Considerable work, planning has gone into upgrades of University of Utah's athletic facilities

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  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    May 22, 2013 7:42 a.m.


    "It appears naval saw the truth coming out and panicked."

    What are you talking about? It seems your obsession with me had compelled you drop some disjointed comment in order to pull me into....something I'm not even sure of. What did I have to do with your last comment?

    The only "panic" I see is you. I clearly positioned that argument as the 5th post (over on pg. 1) of this comment thread.

  • LonestarRunner Salt Lake City, UT
    May 17, 2013 1:23 p.m.


    "Again, thanks for the information."

    No problem.

    I don't have an issue with the U expanding their stadium as long as it's done responsibly.

    Unlike some of the posters here who think that the Utes hit the lottery with their invitation to the PAC 12, at least you understand that bonding to fund such athletic facilities isn't a no risk proposition, and hopefully we both understand that either directly or indirectly such financing could impact how funds appropriated to the U from the state are used.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    May 17, 2013 9:00 a.m.

    Hmmm....that is interesting stuff Lonestar. Now I doubt that utah is going to default, they are a well run institution with a history of doing things the properly, but of course this is about more than that and you've helped prove it. This is about the deluded utah "fans" that somehow believe the university of utah is an entity unto itself, that the ahtletic department is self funding and actually turns a profit, that it is not subsidized by the state and the taxpayers of the state, and that it is somehow different than every other public univeristy in the country.

    It obviously is no different, the state auditor himself shows they are not only NOT self funding but are heavily subsidized, that the state is on the hook for them if they should default, that the pac12 riches utah "fans" brag about incessantly not only are not enough to cover their increased expenses but the expenses have increased more than the revenue and now they are taking out debt to finance things and that debt is placed at least partially on increase fees to students.

    It appears naval saw the truth coming out and panicked.


  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    May 17, 2013 9:00 a.m.


    "Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s quickly chopped Vadnais Heights’ formerly double-A bond ratings to junk after the city said it would sever its lease for the Vadnais Sports Center, which supports payments on the $27 million of lease-backed revenue bonds issued to build the complex."

    This seems to be a very poorly structured lease revenue bond that relied heavily on the City's ability to lease and make lease payments on the sports complex. It does raise cautions in how these types of bonds are structured. If the University of Utah were to issue lease revenue bonds for athletic facilities where the University was the lease holder rather than issue revenue bonds with multi faceted dedicated revenue streams then we should all be leary of such a bond structure, myself included. Again, thanks for the information.

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    May 17, 2013 8:49 a.m.


    Thanks. That is good stuff. Information we don't often get in the comments. Vadnais Heights is a Minnesota City and I am not familiar with Minnesota's Local Bonding Act. Some State laws require that local governments back their revenue bonds with general obligation bonds. Utah does not. Because Vadnais Heights got a down grade on their G.O. bonds this may be case here where the City refused to back these lease revenue bonds for the sports complex with their G.O. bonds but I don't know. Also, Vadnais Heights used lease revenue bonds to fund the facility. These are a bit different than revenue bonds that are backed by multiple dedicated revenue streams. And to make matters worse Vadnais Heights was the entity leasing the facility and when they got into financial trouble the City broke the lease which dried up the bond payments. Here is a quote from an article I found online: Continued.......

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    May 17, 2013 8:48 a.m.

    @mormon ute

    Well unlinked, yes I know the dnews doesn't allow links, newspaper articles are nice, but I would say the state auditors official report to the president of the university of utah is just a bit more credible than an unnamed "report" in some other unnamed paper.

  • phoenix Gilbert, AZ
    May 17, 2013 8:27 a.m.

    scenic view

    Instead of expanding RES, maybe the U could simply rent LES.

    Of course, Sunday play could be an issue, if the PAC ever decides that they absolutely have to play football games on Sunday.

  • scenic view Baltimore, MD
    May 17, 2013 8:08 a.m.

    Nightmare scenario for U:

    Utah floats $30 million in Revenue Bonds to help finance the projected $60 million to expand RES.

    Kyle accepts a new coaching gig at UCLA and takes his entire staff with him.

    His replacement does to Utah football what Majerus' replacements did to Utah basketball and attendance plummets to pre-MWC numbers.

    Revenue pledged to pay the Revenue Bonds falls woefully short.

    Budget short falls prevent the U from tapping into other school funds to make up the revenue difference.

    The State of Utah refuses to bail out the U.

    The U defaults on the Revenue Bonds and the bond holders slap a lien on RES, refusing to allow Utah to play football games in RES until the bond holders are paid in full.

