Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Still waiting on official stadium news...

The rumors about the renovation of Amon G. Carter Stadium have been around for years now. At first it was vague plans, then a few leaked computer renderings. Those were followed by a concrete plan for fundraising, that came along with a deadline- June 30th of this year.

We're now almost a month and a half past that deadline and have yet to have an official announcement by the school, despite Coach Patterson and others within the Athletic Department stating that the funds have been raised and that the project would begin immediately after the completion of the last home game of the 2010 season. As each day goes by without the delicious media splash that would come with such an announcement, though, I start to wonder- is this really going to happen?

Now, there's a good chance that I'm just being impatient here. When you're raising hundreds of millions of dollars to fund the rebuilding of one of the largest and most historic structures on a university campus, I bet there is a good deal of red tape and due diligence to work through before something can get that final, 100% official stamp of approval. Occam's razor, which tells us that the simplest explanation is probably the correct one, would seem to point to this scenario.

The lack of sports on TV this time of year probably does little to distract me from my anticipation of this event, and it's very easy for one's mind to wander during these pre-football dog days of summer. And since we're not real journalists on this blog, there's no need for me to steer clear of hearsay or speculation, is there? I'm going to put a few hypothetical scenarios out there for you to discuss in the comments section, ranging from the enormously negative to the tremendously positive, and if the school decides to announce their stadium plans today I'll curse myself for wasting all this time typing up paragraph after redundant paragraph of speculative garbage.

If the seed of doubt wasn't already planted in your head by the weeks that have gone by since the money was supposed to have been all in, let me plant it now: what if the stadium renovation plans have faltered and the project doesn't happen? It surely wouldn't be the first major construction plan to be scrapped during this economic downturn- heck, one of you reading this probably has something to do with the half-completed condo building that brightens up the view out of my bedroom window. Until shovels start hitting dirt (and even until completion), there's always some wacky financial stuff that can get in the way and ruin things.

Or what if, with the unstable and uber-temporary feeling of the 10-team Big 12 (and the national conference structure as a whole), TCU is reconsidering their original plan of a 40,000-seat capacity? Perhaps something is going on behind closed doors to lead the decision-makers that the Frogs have a better chance at finding themselves in a conference with more regional and visible programs than they did when the plans were first drawn up. If that were the case, they might be thinking about a stadium that holds many more fans than that. And that might mean more time- another year or two possibly- to redraft plans and raise additional funds.

Another possibility is the rumor that has been swirling for the past few days, based partially on something that was hinted at in a Star-Telegram article earlier this summer. In that article, it was stated that TCU was looking at possibly expanding Lupton Stadium once Amon G. Carter's renovation was complete. But it be that, finding themselves on a fund-raising hot streak, the TCU administration decided to wait on an announcement until they could release plans for both stadiums simultaneously? Just think of the media splash that would create: Chris Del Conte and Chancellor Boschini, announcing the renovation of Amon G. Carter into the state of the art facility that TCU's football program deserves, as well as the expansion of Lupton Stadium, which is quickly becoming not big enough for the school's surging baseball team. Flanking the administrators at the announcement would be, of course, reigning national coaches of the year Gary Patterson and Jim Schlossnagle. Sure, it sounds like every Frog fan's fantasy, but the way things have been going lately- is it that far from reality?

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments section (is that another shameless attempt to increase Spitblood's web traffic or a genuine appeal for discussion? You'll never know!), so be sure to put in your two cents on the matter. If this goes well, we might play another game of "What if?" soon.

Morning Dump