Wednesday, September 11, 2013

UNO Starts Asking for Donations for New Arena

Yesterday, many UNO fans received a postcard encouraging them to donate the athletic department in preparation for the move to the new arena.
Dear Maverick Supporters,

As work continues toward the opening of the Community/UNO Multi-Purpose Athletic Facility in 2015, we want to let know that the athletic department is creating a point system that will allow our top supporters to have access to priority seating, parking and other amenities.

While the system has not been finalized, it will reward and be the most considerate of Maverick donors and season ticket holders for their current support, as well as their past contributions.

In order to enhance your priority, please consider becoming a hockey or men's basketball season ticket holder and a donor to The One Fund. If you have any questions regarding season tickets or donations, please contact the ticket office at 402-554-6287. Go Mavs!
Short on details, of course. Heck, we don't even have many details about the new arena, other than it may have shrunk from the originally reported 7500 seat down to as few as 6800 seats. Nature abhors a vacuum, and in the lack of information, rumors fill the void.

But when we combine what we do know with the letter, we can draw a few conclusions.  With UNO setting capacity slightly below the Mavs' average attendance, UNO is counting on fewer fans moving forward.  That means that if this is going to be a success, UNO needs to get more money from their remaining fans - and that can be done two ways.  First, is to ask those fans to donate more, and offer those donors perks:  parking privileges, better seating, and other amenities.  The second is to raise ticket prices.  The first option begins with this postcard; the second is inevitable and we'll learn of it over the next couple of years.

Some fans still believe that this project will pay for itself merely by diverting concession revenue from MECA (operators of the CenturyLink Center) to UNO. But that revenue likely pales in comparison with the expense of managing a building 365 days a year.

I remain unconvinced that this arena is the right choice for UNO.  I think the cost is too high, and the capacity is too low for UNO hockey.  I simply don't see the need for a fourth hockey arena in the Omaha metro area.

Many of my fellow UNO fans disagree.  They feel UNO absolutely needs this arena, and they cannot wait for it to open, let alone for construction to begin.

I just hope they are prepared to pay the price for it.

No comments: