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Posts Tagged ‘capital campaign’

cincinnatiThe University of Cincinnati is currently amidst a large, university-wide capital campaign that will benefit many departments, including athletics. For the Bearcats, the Jefferson Avenue Sports Complex is sitting front and center to all donors wishing to support the Athletics Department. The complex, which will consist of two fields, one 100 yards in length and the other being 50 yards, will support the football and women’s lacrosse programs, among others. As planned, the facility will get an inflatable “bubble” each winter to allow for indoor practices in the chilly Cincinnati weather.

What was unexpected, however, is a recent set of events that kept the facility campaign on track and at the forefront of donor minds. In late September, Bearcat supporter Larry Sheakley, the CEO of the Sheakley Group, initiated a $1 million matching gift challenge to support the campaign. In impressive fashion, the UC support system was able to match Mr. Sheakley’s gift in just two short weeks.

This display of fundraising brings an interesting strategy into light. Instead of merely accepting  a large gift from a donor such as Mr. Sheakley, why shouldn’t other universities propose the gift “challenge” with their top-tier supporters. Not only does a challenge such as this receive media attention, it can also re-invigorate a capital funds drive.

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March 2009 Groundbreaking of Saluki Way

March 2009 Groundbreaking of Saluki Way

ADF will post a periodic listing of updates in the world of college athletic facilities and the fundraising tactics used to bring them to life. This month we take a look at a project that is unique in both size and scope: Saluki Way at Southern Illinois University.

Saluki Way
Back in September of 2005, Southern Illinois University announced an ambitious campus construction project that would change the face of the University and Saluki Athletics. The project is “Saluki Way,” a reorganization and improvement of campus athletic facilities and walkways. The plans call for a complete rebuild and relocation of the Saluki football field, renovation of SIU arena, and a new academic center (among others). The project broke ground last month accompanied by an announcement of a $2 million anonymous donation.

Such a massive undertaking comes with substantial costs as well. The university approved an $83 million fundraising campaign that will include a donation from the city of Carbondale ($20 million through a city tax increase), an increase in student fees ($41.5 million), and private donations.

One unique aspect of this project is the strategy for seeking private capital to fund the project. SIU is utilizing the time and effort of six key volunteer fundraisers to seek out money that is available in the community and university alumni. These representatives include bankers, members of the university alumni association  and local business owners . This approach is effective because each of the volunteers are, potentially, stakeholders in the success of the facilities since athletic events are a stimulant to the Carbondale economy.

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MSU's New Heated Golfing Range

MSU's new heated driving range

EAST LANSING, MI- Through the beginning of the month there have been several facility openings across the country. Michigan State recently opened a heated driving range facility for use by their men’s and women’s teams and the public. Located on the university’s golf course, Forest Akers, the driving range will be used throughout the year as the heated stalls will allow athletes to see their ball in flight throughout the year. This facility will work in conjunction with The Rearick Golf Complex to provide the student-athletes with year round practice capabilities.

NEW HAVEN, CT- Yale University recently opened the newly renovated Reese Stadium, a facility used for lacrosse and soccer, this past week. This marks the end of a two phase renovation project kickstarted by a naming gift by Jon and Jason Reese in 2006. The second phase was funded by a “Winning Goal” Campaign which called upon former lacrosse and soccer players to make donations ranging from $25,000 to $100,000 to support the program.

Phase I saw the installation of an artificial turf surface and new lights into the stadium. Phase II, which was just recently completed, includes a new entry plaza, press box, team rooms, new and expanded seats and hospitality areas. The entry plaza posts the name of every player to participate in Yale soccer and lacrosse, as well as a special donor plaque area.

For more information concerning this project, please click here.

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This indoor facility is one example of the top notch facilities Nebraska has to offer.

This indoor facility is one example of the top notch facilities Nebraska has to offer.

On the shoulders of the recent $10 million gift from Tom and Mary Hendricks to the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, the school has recently announced that a new practice facility for Men’s and Women’s Basketball, Gymnastics, and Wrestling is now in the works. The new facility, which will provide a convenient and less impacted practice area for each of the teams, is officially called the Devaney Center Improvements Project. In addition to the practice facility, the project will also include repairs to the Bob Devaney Sports Center, updates to the coaching offices, and improvements to the athletic medicine department that is housed in the building.

Mr. Hendricks is a co-founder and Executive Vice President of Tenaska, Inc, a power and energy marketer out of Omaha, Nebraska and a graduate of Nebraska. The $10 million gift is just a part of the estimated $17 million that will be raised in order to complete the renovation, which is scheduled to begin in August of 2010. The completion of the practice facility would be the third on the Nebraska campus. Cook Pavilion, at a cost of nearly $3 million dollars, is an indoor practice facility for the Husker football program and opened in 1989. Hawks Championship Center ($50 million, 2006) is available to all Husker teams and includes a full football field, batting cages, a sand volleyball court, and practice space for countless other teams.

For more information concenering this project, click here or here. For more information on University of Nebraska facilities, click here.

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A view of Indiana's new North End Zone Facility set to be finished in June.

A view of Indiana's new North End Zone Facility set to be finished in June.

Last month I had the pleasure of visiting Indiana University’s campus for a summer internship opportunity. During my time there, I was able to tour facilities and meet with the staff of the Varsity Club, the main fundraising arm of IU Athletics. While we are all familiar with the continuity difficulties this department has experienced over the past year, it is a testament to the staff of the Varsity Club that their capital campaign is progressing right on schedule.

The North End Zone project is nearing completion with a move in date to occur this summer. Additionally, the skeleton of a state-of-the art basketball practice facility has been erected. This is all part of a For the Glory of Old IU campaign that has taken place over the past four years, which seeks to raise over $80 million in private support.

The staff has done a tremendous job maintaining focus and continuing to enhance the lives of Indiana’s student-athletes. To learn more about this remarkable campaign and the people who are making it happen, click here.

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