Friday, May 24, 2013

The Cyclone Fan's White Whale

The South Endzone Project rears its head again.

I understand that lots of Cyclone fans feel that as long as Trice a sort-of-open south end zone it will have a "second tier" look to it. But right now Iowa State is a second tier football program! Playing not-quite-.500-football doesn't justify a $50 million dollar upgrade.

But let's play what if from a business viewpoint: $50 million would replace 5000 current end zone  and hillside seats and add, best case, 10,000 new seats. Dream scenario, $50 per seat for 6 games equals $4.5 Million per season, giving you a payoff of roughly 12 years. But that's best case scenario.

As it stands now, end zone seats go for ~$30 on a season ticket. Hillsides are ~$20. Do you think all those fans are going to suddenly jump to $50 for a high end zone seat? Nope. They will have to be heavily discounted, probably in that $20-$30 range. Half the revenue means double the payback period. 25 years on a project? No. Way. It just doesn't pencil out.

Add in that the number of visitor tickets has dropped dramatically with Nebraska and Mizzou out of the league (not that Mizzou fans travel, but they could have), and the project gets even harder to pull off.  I know, luxury suites could be added to drive some revenue, but how much can you charge a high-roller for a lousy view? The article is right- unless someone donates $10+ million for the project, the South Bowl will remain a pipe dream.

Not that it wouldn't be cool and help our Cyclones look First Tier- but they have to win a lot of games before that will become a reality.

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