AKRON PREMIUM SALES GOOD, SEASON TIX BEHIND
February 26, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures
Akron, Ohio - The luxury suites are sold out, the loges are almost gone, but the club seats and
season tickets are lagging.
The University of Akron has sold only 75 of 522 club - or chair-back - seats at $1,000 each and
3,000 of 10,000 season tickets at $75 to $135 each, depending on the location and package, for its new InfoCision Stadium rising on campus.
The economy is the issue, with many middle-income families struggling or unwilling to part
with money yet, said Hunter Yurachek, executive senior associate athletic director.
"People are holding onto their money. Some say, 'We're interested, but it's still January or
February. Check with me again in July or August.' People know they can wait," he said, because
plenty of tickets are available.
UA is about seven months away from its inaugural game Sept. 19 in the $61.6 million stadium.
The facility will replace the aging Rubber Bowl, which sits about seven miles from campus.
The university aggressively has been raising money for the project for more than a year. It has
collected - or has pledges for - about $22 million, up from about $21.5 million eight months ago,
The goal is to reach $26.5 million by the time the first debt-service payment is due June 30,
The stadium will be financed over 30 years, with pledges due on major gifts along the way and
other money - such as payments from rentals for wedding receptions and meetings, plus
concessions and ticket sales - filling in.
The major naming rights have been sold, with Gary and Karen Taylor giving $10 million to
christen the facility for their company, InfoCision. Summa Health System is giving $5 million for
the field. The FirstMerit Foundation is paying $1 million for the club level.
The newest gift was announced last month: $100,000 over five years from the Towpath Credit
Union for the press box, with an option for another five years.
In addition, 34 of the 38 loges are gone at a cost of $5,000 a year, as are all 13 luxury suites at $20,000 a year for three-, five- or seven-year contracts.
Potential donors are evaluating two of the biggest naming options now: one for the press tower
and another for the end zone. Those would be "seven-figure gifts" of possibly $2.5 million each,
More modest naming rights are available for the coaches' box on the seventh floor for about
$50,000 and the radio play-by-play room for about $25,000, he said.
There are plenty of seats to be sold - the stadium will hold 25,000 spectators and offer standing
room for another 5,000. UA will unveil a new giving program at its spring football game April 4.
UA will sell $250 bricks in what is being called a Walk of Champions that will lead from the
field house to the playing field. The hope is that former UA football players will want to
memorialize their name and number, raising $100,000 for the university along the way.
The option of hiking student fees to help pay for the project is off the table, at least for now,
UA officials have said they would not levy another fee on students without a referendum, or
To get the most student input before the stadium opens, the vote would have to be held by the
end of the spring semester in May. There are no plans to do so, Yurachek said.
Students already are paying off the cost of the Recreation and Wellness Center and Student
Union. (Akron Beacon Journal)
AKRON PREPARING TO OPEN NEW STADIUM
July 16, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures
Akron, Ohio - The University of Akron plans to open its new stadium Sept. 12 for a game
against Morgan State.
The turf is down; the stands are up; the loges and bathrooms are in progress. The elevators are
going in. A retaining wall is going up on the grassy knoll at the south side of InfoCision Stadium for fans who prefer a picnic blanket to seats.
The west wall of windows in the seven-story Press Tower provide a panoramic view of campus,
including a $28 million parking deck on East Exchange.
The east side overlooks Summa Field, which is set into a bowl with synthetic turf striped in two
shades of green and the UA logo in the school colors of blue and gold.
The stadium has two unusual features - rentable, open-air patios on an upper floor of the Press
Tower and loges that seat four in swiveling chairs around a table.
Stadium costs are coming in at the budget of $61.6 million. Another $4.4 million has been
reserved to build out 45,200 square feet of classroom space in the Press Tower.
Already InfoCision Stadium is bringing in more revenue than the Rubber Bowl, officials said.
When the Zips won the MAC championship in 2005 - its best football season - the university
sold 1,247 season tickets. Total ticket revenue for that season was $154,911.
So far for fall 2009, UA has raised about $1.1 million by selling 4,493 season tickets, 125 club
seats, 34 loges and 13 luxury suites.
The goal is 10,000 season tickets by the time UA makes its first debt payment for the stadium in
None of those tickets are to students. They get 5,500 seats reserved for them for free.
ATTENDANCE DOWN, BUT AKRON BENEFITS FROM STADIUM
January 21, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures
Akron, Ohio - University of Akron officials are pleased with the financial performance of the
team's new InfoCision Stadium, even though attendance results didn't come through as well as hoped.
Associate Athletics Director Paul Hammond said the final year's attendance at the aging Rubber Bowl was about 71,700 compared to 104,000 for the inaugural season at InfoCision Stadium.
At the same time, revenue from UA games rose from $400,000 at the Rubber Bowl to about $2 million at InfoCision - and had the potential to be greater, save for the disappointing 3-9 season.
While the $61.6 million stadium might not hit all the marks, "I think in Year One, you go with the flow," Hammond said. "Operations were done very well. If our success would have stayed up, it would have helped."
Attendance at the new stadium was well below the 20,000 UA hoped for at each game, or 120,000 for the six-game home season, yet concession sales rose from $18,500 to $75,000.
Since the university also was able to host more outside events at a higher rate at InfoCision than it could at the aging Rubber Bowl, some seven miles from campus, that revenue grew as well. Hammond said nine high school games generated $12,000 in fees this year, up from seven
games and $6,000 at the Rubber Bowl the previous year. Concessions sold at those events hiked total revenue from $24,400 to $114,300, a figure that includes the hot dogs and pop sold at the UA games.
AKRON SELLS $16.6 MILLION IN SPONSORSHIPS
September 9, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures
Akron, Ohio - The University of Akron has sold nearly $16.6 million in sponsorships and has $6
million in other opportunities still available, according to the Akron Beacon Journal.
Before the stadium opened last September, Gary and Karen Taylor contributed the lead gift of
$10 million to name the entire facility for their company, Info-Cision Management.
Summa Health System gave $5 million for the playing field; FirstMerit Foundation, $1 million
for the club level; and the Towpath Credit Union, $100,000 for the press box.
Since then, other purchases have trickled in, although they are not generally as large as the first gifts, the newspaper said.
Benjamin and Nancy Suarez gave $100,000 to build a strength and conditioning center for UA student athletes at the stadium. The 3,000-square-foot center, to open late next month, will be named for the couple, not their company, Suarez Corp. Industries of North Canton.
The gift was part of a larger donation for athletics, with another $50,000 going to the football department and $100,000 to a summer school for athletes.
The House of LaRose of Brecksville, the largest Anheuser-Busch distributor in Ohio, gave $250,000 for the lobby, according to the Beacon Journal.
D. Eugene Waddell, former chairman of the UA trustees, paid $75,000 for the naming rights to UA President Luis Proenza's suite.
Van Horne said that the gift meant the box could be larger, seating 60 as opposed to less than 20 in the other box suites reserved for UA's top officials.
Polymer Valley Chemicals of Akron paid $50,000 for the naming rights to the athletic director's suite. Tom Wistrcill uses the box on game days to court donors, alumni and friends.
The most economical program enables supporters to buy inscribed bricks for $150 (64 have been sold) or larger ones for $250 (42 have been sold). A virtually endless number of bricks are available, the newspaper reported.
More costly deals include the north end zone facility at $5 million; each of the four entrance gates, $100,000 each; and the home and visiting coaches boxes, $25,000 each.