Athletics spends $418,500 on facility upgrades

The Athletics Department spent approximately $35,000 for pressbox renovations at Ralph E. Davis Pioneer Stadium last summer.

The renovations were paid by the athletics’ stadium maintenance account, which is funded from student segregated fees, said Sara Voigts, financial services associate budget planner.

“The athletics’ budget is made up of 55 percent student fees,”  Athletics Director Mark Molesworth said.  “The other 45 percent is fundraised or self-generated.”

Athletics self-generates revenue from advertising, ticket and concession sales.  These funds are pooled into the same account that student segregated fees are distributed into, Molesworth said.

Originally, athletics planned to remodel every room in the pressbox.  Limited funds in the athletics’ budget, however, would not support those plans.

The four rooms that were completely remodeled were: the chancellor’s suite, athletics director’s suite, two guest suites, and the food area, Molesworth said.  Wall graphics, furniture, paint, carpeting and counter tops were added to these rooms. Signs to Go traded the wall graphics for advertising.

“Two coach boxes, three radio boxes, the sports information box and control room were painted and carpeted by our workers, but we didn’t get new seating or graphics for those rooms,”  Molesworth said.

Student fees also paid for a portion of athletic’s three new message and video boards.

The total cost of the digital boards was about $323,000, Assistant Chancellor Rob Cramer said.  Six different sponsors donated funds ranging from $250,000 to $270,000.  The remaining $73,000 to $93,000 were funded through Foundation accounts and students segregated fees.

“Some of the difference came out of money already raised in three Foundation funds: Bo Ryan Court Fund, Butch Lietl Field Fund and Stadium Step Fund.” Molesworth said. “We knew we had money sitting in those accounts that we could use.”

About $23,000 was spent for electrical work for the digital boards.

“We have not been billed yet for the scoreboard safety netting, however we estimate the cost to be around $7,500, which will be paid for by Athletics,” Voigts said in an email. “The amounts paid by Athletics for both the scoreboard and pressbox renovations were paid from the stadium maintenance account, which is funded from student fees.”

Scoreboard features

The Pioneer Stadium scoreboard has a 24-by-13 feet video screen, making it possible to play commercials and sponsor messages throughout games.  The board also has six stationary billboard advertisements.  Bo Ryan Court scoreboard and Pioneer Athletic Center messageboard only run sponsorship messages.  They are not video boards.

The Pioneer Stadium scoreboard gives students the opportunity to develop technology skills, according to Sports Information Director Danny Kambel.

“Production efforts are something our students get back from this,” Kambel said. “We want it to be a learning and teaching tool for them.  If students want to develop a skill, they are more than welcome to help with production.”

The athletics department has eight to 10 production staff working a single football game.  During soccer games, that staff is cut by 2 to 3 people.

“Soccer games have less production staff working just because of the nature of the game,” Molesworth said. “There are not as many plays because it is a continuous game.”

The Pioneer Stadium video scoreboard, however, is not all about soccer and football, Molesworth said.

To help with game day production at Pioneer Stadium, contact Kambel at 608-342-1574.