Several reasons to renovate the Marriott Center, but BYU can't forget the students own half of it

Published: Friday, April 20 2012 7:00 p.m. MDT

BYU students have been a significant part of the Marriott Center, both in financial contributions and in physical support. That support has spiked the past decade under the program of coach Dave Rose.

Event planners cannot forget the students, even if they are being displaced; they have ownership in this building and, over time, paid for half of it.

I'll call it the Gilbert Plea — take care of the kids.

On the other hand, if things remained as we've seen the past four decades, with prime seats locked up by original donors for two generations, there is no way BYU can approach accommodating a growing, paying public fan base.

And that is a real issue.

There are potential season ticket holders who had no avenue to purchase great to good seats — even if they had plenty of cash to flash around.

There simply wasn't room at the inn.

So now, students will be moved. Some are not happy, and it's understandable.

This is also a sign of the times — part of the gears that turn these days in this kind of sports economy when a franchise and brand can create revenue.

Athletic director Tom Holmoe says 75 percent of seats for sale are at the same price or cheaper than before. But it's also true some longtime season ticket holders will pay more if they want to stay in their traditional seats.

It's a complex issue.

It'll be interesting to see how this plan is executed in coming months, and if students embrace it with the passion witnessed the past few seasons come November.

email: dharmon@desnews.com

twitter: Harmonwrites

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