Clemson Indoor Practice Facility Approved

We got some investigative digging from LW on the Indoor Practice Facility and the major hold up on further campaigning and the groundbreaking today:

The proposal for a $10 million indoor facility went before the state Budget and Control Board yesterday and was approved. Clemson is opposed to buying bonds to fund facilities (this is what SC does do however) and decided to have money in pocket to get the approval from the state. LW said this

Technically, Clemson does have the money in the form of its IPTAY reserves. But Clemson is not planning on shelling out 10 million bucks of those reserves to pay for the indoor facility.

To date, about $750,000 has been raised in support of the indoor facility. As Bill D’Andrea reported in a recent interview with Tigerillustrated.com, Clemson is still formulating its plans for a capital campaign for the indoor facility.

Which points to what we stated in our IPTAY budget review 5 months ago:

So, in my grossly uninformed financial opinion, it looks to me that IPTAY still has money left to spend. We are finishing well in the black. We added another $4 million to the spending accounts in FY10, for a total of $34 million just sitting there. Only $6.7 million actually is listed as scholarship money in the IPTAY budget, with $4.8 million as discretionary spending and IPTAY's own operational budget of nearly $2.6 million (wages, gameday operations, mailings, etc.). So now IPTAY sits on $34 million bucks and plans to ask you to give more money to fund the various building projects announced 2 months ago for a sum total of $50 million.So tell me why we haven't broken ground when we have 3/5 of the necessary money already sitting there? You could certainly start and ask for directed donations while construction is ongoing.

$34.5 M in reserves to be exact, with an average increase to the savings account of $4 M per year over the last 4 years, and yet they refuse to put up $10M of this cash to pay to start the IPF after the season. They plan to create the capital campaign for this (and the other projects) this fall sometime.

(Note that we are not talking about the CUAD budget, which is a separate entity. The CUAD budget pays coach salaries and maintenance on facilities, equipment, and the like, and they’ll be getting about $6M more this fall from the new TV deal.)

The 34.5M is as of June 2010, and if you assume the equivalent amount of profit in FY11 as in the past 4 years, they would be sitting on $38M right now. Since season ticket sales did decrease about 2%, I think its fair to assume IPTAY lost about the same amount, but with the giving at $19M per year, that only amounts to a few hundred thousand bucks lost. We'll be conservative for the moment and say they profited $3M in the last FY (which ended last month), and the WEZ NW Plaza addition currently underway cost $3M. IPTAY likely broke even this year. To my knowledge the stadium seat renovation would've been paid for by the CUAD.

So basically, IPTAY still has $34.5 M of your money, but refuse to spend it on what you would want them to spend it on, and will ask you for another donation to the building fund later. All they want to do is match your giving rate to the building fund with money you’ve already given them to fund projects that should already have been funded and started:

LW: I could see Clemson raising, say, $5 million for the indoor facility and then matching that $5 million with funds from IPTAY reserves. I’m not completely up to speed on this matching program that’s been proposed and discussed behind the scenes, but it sounds as if IPTAY is prepared to put up quite a bit of money for the facility and for the broader $50 million campaign if donors step up to the plate as well. I’ve heard as much as $22 million, but I’m not sure if that’s set in stone at this point.As it stands now, plans are for construction on the indoor facility to begin next summer.

Anticipated date of completion is January of 2013.

Since this building doesn’t need a revamped foundation, unlike the WEZ, it could be done in 6 months or so. Its basically a roof over the current practice fields behind Tiger Field. We should already have this building done and in place for use right now, and LW confirmed, at least in our eyes, that the impetus was primarily to get the fans off the AD/BOT’s ass after a 6-6 regular season.

If this kind of comprehensive plan has been in the works, why the hell didn't you announce it post-ACCCG or post-MC Bowl last year, when fan excitement for this season was comparitively high? Why did you sit on it? We could've been raising the money already, and instead they did nothing. They said nothing. They didn't say anything when the NFL scouts made fun of our "indoor facility" and would've rather practiced in the rain than inside it. Why wouldn't you roll it out then, or at least say you've contracted an architect to render one? Or said that you already started a feasibility study? Instead of uniting fans (or trying to) behind Phillips and the AD and IPTAY, they let things go on. How do you feel about the leadership of this Athletic Department when you think about these things?

I get the distinct impression that this whole plan was sitting on someone's desk for months, Barker and/or TDP held it up, and that Board members told them to get off their collective asses and start doing something before they lose their IPTAY donations.

That is the only thing that makes logical sense to me, regarding this timing.

And LW's POV:

There is substantial evidence that the announcement was pushed by President Barker and the Board of Trustees in response to all the negativity that swirled in the wake of the football’s team’s 6-7 season.

The announcement was good in helping spin things in a positive light, but it wasn’t so good in that it ultimately created the impression that nothing has been happening over the last several months. In hindsight, it might’ve been a better idea perception-wise to hold off on the announcement until, say, somewhere around now.

These facilities improvements have been in the works for a while, long before the 2010 season turned sour. When you’re at the mercy of the state approval process at a state university, these things can take a lot more time than is preferred.

And they still have not set out a timetable for completion of the remaining projects, including the addition of the extra rooms in the WEZ and the Oculus. We had thought those would be under construction sometime in 2012 as well.

Guess not. Will we even see the IPF done in January 2013?

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