Why Football has to Eat First

SPOILER ALERT, the answer is money.

Sure it’s fun to talk about a joint basketball arena with Northside ISD or a downtown baseball stadium with the city and the Missions.  However, we have to start from the start.

Football will make money, it should be making the school a lot of money.  Basketball, baseball? Not so much.  Football brings the school attention and large amounts of pride, the others, eh.  Okay, okay, yeah I was pretty damn proud when UTSA destroyed Alabama State in the play in game and I did smile when the Baseballers defeated the Baylor Bears this past season.  However, did that merit a normal alumnus as myself to donate money to the Roadrunner Athletic Fund?  No it didn’t, know what made me?   Paying for “the right” to buy Alamodome parking.  So even though the parking pass money is going to the city, the school still strong armed me for some cash.  The earning power for football is tremendous.  Sure operating expenses are considerably more, but think about the fact that football seats are more expensive than basketball seats and their is a ton more of them.  Oh yeah, it also doesn’t hurt that the demand is considerably higher for these seats.  Combine that with the fact the opportunity for more advertisements, and this is the cash cow, despite only having six games.  Even something small, like the fact that the Alamodome offers video that the Convo does not, allows for more opportunities for selling ad space.  Two separate million dollar donations, yeah football.

It is my thought that the school needs to focus on football and it’s facilities before addressing a new arena or ballpark.  I have come around on this, I used to preach loud about the need of replacing our ugly ass, multi-sport facility, and don’t try to tell me it has charm, because we all know that is bullshit.  The reason I used to be so big on this was conference mobility.  Brad Parrott made it clear that facilities would have to be addressed before a conference such as Conference USA would have interest in the school.  They were thought to be one of the most important things a conference looks at, and the Convo was a terrible card to play for the school.  So what happened this summer?  We got in anyway and we are there to stay.  No one knows what conference realignment will bring in the future, but I am pretty sure we have found our home for the long term future.  There isn’t really anywhere else to go, the way I see it, we have hit our ceiling in the conference game.  If you expect the Big 12 to come calling in four years, your orange colored classes are much darker than mine ever will be.  An arena absolutely still needs to be addressed, specifically to help recruiting, and it covers a few different sports.  However, it is not as hot of an item in my opinion.  The school needs football to continue to be successful to help raise the money that a joint effort would need.  Hooking up with NISD will require a bond package to go to vote on their end, but I say take your time, we will be here.

Then there is baseball.  I have to admit, baseball isn’t high on my personal list of priorities, but let’s talk it out.  Recently I went to a triple a game in Round Rock, that stadium is bad ass.  Pretty much had all the major league amenities, just smaller.  It was crazy family friendly with a playground in the outfield and a freaking pool.  It definitely made Wolff Stadium seem, well, Convo-ish.  On that same weekend, I also did a drive by on the Texas State baseball stadium.  Not that kind of drive by, and no I don’t have enough respect for them to look up the proper name.  The stadium isn’t very big, but it is nice, caboose and all.  Put together next to their renovated football stadium, they are looking pretty sharp.  Obviously facilities aren’t as important as advertised, see their rejection from Conference USA and Mountain West.  The Missions will start forcing the issue at some point.  Let them fight that battle and once resolved, piggy back on it.  Use the stadium as you do the dome, rent it out as a tenant.  I know many would say this is not the proper way to plan facilities, but I think it would be just fine.  I honestly don’t think we will ever have high attendance for baseball and doubt that even successful schools have issues filling the stands.

So the bottom line of this blog is  F on F, Focus on Football.  The school should dedicate their resources to football facilities, because the more successful the football program, the more opportunities for our other sports.  With the first phase of Park West certain facilities are taking care of, let’s refocus on football and make it top class.  Once that is there, you can do whatever you want to do with your other programs.  There are going to be growing pains, I say we divert these pains in this way.

Comments, thoughts, grocery lists… @shafercc & shafer@cokerchronicles.com

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About shafer

The rare second generation Roadrunner and I have been so happy to see the developments over the last 10 years or so. I graduated way back in 2000, when football was just some far away dream. Twitter