From the Leaders and best to the Followers and mediocre?
By Josh Charles
Michigan regents to vote on luxury box addition in the near future.
Things are changing in Ann Arbor, whether or not if it is for the best is yet to be determined.
New coaches are being hired and Michigan stadium is undergoing a facelift of sorts. While for now the renovations are fairly basic and no drastic changes have been made, it has been widely discussed to put in luxury suites to one of the countries most historic sports venues.
With the common fan having to shell out 60 dollars to see Michigan play one of the usual pre-season cupcake opponents, fans deserve to have some sort of say regarding any drastic changes that may occur to Michigan stadium.
The University of Michigan is the self-proclaimed leaders and best, so why start to follow the pattern of archrivals Ohio State and Michigan State now.
â€œLuxury boxes just arenâ€™t Michigan and they donâ€™t make economic sense,â€ says David Pollack, co-founder of savethebighouse.com.
As of where it stands right now private luxury boxes could lease at $85,000 with prices descending as they made there way to the end zones to around $45,000. It should be expected that each of the 79 proposed boxes would be leased at top value with that they would generate approximately $6.7 million annually. Those $6.7 million represents a return investment of less then 3%, which isnâ€™t even enough to cover the debt service on construction costs, which as of today stands at $230 million. These statistics are all according to the Ann Arbor News of January 20, 2005.
â€œThe University shouldnâ€™t sell their tradition to modernize the stadium,â€ says Pollack. â€œBasic renovations such as wider aisles, a new press box, more bathrooms everyone supports and by the athletic departments own estimates cost $60 to $70 million which is well within reach of cash reserves and existing revenues.â€
It strikes me as somewhat ironic that the two teams with arguably the most storied history are the only two that are yet to make the move to luxury suites, with those two teams being Michigan and Notre Dame.
When the decision is finally handed down, whether it is for luxury boxes or against, I just hope that in the end it is what the majority of fans want.
I will be a Michigan fan until I die and will attend the games at the big house as long as I live. I just hope that in the end it is a decision that the majority of wolverine fans can be happy with.
With a decision pending in the coming months on whether or not to add luxury suites to Michigan stadium, my opinion sides with that of the great tradition that lies with the University of Michigan football team and against luxury suites. However, I also feel that the final decision must ultimately be what the majority of fans want.
Regents plan on to continue discussing this issue and could have a decision as soon as late spring or early this summer.