UH has announced a bold plan to upgrade facilities, essentially building a new football stadium and massively renovating the basketball arena.
The $160 million plan has the backing of UH president Renu Khator and the board of regents, so it's going ahead.
But by "going ahead," we mean "trying to raise money for it in an incredibly difficult economic period."
It's not just raising money in donations that may cause problems, it's that a key part of the plan relies on selling naming rights to the new facilities.
Reports the Houston Chronicle's Steve Campbell:
A major component of the funding would be naming rights. The school projects a possible $30 million in name rights for the football stadium, with another possible $55 million coming from ancillary naming rights. The school's projections call for another possible $15 million in naming rights for the basketball arena and another $15 million in ancillary naming rights.
Dudes, the Dallas freaking Cowboys can't scare up a sponsor for their stadium.
The New York Giants and Jets had to beg for a Super Bowl in an attempt to wheedle someone to put their name on a stadium in the biggest TV market in the land.
The Golden Era of the Naming-Rights Cash Cow is gone. That ship has sailed.
You're expecting $85 million in naming rights for a football stadium that has trouble selling out, for a team that no one knows what conference they're going to be in? And $30 million for a basketball team that hasn't drawn flies or performed well in ages?
Mattress Mack has only so much money to toss around, UH. John O'Quinn isn't racking up any more huge court victories.
We sincerely hope they raise the cash -- we'd love to see UH play in terrific, on-campus facilities, even though the architecture shown is a little too bland and modern for us -- but wishing ain't getting.
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Prove us wrong, though. Please.