Comments about ‘Utes football: No changes imminent for Rice-Eccles Stadium’

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Published: Tuesday, May 14 2013 3:35 p.m. MDT

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Salt Lake City, UT


You can ignore reality if it helps you sleep at night, but as CG correctly stated:

"... IF the Utes had a fan base capable of regularly filling a larger stadium, RES would have been expanded years ago."

The only reason RES was slightly expanded in the first place, was to accommodate the 2002 Olympics. Ten years later, RES still sits at 45,000+ capacity, with no firm plans for expansion.

That's LESS than BYU averaged in 1981, the year BEFORE less was expanded to 65,000+.

IF Utah really did have a "seemingly endless waiting-line for season tickets, miles-long", there's absolutely no reason Chris Hill wouldn't be moving full speed ahead on expanding RES.

Despite the whiny excuse making coming from the hill, actions speak MUCH louder than words.

Mesa, AZ

@ Swoop--

Where's your proof that UTAH wouldn't be able to fill-up R.E.S., post-expansion? Just simply pointing to Dr. Hill not immediately proceeding forward with it, doesn't even remotely come close to making any sense, whatsoever, nor has this ever been stated as the primary-cause for delay.

You people haven't come close to making a case for it and, on the contrary, only serve to strengthen what it is we've been laying claim to as the primary-reason for momentarily delaying it, regarding its cost. We're currently wrapping-up the construction of our brand-new, state of the art Football Facility, for instance, and have other sports we're allocating funds to, as well.

Again, provide definitive evidence of this theory of yours that the real issue at hand is this notion that UTAH is concerned about being able to fill-up R.E.S., once they've in fact completed its expansion. I sincerely look forward to your detailed, thorough break-down/analysis of it. Thanks in advance!!

West Point , UT

My understanding is that some PAC 12 schools are actually decreasing the size of their stadiums despite waiting lists for season tickets. To me this is positive proof that schools no longer care about the fans but about their bottom line. They make far more in media revenue than ticket and concession sells for games. Utah is also not a 100 % revenue earner until 2014...I believe they're only 50% this year, correct me if I'm wrong. To me this seems to make expansion of RES a low priority...and if you've been to the U campus recently, it is true they need major upgrades with other facilities. I've told people for a long time during alignment that this is why BYU doesn't care about the money they would get from a conference. They already have better facilities than half the BCS schools because they are a rich private institution. I think expanding RES would be stupid right now based on their present needs. I also don't believe Utah would have any problem selling 15000 more seats. My bro in law and sister talk about the lines and people waiting, so I don't think that's an issue.

Salt Lake City, UT


"Where's your proof that UTAH wouldn't be able to fill-up R.E.S., post-expansion?"

Where's your proof that Utah would be able to fill up RES post expansion?

Actions speak louder than words, and the fact that Chris Hill is hesitant to move forward on expansion plans is clear proof that your own AD has doubts about Utah fans being able to consistently fill RES, especially if the losing season, no bowl trend continues.

All Hill has to do to find evidence of how fickle Utah's fan base is, is look a couple blocks east of RES to the HC, which has become a vast sea of empty red chairs.

If money is the issue, then why aren't all of these "endless lines" of Utah fans helping cash-strapped Utah with private contributions to fund Utah's stadium expansion?

Magna Ute Fan
Magna, UT

Cougsndawgs- You are awfully reasonable and level-headed for a Cougar fan posting here on a Ute article. Thanks for adding to the conversation instead of just stirring the pot.

Baltimore, MD

Magna Ute

If Cougsndawgs' statement is true, that

"...some PAC 12 schools are actually decreasing the size of their stadiums despite waiting lists for season tickets. To me this is positive proof that schools no longer care about the fans but about their bottom line..."

That should be far more disturbing for Utah fans than simple cash flow impediments to expansion. What that's really saying is that Utah has become just another money-grubbing institution that's far more concerned with money, than its own fans.

Highland, UT


And of course you are going to post a "detailed, thorough break-down/analysis of" your assertion? I am going to venture a guess that you cannot, and will not.

If there truly were ""seemingly endless waiting-line for season tickets, miles-long" then expanding rice eccles would be utah's most pressing athletic infrastructure need and the others would all be behind it. Considering the only one of the other projects that might bring in more direct revenue would be hc improvements then your assertions appear to be...well...."frantic amd emotional".

I look forward to your "detailed, thorough break-down/analysis" of your assertions.

Riddles in the Dark
Olympus Cove, Utah


"I'm uncertain of why you and your fellow BYU-fans insist on consistently making claim, but you clearly haven't done your homework, if you believe UTAH doesn't have a seemingly endless waiting-line for season tickets, miles-long."

That's gotta be one of the most confused comments I've ever seen on this blog, and that's saying alot.

As Duckhunter asked, where's your proof, your detailed analysis, that apparently only you and NV are privy to? You might want to share your little secret with Chris Hill who seems to be having doubts about the wisdom of expanding RES anytime soon.

Salt Lake City, Utah

Just curious how many of the millions of Utah fans on this mystery waiting list would be willing to shell out money year after year for season tickets to watch a team that isn't even good enough to qualify for a bowl.

