  The bigger issue?  The "arena" section.  You need to add seating, hospitality/premium seating areas, increase seating to about 10,000 good seats (and not the 300-level bleachers that are probably no longer legal to build).  Blow out the front of the building, add two levels of real seats and the hospitality area.  Just a start but it makes the place a bit bigger time.

And the practice facility would have been built away from the RAC to allow for the renovation.  That would include a new lobby, hall of fame, retail (as everyone keeps commenting about) and other fan amenities.  And a cut away side view might look like this:

So, now that we have an updated RAC, we can start to build....

Priority 13, New Arena: Okay, boys and girls, here we go.  I'm abandoning downtown New Brunswick and building in Piscataway.  What's inside?  All the good stuff we all want: you can fill in all the blanks.  But it becomes the primary competition arena for hoops and can be used by other sports as needed, with a capacity around 15,000.  And the University now has an indoor stadium that can be used for convocations, concerts, and anything else that can monetize the place. In all likelihood, we need a parking deck, too. That can be attached to the hotel/conference center that's on the U's master plan.

Last, and very much least, on this list....

Priority 14, Football Indoor Facility: We tore down the bubble and said football could practice in the new multipurpose facility by the RAC.  Or even a temporary bubble. And they could...for a while.  But to be competitive, you need a football building. A football-only performance center housing an indoor practice facility, training, offices, and all the other bells and whistles.  Moving the team out of the Hale Center opens space there for other stadium activities and development.  Which brings up....surprise!....

Priority 15, Stadium expansion: Sorry, but No. 14 wasn't really last...so I fibbed a bit. We can move this to groundbreaking in winter 2023, with final completion for the 2025 football season.  Ten years away.  Add about 5,000 seats to the north endzone in a second deck.  Build a suite/pressbox tower on the west side (think Byrd Stadium at Maryland) and bring your seating to around 60,000.  And add a parking deck, with about 700 spaces, in the Scarlet Lot that would be perfect for the media and all those folks who don't really want to tailgate (sorry, no open flames in the deck).

Financing

And you ask, how much will all this cost?  I...have...no...idea.  I'm the idea guy.  Obviously, it will be a ton of cash.  But there are people and businesses out there with money.  And there are corporations that might want their name on a building.  Food for thought: here are the five largest public companies headquartered in New Jersey and their revenue for 2013:

1. Prudential (Newark): $84B
2. Johnson & Johnson (New Brunswick): $67B
3. Merck (Whitehouse Station): $47B
4. Honeywell (Morristown): $37B
5. Chubb (Warren): $13B


Let's think about this, though. By the time some of this stuff comes up for serious discussion/bidding, the Big Ten cash register should be getting better for our cash flow. And marketing and fundraising should be better.  It won't cover everything, and the idea of making athletics self-sufficient (chuckle) is still out there.  But, certainly some of that B1G cash, along with targeted marketing/fundraising, can make a serious dent in the cost of this priority list.

The Athletes' Village Concept

I get this. I really do. You bring together athletes so that they can bond, share experiences, build off each others' successes. It doesn't mean they're living together; we're not building residence halls. But we are grouping facilities together so that athletes can be near each other, like the building I've created for the field sports, for example.

Julie's experience at Louisville is what drives this. This photo shows a part of Cardinal Park, bringing together different sports in one area. Here you have softball, track, and soccer contiguous to one another.  It is a way to create unity and commonality among athletes.

Rutgers doesn't have that much land in one spot for everything to be together. But you can group sports, allowing athletes to have bonds with some other athletes. That's what this master plan has done.

In summary....

this is what we're "planning" to do:

Project Sports Impacted
Basketball Practice Facility MBB, WBB
Multipurpose Indoor Facility MT & F, WT & F, MXC, WXC
Indoor Practice Facility MSoc, WSoc, MLax. WLax, FH, Band
Lights for Bainton Field Baseball
Indoor/outdoor Tennis Facility Tennis
Move Softball adjacent to Bainton Field Softball
Golf Facility MGolf, WGolf
Reconfigure track, build track stadium MT & F, WT & F, MXC, WXC
Field Hockey Stadium FH
Baseball/Softball Stadiums Baseball, Softball
Renovated RAC MBB, WBB, Wres, Gym, VB, Rowing
New Boat Houise Rowing
New Arena MBB, WBB, Wres, Gym, VB, Univ.
Football Indoor Facility Football

And this is when we "plan" on doing it:

Priority Project Break Ground
1 Basketball Practice Facility 2015 Fall
4 Lights for Bainton Field 2015 Fall
6 Move Softball adjacent to Bainton Field 2016 Fall
7 Golf Facility 2016 Fall
2 Multipurpose Indoor Facility - Track 2016 Spring
5 Indoor/outdoor Tennis Facility 2016 Spring
3 Indoor Practice Facility - Field Sports 2017 Spring
8 Reconfigure track, build track stadium 2017 Spring
10 Baseball/Softball Stadiums 2017 Spring
11 Renovated RAC 2017 Spring
12 New Boat Houise 2017 Spring
9 Field Hockey Stadium 2017 Spring
13 New Arena 2018 Spring
14 Football Indoor Facility 2019 Spring
14a Stadium Expansion 2023 Winter

It has to happen.  Maybe the timeline is too aggressive, but the reality is, if you're going to play with the big boys and girls, you better go in to the game with some equal footing. The current state of Rutgers' athletic facilities can't continue for very long and still have us be considered a peer to the rest of the conference.

And it all starts with a basketball practice facility.  I got your 6, Dave.