    Could it happen? Not likely.

    Is it possible? Absolutely!

  • LonestarRunner Salt Lake City, UT
    May 17, 2013 7:11 a.m.

    The city won't immediately feel the downgrade. Its bonds will simply drop in price enough so that their yields will reflect what the bond-rating agencies believe are their greater risk. The problem comes when Vadnais Heights wants to float new bonds for roads, schools, sewers and other municipal improvements. The interest rate could top 15 percent.

    This example illustrates the possible pitfalls of using Revenue Bonds to finance athletic facilities and why the State of Utah would be extremely foolish to ever allow a state-owned institution, such as the University of Utah, to default on such bonds.

  • LonestarRunner Salt Lake City, UT
    May 16, 2013 11:30 p.m.

    Only days later, the bond-rating agencies swooped in like avenging angels to smash Vadnais Heights' credit-worthiness. S & P reduced the rating of the revenue bonds from A- to CC or "highly vulnerable," a drop of 13 steps. (Moody's didn't rate those bonds.) That's understandable since nobody knows if the investors will ever be repaid. But both Moody's and S & P went the extra mile and downgraded Vadnais Heights' ordinary general obligation bonds; they went from third best rating to junk status.


    Be careful what you ask for Dutchman.

  • LonestarRunner Salt Lake City, UT
    May 16, 2013 11:29 p.m.


    "Do you have an example of a bail out of Revenue Bonds issued by a public agency that are in default or don't you?"

    Yes, check out the $26 million in Revenue Bonds issued to finance the new 200,000-square-foot Vadnais Heights Sports Center. When revenue fell short of covering the debt service on the bonds, the city coughed up $582,000 for its debt service for 2012 and hundreds of thousands more to cover operating expenses. In 2013, Vadnais Heights would owe bondholders $1.6 million, or 36 percent of its 2010 budget. To raise that much money without touching the budget, it would have to hike property taxes by 30 percent. Likely fearing a tar-and-feathering, the City Council voted unanimously to sever its tie to the sports complex and not to pay the revenue bonds.


  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    May 16, 2013 10:19 p.m.


    Do you have an example of a bail out of Revenue Bonds issued by a public agency that are in default or don't you? If you are so concerned that Revenue Bonds issued for athletic facilities at the U will default and be bailed out using your tax dollars then you should want to know. When and where has this happened? Educate me.

  • LonestarRunner Salt Lake City, UT
    May 16, 2013 8:39 p.m.


    You're seriously going to argue that the State of Utah bailing out the University of Utah would be the equivalent of the government bailing out a bank?

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    May 16, 2013 4:24 p.m.


    Yes, and public perception and outrage is against bailing out banks and bond holders. A Court can't order it, it is not a legal obligation to bail out Revenue Bonds, the public would not support it, what else do you want? If you know of a case where a public agency has bailed out Revenue Bonds in default and it was not required in the bond documents, be my guest, enlighten me.

    May 16, 2013 3:47 p.m.

    Let's get to the real issue here: duckhunter (and others, if they truly are different people): Why do you care?

  • LonestarRunner Salt Lake City, UT
    May 16, 2013 3:31 p.m.


    You assume way too much in claiming that the state wouldn't step in to pay off a defaulted Revenue Bond, especially for an institution as high profile as the flagship university of the state.

    Your explanation that the state simply wants a final bite of the apple when approving a project is laughable. The approval process is obviously intended to prevent a rogue agency from creating the appearance of a defaulted obligation by the state. In the court of public opinion, perception carries far more weight than the actual law.

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    May 16, 2013 2:18 p.m.

    Boy, tough crowd. The Local Bonding Act, Title 11 Chapter 14, Utah Code Annotated, requires all local governments approve all bonding including Revenue Bonds. However, again, Revenue Bonds are paid off by the revenue streams dedicated to pay off those bonds as identified in the bond documents. Tax payers are not on the hook or obligated in any way to payoff these bonds in the event of default. The taxing entity is not going to step in and pay them off to "save face" because it does not affect their credit rating in any way. Why does the legislative body have to approve Revenue Bonds when the tax payers do not have to pay them off in the event of default? Because the law requires it and because it gives the legislative body one last "bite at the apple" when approving a project.
    The State of Utah can issue General Obligation Bonds when approved by the Legislature. General Obligation Bonds do put the tax payers on the hook in the event of default. Again, Revenue Bonds do not. A Court of Law cannot even order the State of Utah or a local government to make good on a Revenue Bond in default.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    May 16, 2013 1:52 p.m.

