June 2, 1999
A project the size and scope of the Tiger Pride capital campaign impacts every aspect of Clemson athletics – from facilities to find-raising; from lobbying efforts for state appropriations to recruiting efforts for prospective student-athletes; from financial decisions to scheduling decisions.
Finances and scheduling intersected last week when Clemson announced plans to delay its previously-scheduled football series opener with Texas A&M in 2000 in order to schedule a seventh home game.
Clemson will open its 2000 football season on Sept. 2 against The Citadel. The game replaces a Sept. 16 date against Texas A&M at College Station, TX.
The Texas A&M game will be rescheduled in 2005 or 2006, senior associate athletic director Dwight Rainey said.
Rainey said there are two reasons for the switch – to provide the extra revenue of a seventh home game in 2000, and to balance the Tigers’ schedule. “Texas A&M is a perennial top-10 team and when we scheduled Missouri (which will visit Death Valley on Sept. 30, 2000), obviously they weren’t a top-20 team like they are now,” Rainey said. “It was a little bit of a balancing act there.”
Just as important are the financial considerations in football scheduling.
Athletic director Bobby Robinson said recently that Clemson will likely attempt to schedule two additional home games during the 2003 and 2004 seasons, the first cycle of 12-game seasons allowed by the NCAA.
“With the facilities project coming on board, we’re probably going to lean toward playing two home games…during the first cycle,” Robinson said. “The net difference is probably around $500,000. Because of our need for revenue, that’s probably the direction we’re going to look.”
Similar thinking is reflected in the decision to add a home game against The Citadel in 2000, pushing back a road game at Texas A&M until 2004.
Rainey said the swap will mean an additional $600,000 to $700,000 in net revenue for the athletic department.
The financial boost will come at a crucial time. Clemson will have two bond payments due in 2000 – one the final payment on the existing bond for Memorial Stadium, and the second the initial payment on a bond for Tiger Pride.
The Tiger Pride bond will provide finds to allow construction to procede in an orderly fashion during the on-going fund-raising effort, which has a goal of raising the money necessary to pay for the project over a five-year period.
By Kerry Capps
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