Goldstar v. Skyline. Munchie Legaux v. Brendon Kay. Fifth Third Arena v. US Bank Arena. These are but a few of the many debates that have raged through the UC fanbase over the years. And with the following report from the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Cliff Peale, the latter has sparked up again.
— Cliff Peale (@cliffpeale) April 2, 2014
Obviously casual fans can voice their opinion one way or the other until they’re soar in the throat and UC’s administrators can choose whether or not to heed that advice. But when “big donors” throw their’s into the debate, that’s when Santa Ono, Mike Bohn, and the Board of Trustees really need to listen.
Up until this point I’ve been in favor of moving the basketball program downtown. I wrote about that in detail here but boiled the advantages of playing at US Bank Arena to three main points:
- Cost friendly option
- Attract casual fans to UC basketball
- Assimilate with the city of Cincinnati
Obviously I wouldn’t want UC footing 100% of the bill for an arena they would use maybe one-quarter of the time and if the school signed a deal with the owners of US Bank, that wouldn’t be the case. In essence, given the amount of money Cincinnati is pouring into Nippert Stadium, they might have the option of playing in a renovated basketball venue for $20-$30 million as opposed to over $100 million to bring Fifth Third Arena into the 21st century. Additionally it could take half-a-decade or more to complete fundraising and begin construction whereas this process with US Bank could take a year or two.
Up until this point the UC athletic department has kept their intentions under wraps and for good reason. But with the announcement that some of the school’s major donors are in favor of US Bank Arena, I’d have to think that it would sway their decision (if only slightly) to move the basketball program downtown. Hopefully the University of Cincinnati makes the announcement on which venue they are pulling the trigger on soon because the wait is agonizing.