April 14, 2007
The University of Tennessee Athletics Board was informed Saturday that fundraising activities for capital projects remains strong, with several new and updated facilities scheduled for completion this year.
Among the projects discussed were:
Neyland Stadium Master Plan -- UTAD already has secured private funding to cover $68 million in Neyland Stadium Master Plan renovations. This includes $31 million in leadership gifts and club seat campaign contributions. In addition, revenue from new club and priority seating annual donations will service $37 million in long-term bonds. UTAD is currently working on commitments for the new West Club that is scheduled to open in 2009. The west Club will provide $18 million in capital campaign gifts and annual revenues of $1.6 million, allowing the department to assume $19.2 million in debt service.
Thompson-Boling Arena -- Renovations at Thompson-Boling Arena began March 13 and are scheduled for completion by Oct. 15. The renovations include concourse and seating renovations, the addition of a center hung scoreboard, strengthening the ceiling load-bearing capacity, and the addition of 32 suites and 140 loge seats. The suites and loge seats already are sold out, providing a net revenue increase of $1.7 million to fund up to $20 million in renovations.
Pratt Pavillion Basketball Practice Facility -- Construction is underway and the facility is scheduled for completion in October 2007.
Regal Soccer Stadium -- Construction was completed last fall and the facility is ready for use.
Sherri Parker Lee Softball Stadium -- Construction is underway and should be completed later this spring.
Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center -- The facility is scheduled for completion in December with practice and competitions to begin in spring 2008.
Intercollegiate Golf Complex -- Bids are scheduled to go out this spring. The first phase will include three practice holes, a heated driving range and a practice green.
Lindsey Nelson Stadium -- UTAD secured a $2 million gift from Robert Lindsay towards renovations. Phase I begins in July and includes expanded permanent chair back seating down the first base line, a new team clubhouse and coaches offices.
Board members also were informed of UTAD's academic success for the fall semester:
39 student-athlete's were named to the SEC Fall Honor Roll
227 student-athlete's were named to the Thornton Center Honor Roll
20 student-athletes graduated in December 2006
The VOLScholar program began this fall and has been a huge success. The program recognizes student-athletes with a 3.0 GPA or higher.
Following this discussion, was a report on UTAD's budget and fundraising. For fiscal year 2006-07, UTAD is projecting a surplus of $900,000 on an original budget of $73.4 million. The department has continued to see strong growth in donations through the Volunteer Athletics & Scholarship Fund (VASF). The VASF reported that donations were on pace to meet this year's goal of $17.1 million. VASF gifts support athletic scholarships in addition to other ongoing operational needs such as recruiting, training, academic support and academic scholarships for non student-athletes.
Marketing reported strong growth in men's basketball in the 2006-07 men's basketball season, with overall ticket revenue increasing by more than $1 million and increased concession revenue up 10 percent.
It was also noted that the Athletic Department has an intent toward a contract with Sodexho to out-source sports facility concessions with services beginning in July, 2007.