Naval Vet
Philadelphia, PA


"Utah is also not a 100 % revenue earner until 2014...I believe they're only 50% this year, correct me if I'm wrong."

You're wrong. This year, we'll be receiving a 75% share.

Magna, UT


I'm curious about a few things too.

I'm curious to see how the millions of cougar fans will do now that they finally have a big boy schedule. Will winning 5-6 games and maybe qualifying for the no-name bowl be good enough for them? Will losing a majority of those 2 for 1 games on the road be the exposure that you wanted?

How much of your hair will you pull out watching the on-going line of byu legacy kids committing to the U? (Jake Murphy, Harrison Handley,…)

How will you handle the on-going line of top in-state talent (Jackson Barton, Harvey Langi,…) committing to the U?

Orem, UT


"I'm curious to see how the millions of Cougar fans will do now that they finally have a big boy schedule."

BYU will do just fine playing a "big boy" schedule. Unlike the Utes, BYU has been playing the big boys for decades.

BYU played FIVE Top 25 teams last season, plus ACC division champ Georgia Tech, and MWC tri-champ SDSU, and still finished with an 8-5 record and #26 ranking in Sagarin.

Utah played TWO Top 25 teams, lost to both, and finished with a losing 5-7 record and #61 ranking in Sagarin, despite all of those BYU legacy kids playing for the Utes.

Unfortunately for U, the biggest difference between BYU and Utah isn't losing to better teams, the biggest difference is BYU doesn't lose to bad teams like 10-loss Colorado and 10-loss UNLV.

btw, BYU and USC are the ONLY programs from the West to make Athlon's Top 25 All-Time College Football Dynasties.

Lincoln Park, IL

I've never seen so many fans trying so desperately to explain why their big boy conference team is incapable of expanding their tiny little stadium to big boy size.

West Point , UT

Thank you Naval Vet. It is true that they will be 100% next year though right? I wasn't sure if it was 50 or 75% this year so thanks for the info.
No I'm not saying Utah will necessarily decrease their seating like other schools have done. I was pointing to the fact that if other schools in the PAC 12 are decreasing their seating, than it decreases the pressure on Utah to increase right away. Btw the other schools aren't actually decreasing their stadium sizes, they're just decreasing the number of seats for season ticket holders to install luxury suites and skyboxes, etc. Still hurts fans to do that though because it lessens their opportunity for season tickets. I hope Utah knows better.
I think Utah is doing the right thing here. In business you always strengthen and upgrade your infrastructure before you expand it. And it's not like Chris hill didn't say expansion is off the table, it's just not going to happen before other renovations. To my fellow BYU fans, Utah has other facilities that NEED to be upgraded. RES is a beautiful facility that doesn't need upgrade, only expansion.

Highland, UT


Did anyone say rice eccles needed an "upgrade"? It is a nice little facility and doesn't need any apparent "upgrades". But it also doesn't need an expansion and chris hill apparently realizes this because there are no plans to do it anytime soon. The utah "fan"base needs to actually prove they are more than flash in the pan fair weahter types before that expense would be incurred. The only ones clamoring for an expansion are utah "fans" that simply see it as validation for their own tenuous "fan"base. Since there are no plans to do it anytime soon we can take that as the utah powers that be not giving them that validation.

West Point , UT

No I wasn't saying anyone said RES needed an update. I was referring to that because of my statement that most businesses solidify or upgrade their infrastructure before expanding their business. Utah's infrastructure needed upgrading (see the article about all the building and renovating they are doing right now) so that's what they're focusing on before expanding the football stadium. As far as whether they could fill more seats, that may be debatable, but in the end whi cares? They get more revenue from TV than ticket sales, so expanding the stadium is a low business priority right now. I also believe Utah WILL expand their stadium at some point because the plans have already been drawn up and it remains on their plans for the future. I know from my own experience with friends and some family who are ute fans that there is a waiting list for season tickets. How long that list is, and whether Utah could fill a 60,000 seat stadium is a matter of debate, but I don't think that's what's holding them up on stadium expansion...other pressing needs are taking the cash right now.

Draper, UT

Poor Cougar fans having to resort to stadium size banter, haha. Like they say, it's not the size of the stadium, it's the number on the scoreboard. Extending the winning streak this year and having a whole 3 years to crow about it is gonna be so nice.

Draper, UT

I personally hope they don't expand RES anytime soon. I love being able to sell my extra season tickets in the north end zone for over 3x face value every year.

West Point , UT

"Extending the winning streak this year and having a whole 3 years to crow about it is gonna be so nice".

Famous last words. I don't want to hear you crying or giving any excuses when the opposite happens. BYU is done giving gift baskets to the utes...our charity ends this year. GO COUGS!

Snack PAC
Olympus Cove, Utah


Poor Utah fans having to live with egg all over their faces after realizing that all of their stadium expansion banter turned out to be nothing more than wishful thinking, haha.

Call us when the Utes actually sell out a 60,000+ capacity RES for the first time.

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