    A few things for you zoobies who are so up in arms about tax dollars spent on the U to consider. First, when Brigham Young founded the U he recognized the importance to this City and State of having a top notch educational and research institution. Every LDS prophet since then have been strong supporters of the U with several attending and graduating from there. Second, the positive economic impact on the Salt Lake area and the State of Utah is in the hundreds of millions of dollars. I think the taxpayers of the State of Utah are well compensated for what they put into the U.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    May 16, 2013 1:34 p.m.


    An article recently posted in another local news web site stated that the U of U's athletic budget is over $1 million in the black with over $10 million coming from ticket sales. The next largest revenue source for the U is Student Fees which are used to support the non-revenue sports as is done at vitually every university in the country. As the U gets more and more of its full share of Pac 12 revenue the budget will be able to grow and rely less on student fees.

    One reason facilities like the Huntsman Center and the football stadium are owned by the University and not the athletic department is they are used for many events other than sports. In fact, sports make up a small portion of the events held there. Graduation exercises, concerts, special programs and community events are just a sample. However, the athletic department pays rent for its use of those facilities so the University doesn't subsidize athletics in that way.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    May 16, 2013 1:00 p.m.


    This is directly from the state auditors report.

    "These outstanding bonds are not an obligation to the Athletic Department, but are secured by
    the University’s pledging of the Stadium’s net revenues, student building fees, and other
    miscellaneous fees."

    So the bonds themselves are not athletic department obligations, as I said, and instead are obligations of the univeristy itself funded by projected stadium revenue as well as STUDENT FEES and other MISC FEES. University obligations are tax payer obligations, plain and simple. Now it is apparent they are going to try to pay them back without a leislative appropriation, which is good, but ultimately that is who has the obligation if they go into default.

    There is some pretty good info in the auditors report, mainly explaining how the univeristy of utah ahtletic department IS NOT self funding, does depend on subsidies, and where that additional funding comes from.

    I'll give you a hint, it is not money from the pac12 nor will it be anytime soon. Expenses have gone up far more than projected revenue even with that pac12 tv deal.

  • scott Alpine, UT
    May 16, 2013 11:44 a.m.


    "When Revenue Bonds are issued by a public agency they must have approval of the Legislative Body."

    And why would Revenue Bonds are issued by the U require the approval of the Legislative Body?

    Because the entity that the Legislative Body represents would be ultimately responsible for the bonds - should the U default on its obligation, the state would step in to remedy the situation, since a state institution defaulting on its obligations would reflect poorly on the state.

    Nice work on coming full-circle on who, the Utah taxpayers, ultimately assumes the burden of any facilities at the U not funded entirely by private donations, and even then, the taxpayers assume the burden of maintaining those facilities.

  • CordonBleu Park City, UT
    May 16, 2013 11:29 a.m.


    "Also the university of utah is pretty much like just about every other public university that gets funded by multiple sources which include land grants, taxpayer dollars, tuition, private donations, and even profits made from its economic pursuits, utah is nothing special in that regard and it doesn't "function like a private university" at all, it is a pretty run of the mill public university."

    Onze Dutchman is simply struggling with the realiteit that Utah is a pretty run of the mill public university and its athletic programs are even more run of the mill.

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    May 16, 2013 11:11 a.m.


    First, I have never said that I am the only one who knows anything about bonding. When Revenue Bonds are issued by a public agency they must have approval of the Legislative Body. Every Revenue Bond issued by Salt Lake City whether by the airport, public utilities (water and sewer) or a building authority must be approved by the City Council. Even special assessment bonds done as a private placement through one bank must have approval of the City Council. On the State level it would be whatever Legislative Body controls or oversees that State agency whether that is the Legislature itself or the Legislative Body they create and appoint. So it is not true that Revenue Bonds are issued to avoid legislative approval.

  • Snack PAC Olympus Cove, Utah
    May 16, 2013 11:04 a.m.


    "Since when is the University Of Utah a burden on the state?"

    There's no denying that it's a burden on Utah taxpayers to the tune of $100's of millions every year.

    Unfortunately for U, you don't own BYU every year, in fact, in 5 of the 8 seasons during the Bronco/Kyle era, BYU has finished with better records and higher rankings than Utah. It's laughable that the ONLY modest accomplishment the Utes have had since joining the PAC, is beating non-conference foe BYU head-to-head.

  • ekute Layton, UT
    May 16, 2013 10:44 a.m.

    Since when is the University Of Utah a burden on the state?

