Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Dr. Lee McElroy and the University of Albany's Quest: The Multipurpose Stadium

Since Lee McElroy became director of athletics in 2000, the University of Albany hase won 30 conference championships and made 13 NCAA tournament appearances. How can one forget the men's basketball team's near-upset of the University of Connecticut in 2006, and UAlbany Men's Lacrosse overtime loss in the Elite Eight NCAA Championship game in 2007.

McElroy knows that top athletic programs act as economic development engines, but not without top-notch facilities. This is why he continues pushing a $60 million plan to build a multipurpose athletic stadium.

"Successful people want to be around successful teams and successful programs," McElroy said. This is why it is important for all local business to step up and help the University's cause. There are many ways to support UAlbany and its football program, and one way is to donate to the stadium fund. The local communities of the Gators and the National Champion Tigers both give unbelievable support to their State universities. Now is the time for New York to step up. Let's get support for the University of Albany, New York's State University.

The UAlbany football team has done extremely well in a very short period of time, including its third NEC Championship in 6 years, posting a 8-3 record last Fall, going undefeated in NEC play. Not bad for 9 years in FCS Football.

The victories and success have come despite a football stadium that seats only 5,000 people, one resembling a Division III football field. With the decades and decades of success by Bob Ford’s football program, including Football Championship Series success, it is finally time to upgrade and even reward the University and football team with the proper facilities. After all, the university needs facilities equal to that of its peers.

UAlbany football has risen to the point where they play UMass, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, etc.. all among the best in Football Championship Series.

"We already have a tremendous program, but for it to get better we must have better facilities," McElroy said.

He says a new UAlbany stadium would generate millions of dollars in spending for the community and the university each year. That would come not only from football games, but also from possibly being host for opening rounds of the NCAA lacrosse tournament and hosting high school playoff games, in addition to other events.

The money would come not only from increased ticket sales and ticket prices, but also lodging and retail sales.

"We currently have an economic impact, and we don't get cited enough for it," McElroy said. The University of Albany already has a multi –BILLION dollar impact on the capital district (Albany). Without the University, the Albany area would suffer greatly. It's time to reward the University that has given so much to the capital of New York State.

The university is seeking both state and private financing for the stadium. All UAlbany supporters, Alumni, capital district residents and businesses should consider donating to the University.

The athletic department stadium plan needs to be placed as the #1 on the University's priority list in the up and coming budget request. University administrators need to hear this from alumni and supporters alike.

NYS officials need to hear that you support the stadium effort, and why the University and athletic department deserves this stadium and how much positive impact it will have over some many things.

Contact the following government officials and voice your support for the Multi Purpose Stadium. Now is the time to begin letting these officials know that you want state funding included in this year's budget. Call, email, and go in person to the following officials now.

Please contact these officials with the utmost respect and with a high level of intellect... please put significant thought into your presentation before contacting them.

Governor Paterson:

Assemblyman Ron Canestrari:

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver:

Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco:
tediscj@ assembly.state.ny.us

Assemblyman John McEneny

NYS Senator Hugh Farley

NYS Senator Neil Breslin

NYS Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno:

NYS Senate Minority Leader Malcom Smith:

City of Albany: Mayor Jennings

UAlbany Interim President George M. Philip

UAlbany Interim Provost Susan D. Phillips

Heery International Inc. Selected to Study Proposed UAlbany Multi-Purpose Complex
Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information
Release: 04/04/2008

Courtesy: UAlbany Athletics

Albany, N.Y. -- University at Albany Vice President and Director of Athletics Lee McElroy announced on Friday, April 4 that Heery International Inc. has been selected to study a proposed on-campus multi-purpose stadium complex.

Heery's study, which will take four to six months to complete, will include a site analysis, developing a stadium concept, establishing a project budget and formulating fund-raising materials.

"Heery International's work is the beginning of an exciting project that will benefit the entire Capital Region," McElroy said. "As our Division I athletic program continues to grow, so does the facility needs of our 19 sports. The vision for this athletic complex is something that not only services our athletic programs, but campus, high school and community events. The results of this study will allow us to determine, with respect to funding, what our options will be in the future."

Heery International, an Atlanta-based company founded in 1952, is a full-service design, engineering and construction management firm with 1,100 employees located in 30 offices throughout the United States and Europe.

Heery's list of more than 250 collegiate sports projects and 50-plus collegiate stadiums include a recent renovation and expansion of the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas; eight renovations and expansions of the University of Georgia's Sanford Stadium; and a design for the renovation of the University of Texas' Memorial Stadium.

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