    This whole conversation is just the haters trying to rationalize that the don't care that Utah owns them in football and that we have some thing they want but can't have.

  • Just the FAX Olympus Cove, Utah
    May 16, 2013 9:52 a.m.


    "I stated and will restate that the U is operated as a public university but it is funded like a private university meaning that the vast majority of its funds come from private sources and tuition charges."

    Be honest, what percentage of the tab for under-graduate education at the U is directly or in-directly funded by the state?

    Private funding may be a big contributor to the School of Medicine and other graduate programs, but it's a mere drop in the bucket (mostly in the form a scholarships) for undergraduate programs, which are paid for almost entirely by tuition charges and state funds. Of course, if you want to argue federal grants and loans, Utah taxpayers are ultimately on the hook for those as well through their payment of federal taxes.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    May 16, 2013 9:46 a.m.


    While the university of utah might be better off with general obligaiton bonds the reason they don't do it is because by using revenue bonds they can bypass legislative approval to issue them. You see depsite your attempts to make it appear as if only you understand how things work there are a few more of us that actually get it, and we are not tainted by your obvious bias about it.

    Also the university of utah is pretty much like just about every other public university that gets funded by multiple sources which include land grants, taxpayer dollars, tuition, private donations, and even profits made from its economic pursuits, utah is nothing special in that regard and it doesn't "function like a private univeristy" at all, it is a pretty run of the mill public university.

    Everything it does the state is responsible for, everything, that includes its debts, obligations, activities, all of it. Yes we all pay for it and as I have said multiple times all you have to do is check the state auditors reports for the truth of it. Education can set you free.

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    May 16, 2013 8:59 a.m.

    Sorry guys, I wasn't planning on commenting again but I have to straighten out some issues. First, I have never claimed that the U is a fully independent institution devoid of State ownership and control. I stated and will restate that the U is operated as a public university but it is funded like a private university meaning that the vast majority of its funds come from private sources and tuition charges. The relatively small appropriation in terms of the U's total budget that the U gets from the State Legislature makes it a bargain for the State to own and call it the State's flag ship university.

    Second, the State of Utah is not on the hook for any revenue bonds issued by the U for athletic facilities or any other type of facility funded by revenue bonds. If that were the case the State/University would be far better off issuing General Obligation Bonds at a much lower interest rate. If the taxing entity is going to pick up the tab if revenue bonds go into default, then the entity would issue General Obligation Bonds from the get go and pay less interest.

  • anti BCS Anaheim, CA
    May 16, 2013 8:45 a.m.

    Papa Smurf UTE

    "you are an Indy WAC team, that has only beat a handful of teams that finished the year .500 or better since 2009."

    That's truly hilarious coming from a fan of a team that was prevented from bowling last season because they couldn't beat the only WAC team on their schedule, and was prevented from winning a gift-wrapped PAC South because they couldn't beat a 10-loss team at home.

    Our little friends on the hill need to update their smack. The WAC no longer plays football and everyone knows that BYU's scheduling agreement with the WAC was only a temporary two-year fix to create a 12-game schedule on short notice.

  • Uteanymous Salt Lake City, Utah
    May 16, 2013 8:30 a.m.

    What part of "the University of Utah is a public institution wholly owned by the State of Utah" do our friends on the hill not understand?

    It's laughable that someone who claims to have an MPA so often tries to assert that the U is a self-contained, fully self-supported institution that doesn't receive any funds from the state, although easily researched, publicly available state financial statements clearly show that the state pays hundreds of millions of dollars every year to support the U.

    Duckhunter is absolutely correct in stating that any bonds issued by the U to finance facilities improvements at the U would be backed by the state if the U defaulted on those bonds and therefore, Utah taxpayers would be ultimately liable for any improvements not financed by private donations.

  • wer South Jordan, UT
    May 15, 2013 10:00 p.m.

    While it is expected by just about any clear thinking person that revenue generated by athletics should find most of it being spent on athletics. However, this article just indicates how big a real problem the growth of college sports has become.

    Bigger facilities, bigger salaries, more toys, etc. How much of the money goes to benefit non jock students? Will the university actually be in the black at the end of the fiscal year? If it is, it will be unlike many of the more "successful" sports programs, which, in spite of their giant revenues, spend more than they take in.

    Finally, who is running the university? Does the AD or do coaches make more income than the president like most "successful"programs? In fact, do they make more than the governor?

    More money may translate into more athletic ops, but the true mission of higher education will go wanting.

    May 15, 2013 9:56 p.m.

    Typical Duckhunter comment. He is right and the rest of the posters are wrong because they aren't smart enough to understand the situation. Followed by the ever popular LOL!

    Actually I think he might be upset because he won't be able to use one of his other favorite phrases about the U football staff being based out of trailers. The new facility looks great and certainly will be impressive to potential recruits.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    May 15, 2013 9:40 p.m.

    I enjoy the utah "fan" gang mentality. It is funny to see them all try to leech onto a incorrect assertion made by one of their own and that they don't even understand simply because they want it to be true. LOL!

    It is really simple, the university of utah is a public institution wholly owned by the state. This makes all of its activities the responsibility of the state and all it does is guaranteed by the state. That puts the tax payers of the state on the line for the universities actions and it leaves the tax payers of the state liable for the universities obligations if they fail to uphold them.

    Now I will once again say I do not think the university will fail to uphold its obligations but that does not change the fact that the taxpayers are liable if they default.

    And of course none of you have even touched the fact that the athletic department is subsidized millions per year, chris hill publicly admitted it.

    The rest is simply deflection from that point on your parts.

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    May 15, 2013 8:28 p.m.

    Duchman just put the duck over his knee. Well done, sir.

  • Solomon the Wise Alpine, UT
    May 15, 2013 6:23 p.m.

    Our frantic and emotional friends on the hill are obviously having a hard time understanding and accepting the very logical and fact-based arguments being presented by Duckhunter.

    Instead of engaging in a logical discussion based on facts, they act like kindergartners and resort to their snide little name calling instead of logic to support their misguided opinions.

  • Spokane Ute Spokane, WA
    May 15, 2013 5:32 p.m.


    Nicely done; class is in session!

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    May 15, 2013 4:18 p.m.

    Ducky likes playing the semantics game. Yes, the bonds are backed by the University and hence the taxpayers when they are initially sold, but that doesn't mean tax money is used to pay them off. In the case of these facilities the bonds are repaid with donations and user fees. Why do you think John Huntsman's name is on the Huntsman Center and the Rice and Eccles names are on the football stadium. The last expansion of the football stadium in preparation for the Olympics is another good example. Totally paid for with private donations and revenue from the Olympics. The only way public money would be needed for these facilities is if somehow the donations dried up and that isn't going to happen. Sorry Ducky. Wrong again.

  • Proud Ute ,
    May 15, 2013 3:48 p.m.


    Cottonwood Heights, UT


    Quit while you are way behind.

    True story, he does seem to be leading with his chin on every reply.

    You just got to love the Pavolian frantic and emotional response Naval Vet gets out of Duckhunter every time he uses that term.

    Much more effective than stealing LOL from the Happy Valley teeny boppers.

  • motorbike Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 15, 2013 2:58 p.m.


    Quit while you are way behind.

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    May 15, 2013 2:32 p.m.


    "You guys really got shortchanged on your educations up there if you cannot comprehend the most basic facts of what a state owned university is."

    For your information I got my Masters In Public Administration Degree from BYU. And I am proud of that fact. It is afterall the high powered academic institution institution we all admire, right? I can see that educating you on Public Finance is of no use. Suffice it to say, Revenue Bonds placed by public entities and backed by leases, concessions, ticket sales, donors, landing fees, etc etc not often, but sometimes go into default and they are not bailed out by the taxing enities and/or tax payers. Why would they be? The taxing entity suffers no rating down grade and if the politicians used tax money to bail out Revenue Bond holders there would be a very loud public outcry and heads would roll. Besides, most Revenue Bond debt service can be restructured with the existing revenue streams to get some or all of the bonds repaid. I learned some of that from Lennis Knighton and Karl Snow at BYU. LOL

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    May 15, 2013 1:41 p.m.


    Inlike utah's athletic department which is not able to generate enough revenue to pay for itself and is sibsidized, BYU's athletic department is completely self funding and actually runs a surplus, that means it turns a profit as I know your uofu education is lacking, of several million dollars per year.

    That said you CHOOSE to pay tithing so if you do not like the way it is used you can elect to quit paying it. None of us choose to pay taxes, it is forced onto us.

    But what seems to be lost on you is that I personally don't have a problem with the university of utah's athletics being subsidized, or at least not enough to make it an issue, I just enjoy the utah "fans" indignation over the fact that it is subsidized because it cannot pay for itself.

    You so badly want to be like your big brother BYU and actually be able to support yourselves independently but you cannot. It simply is what it is.

  • Papa Smurf UTE Herriman, UT
    May 15, 2013 1:36 p.m.

    Y's Little Brother,

    I just love listening to the Stadium Smack Talk coming out of Provostan. That is all you have on us these days. You cannot beat us in football, and you are an Indy WAC team, that has only beat a handful of teams that finished the year .500 or better since 2009. While our stadium may hold about 20K less than your stadium, ours is much nicer, newer, and it doesn't take 5 hours just to leave the stadium and get home. The assoc athletic director here at the U of U stated that the plans have been drawn up, and that stadium expansion will be here soon. When that will be, no one knows quite yet. However, once it is finsihed, it still will not hold as much as Rice Eccles South down there in Happy Valley. This way you will at least still have stadium smack to talk about, since we beat you each and every year. Thanks for playing though.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    May 15, 2013 1:33 p.m.


    Do you really think the state would allow the university of utah to default on its bonds? Not that I think they will anyway but there is no chance the state allows one of its institutions to go into default. If the university cannot repay the bonds then the state will certainly pay them for them, it is as simple as that.

    As much as you want the university of utah to be an independent entity it is not. The state OWNS it in whole, which means the tax payers of the state own it in whole. That is just reality.

    Those bonds are backed by the state, plain and simple, and the state will make whole the debt if the university cannot. The univeristy is subsidized by the state, the universities athletic department is subsidized by the university several million per year which means the taxpayers of the state subsidize the athletic program. That is simple fact. Come to grips with it.

  • Spokane Ute Spokane, WA
    May 15, 2013 1:27 p.m.


    No; I could care less what they do with their money. They sure seem concerned about what Utah does with it's money; and the Utah program in general. I guess that angle speaks for it's self! The envy seems to get worse all the time. I guess that's the way it goes when your program is on the outside looking in; and always will be. Take care Guy!

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    May 15, 2013 12:58 p.m.


    Under the terms of Revenue Bonds if the bonds go into default the taxing enity (ie. State of Utah or Salt Lake City) is absolutely not on the hook to repay the bonds. The remedy for the Revenue Bond holders is to go to court and seek a legal judgement to get repaid. Most often it is a bancrupcy court/judge that must adjudicate the matter and decide if and how the bond holders get paid. For instance, if an airline builds a hangar or terminal using revenue bonds issued by a City owned airport and then goes bancrupt as has actually happened, the City and its tax payers are not on the hook to repay those bonds. The bancruptcy court will decide how or if the bond holder gets repaid. General obligation bonds are different. These type of bonds must get voter approval and are subject to being repaid by the tax payers (schools, libraries, fire and police stations are typically funded this way). Athletic facilities are funded by Revenue Bonds and although the University is owned by the State the tax payers are under no obligation to repay them.

  • ekute Layton, UT
    May 15, 2013 11:56 a.m.

    Should we Utah fans question what byu is doing with the money when we pay our tithing?

  • Spokane Ute Spokane, WA
    May 15, 2013 11:35 a.m.

    Y's little brother, said:
    Sandy, UT
    Spokane Ute

    "All that "PAC 12 TV money" and U still can't afford to expand your cracker-box sized football stadium?"


    .. and little itty bitty wantabe BCS school from down south still can't beat Utah.

    Boy was my face red! LOL x3!

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    May 15, 2013 11:25 a.m.


    What part of the university being owned by the state of utah do you not understand? Should the university default the state, ie the taxpayers of the state, will pay the bond holders, the bond holders will not just not get paid.

    The athletic department is subsidized several million dollars per year by the university, which in turn is subsidized by the state, despite dutchman's frantic and emotional claims otherwise, to the tune of several hundred million dollars per year. You can read it right in the state auditors report. It is simple, you just use google to find it.

    There is also the small fact that any revenue the university brings in belongs to the state itself and is university is simply allowed to keep it to pay for their expenses.

    The university is not a private institution, it is owned by the state completely. Its obligations are the states obligations. Its revenues are the states revenues. Its facilities are owned by the state.

    You guys really got shortchanged on your educations up there if you cannot comprehend the most basic facts of what a state owned university is.


  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    May 15, 2013 11:00 a.m.


    "As a state owned institution all debt incurred is guaranteed by the taxpayers."

    You made that up. The debt incurred is guaranteed by the University. Were it not so, the legislature would have needed to have been involved. This decision was made at the local (i.e. university) level.

    The university sells bonds to private citizens. The sale of those bonds produce the revenue needed to pay for facility upgrades. The Pac-12 will annually pore in millions of dollars to the athletic department. From that revenue stream, the university pays off their liability to their bond holders. Should the university default -- which is EXTREMELY unlikely -- the bond holders eat the loss; not the taxpayers.

    And no, you do NOT know how bonds work. You're just afraid to admit that you were wrong. Pretty par for the course in your case. Typical Indy-WACer.

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    May 15, 2013 10:56 a.m.


    The Salt Lake International Airport is owned by Salt Lake City. The Airport is undertaking a $2 billion project to build a new terminal that will replace the existing terminals. Revenue bonds will be sold by the City to finance construction of the new terminal. Yes, I know how bonds work and I have done my homework over a 20+ year career. Again, debt service payments will be made to pay off these bonds and not one dime will come from the tax payers of Salt Lake City or the State of Utah. Enough said.

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    May 15, 2013 10:37 a.m.

    Y's Little Brother,

    The plans to expand RES have already been drawn and released to the public. The RES expansion will happen within a time frame. BTW, the expansion of RES will bring it to 57,000 and from the views I have seen it will totally outshine LES. Meanwhile, trying to expand LES has its own problems. You have a neighborhood there next to the stadium that is opposed to any big projects. The LDS Church just shelved the construction of a nine story building at the MTC because of neighborhood opposition. That does not bode well when trying to do any expansion or upgrades at LES. I think you had best worry about your own stadium. It is dated and has no where to go.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    May 15, 2013 10:32 a.m.

    Here's a quote right from the article.

    "Although the football and basketball projects have bonds, they were issued with the understanding that half the money would be raised. Neither is covered yet,"

    So only half the money is being repaid by raised funds, the other half come from university funds and are backed by the taxpayers and "neither is covered yet".

    Here is another quote for you from a dnews article in 2011.

    "Currently, the athletic department at the University of Utah is subsidized $9,381,567 a year."

    Here is a dnews quote from November of 2011.

    "Utah's athletic budget is $35 million less than half of Oregon's with about $6 million coming from the university and student fees to make ends meet, according to athletic director Chis Hill." chris hil ADMITS they are subsidized.

    Yes linty, tax payer money funds the university, the university subsidizes the athletic department to the tune of somewhere between 6 and 10 million dollars per year, tax payers back the bonds which fund raising has not yet covered.

    The more you know.....

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    May 15, 2013 10:28 a.m.

    Actually you utah "fans" are incorrect. As a state owned institution all debt incurred is guaranteed by the taxpayers. Yes lint I am aware of how bonds work and bonds issued by the university are taxpayer backed bonds. If not they would never sell a single one of them.

    Also it appears none of you read the article, res and the hc are owned by the university itself and are "rented" to the athletic department for use by the teams. The bonds used are general revenue bonds that are backed by the university itself, not the athletic department, and are being financed with university revenues, NOT athletic department revenues although those revenues MAY go toward paying the obligations.

    In otherwords you guys need to do some homework.


  • skywalker Palo Alto, CA
    May 15, 2013 10:26 a.m.

    Mormon Ute

    "These upgraded facilities will help attract the talent needed to consistently compete in the Pac 12 conference..."

    This is simply wishful speculation; since many other PAC 12 members are investing even more to upgrade their facilities, where is Utah's incremental advantage that will help the Utes attract better talent than their PAC 12 counterparts?

  • 2020 Herriman, UT
    May 15, 2013 10:19 a.m.

    Several years ago, funds were cut so that the School of Medicine had to reduce it's number of medical students. The increase that just passed a month or two ago, increases medical students beyond what it was before the cuts were made.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    May 15, 2013 10:14 a.m.

    Duckhunter reveals his ignorance of bonding and fincancing long term projects by government facilities. Bonding is a government agency's way of taking out a mortgage. We all take out mortgages to buy or build our homes, because it would take most of us a lifetime to save enough money to pay cash. So the U has taken out a couple of mortgages to build things now that will be paid for with funds they know will be coming in from the Pac 12 and future donations (based on the long history of consistent donations from boosters). These upgraded facilities will help attract the talent needed to consistently compete in the Pac 12 conference so it makes sense to borrow up front when you know you have the money coming. That money is not coming from taxes, but from the Pac 12, donations and student fees.

  • Y's little brother Sandy, UT
    May 15, 2013 10:10 a.m.

    Spokane Ute

    "Awesome! That PAC 12 TV money sure comes in handy."

    All that "PAC 12 TV money" and U still can't afford to expand your cracker-box sized football stadium?


  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    May 15, 2013 9:43 a.m.

    DN Subcriber 2,

    With some additional funding not only is the U increasing the number of med students but also the U just dedicated a new facility for the College of Pharmacy and is starting construction on a new Dental School Building. I believe the U is doing all it can within its recourses to benefit the people of Utah in the field of medicine.

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    May 15, 2013 8:35 a.m.

    I have posted this information many times before but it appears I need to post it again. The University of Utah is operated as a public university but is funded like a private university. The U has an operating budget of about $2.5 billion of which 8% comes from an appropriation from the Utah Legislature (state tax payers). Thus the assertion that the U is almost entirely privately funded. Bonds are repaid by debt service payments and those payments come from private sources except where the Legislature specifically steps in, which they don't on athletic facilities. The Legislature this year appropriated more money to the U med school so that more doctors can be trained and graduated. It is not true that the med school is being ingnored. The U is enjoying a construction boom right now featuring a rebuild or replacement of a great number of buildings on campus mostly from private sources like the new law school and Eccles Business Center. All this activity spurs growth in the Utah economy which benefits everyone.

  • Spokane Ute Spokane, WA
    May 15, 2013 7:32 a.m.

    Awesome! That PAC 12 TV money sure comes in handy.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    May 15, 2013 6:39 a.m.

    Why this obsession with athletic facilities when there are so many other more pressing needs? Why not have the fans donate the money that's needed for our version of Roman Circuses.

  • DrUte Woods Cross, UT
    May 15, 2013 6:11 a.m.

    Kudos to the U for ramping up their activities concerning facilities --- not simply football or basketball. Can't understand why the U haters still dwell on the use of taxes to support the U when one of the major advantages to joining the PAC12 was revenue generation that reduced/removed the U's dependency on tax $$ for sports programs.

    All of these activities have a significant marketing impact on the U's national profile, both academically as well as athletically. The impact is similar for BYU --- the more positive press, the more the schools

  • midpacmajor Salt Lake City, Utah
    May 15, 2013 12:14 a.m.


    If the realists keep paying their taxes maybe U can build a duck pond to..."


    Remind U of your bottom feeding status?

  • AB Lehi, UT
    May 14, 2013 11:02 p.m.

    Does this mean Dr. Hill's apologists can expect the football team to actually beat a PAC team with a winning record anytime soon...?

  • ekute Layton, UT
    May 14, 2013 10:35 p.m.

    If the Haters keep paying their taxes maybe we can build a duck pond to.

    May 14, 2013 8:50 p.m.

    Well said, Navel Vet and motorbike. Since you have responded to duckhunter's inaccurate remarks with logic and reason, I doubt he will be able to give you a counter argument.

  • motorbike Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 14, 2013 8:39 p.m.


    The problem with your comment is leaving out the fact that when the U raises the money expected then the Bond money get's paid back with interest. Meaning the money for these projects won't ever come out of tax payer pockets and if anything will only help the Utah economy.

  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    May 14, 2013 8:31 p.m.


    "So a large chunk of the $ needed were bonded. Kinda blows the utah 'fan' assertion that no tax dollars subsidize the university athletic programs out of the water now doesn't it."

    No it doesn't, but your comment brings into question your familiarity with "bond" financing. A "bond" is an instrument of indebtedness of the bond issuer (i.e. Utah) to the holders/investors. As the bond issuer, Utah holds the liability until the debt is paid off at some future date. This debt is a fixed amount so the risk leans more toward the issuer.

    This article made no mention of tax dollars, so what happened there? Did you read the part about Utah expecting to earn nearly TWICE the amount the Indy-WACers are expected to take in, and then panicked?

    You panicked, didn't you?

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    May 14, 2013 5:43 p.m.

    So a large chunk of the $ needed were bonded. Kinda blows the utah "fan" assertion that no tax dollars subsidize the university athletic programs out of the water now doesn't it. It would appear that all the pac 12 money has done is increased the expenses everywhere else. So rather than it covering the cost it simply increased the cost beyond the money it brought in.

  • DN Subscriber 2 SLC, UT
    May 14, 2013 5:04 p.m.

    Great. Athletes get great facilities so we can enjoy tailgate parties and circuses.
    Law schools get plush new digs.

    Meanwhile, what has been done to increase the number of doctors or nurses who are desperately needed?

    Or, do we really need more pampered athletes, and a larger plague of lawyers?

  • Obama10 SYRACUSE, UT
    May 14, 2013 4:14 p.m.

    Who says we don't spend enough on higher education.

  • VegasUte Las Vegas, NV
    May 14, 2013 3:46 p.m.

    Can't wait!!

    Go Utes!!