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Wow, that's a big question to answer, but hopefully, I'll make this shorter than a novel... :)

Let's start off on college sports as a whole. College athletics have a major following in the US and is a major multi-billion dollar industry. Even the second most popular sport, Men's Basketball has sold the TV contract for it's playoff tournament to CBS for $6 billion two years ago. The largest athletic programs (Ohio State and Texas) have annual budgets in excess of $100 million and annual profits of $70 million. Each school's athletic department supports a large number of sports (football, basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer, wrestling, gymnastics, rowing, tennis, volleyball, etc.) but the money making sports are football and men's basketball. A few schools make profits on women's basketball, baseball, and hockey, but those are more of exceptions than the norm. The profit from this small number of profitable sports funds the remaining ones.

I can go into lots more detail about the "business" of college sports and but in a nutshell, yes it's profitable. However, one caveat is that we are currently in the midst of an arms race in college athletics that is making it more difficult for a number of programs to remain profitable. The largest programs are expanding, renovating, improving their facilities at an incredible pace. Consequently, some of the smaller programs are having difficulty keeping up or are going into debt to do so. A true story of the "haves" and the "have nots".

For the "haves", their athletic departments are self sufficient without assistance from the university. Their revenues from tickets, alumni donations, merchandise, and TV contracts far exceed their expenses. Because a great deal of exposure of universities is through their athletic programs, many of the "have nots" will choose to supplement these funds and subsidize the cost of the the athletic programs for the greater good of the school.

Of the college sports, college football is the most popular. Unlike other US sports, the college football game has been around much longer (1869 vs. 1920) than the professional game (NFL) and consequently has much stronger ties to tradition and a much more established fanbase. The NFL really didn't gain significantly in popularity until after World War II. Even though they are the same sport, college and professional football have some significant differences:

1) Although it's grown to be a big business, the focus is still on amateurism. Players aren't paid; they are students. The motivation is to bring fame and noteriety to your school. Loyalty is a much stronger factor. Players for the most part start and finish playing for the same school. Transfers are rare.

Winning brings significant notoriety to the school. For example, after Texas won the national championships in 2005, they saw a 40% rise in applications and over $100 million in licensed product sales the next year.

2) For college football fans, it's a very personal connection to their teams. Although some support the team because they live nearby, the vast majority are alumni and students. Since the players are also students, you can imagine the sense of camaraderie that goes along with supporting the people that you sit next to in class, are friends with, etc.

It's through these alumni that many schools get a huge amount of funding. Many donate millions a year to support their teams, not to mention many more "average" fans that donate thousands to have the right to buy season tickets.

Although there is probably some bleed off with professional teams, many fans enjoy all of the different levels of football. Many of the largest college football programs coexist alongside their professional teams. For example in Texas, many of spend our Friday nights watching high school football, Saturday is reserved for college, and then Sunday is for the NFL.

3) Tradition and pagentry reigns. College football thrives on traditions like Ohio State's "Dotting the I" manouver, Michigan's "Hail to the Victors" fight song, Texas' "Hook 'em Horns" hand sign, Notre Dame's "Touchdown Jesus", Georgia's "Between the Hedges", Texas A&M's 12th Man, Tennessee's "Rocky Top", Florida's "Gator Chomp"... not to mention marching bands, cheerleaders, mascots, fight songs... the list goes on and on. This probably stems from the fact that it's been around for so long, but every team/school is incredibly proud of it's unique heritage.

This focus on tradition also explains some of college football's oddities, like being the only sport that names a champion without a tournament/playoff because the tradition of bowl games is so strongly engrained.

4) College football stadiums are usually larger than their professional counterparts. If you look at the top 20 largest stadiums in the US, 19 of them are college football stadiums with the one remaining being from the NFL. This is more impressive considering that they only host 6-7 games a year.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_American_football_stadiums_by_capacity

This strong sense of tradition leads to how most often stadiums are expanded and renovated instead of being built anew to maintain that tradition and nostalgia of the old stadia. That also the reason why the best stadiums are also called the "cathedrals of college football".

The atmosphere and culture at college football games is absolutely electric. The passion in both the atmosphere and the fans make NFL games feel quite sterile in comparison.

This thread can probably give you a better idea of what it's like: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=286428&page=12

5) College football is viewed as the level for an age group instead of a by play level. The NFL cannot draft (select) players until they have been out of high school for 3 years, so all of the NFL players (regardless of early ability) play at the college level. However, the average level of play is higher in the NFL because of experience and the difference in numbers (1700 NFL players vs. ~30,000 college football players). Also as you can see only a small percentage of college football players ever make it to the NFL.

My personal preference is college sports, but I definitely still enjoy both.
:applause:
This post should be required reading for anyone with any questions about American football, and why we love it :)
 

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Wow, that's a big question to answer, but hopefully, I'll make this shorter than a novel... :)

Let's start off on college sports as a whole. College athletics have a major following in the US and is a major multi-billion dollar industry. Even the second most popular sport, Men's Basketball has sold the TV contract for it's playoff tournament to CBS for $6 billion two years ago. The largest athletic programs (Ohio State and Texas) have annual budgets in excess of $100 million and annual profits of $70 million. Each school's athletic department supports a large number of sports (football, basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer, wrestling, gymnastics, rowing, tennis, volleyball, etc.) but the money making sports are football and men's basketball. A few schools make profits on women's basketball, baseball, and hockey, but those are more of exceptions than the norm. The profit from this small number of profitable sports funds the remaining ones.

I can go into lots more detail about the "business" of college sports and but in a nutshell, yes it's profitable. However, one caveat is that we are currently in the midst of an arms race in college athletics that is making it more difficult for a number of programs to remain profitable. The largest programs are expanding, renovating, improving their facilities at an incredible pace. Consequently, some of the smaller programs are having difficulty keeping up or are going into debt to do so. A true story of the "haves" and the "have nots".

For the "haves", their athletic departments are self sufficient without assistance from the university. Their revenues from tickets, alumni donations, merchandise, and TV contracts far exceed their expenses. Because a great deal of exposure of universities is through their athletic programs, many of the "have nots" will choose to supplement these funds and subsidize the cost of the the athletic programs for the greater good of the school.

Of the college sports, college football is the most popular. Unlike other US sports, the college football game has been around much longer (1869 vs. 1920) than the professional game (NFL) and consequently has much stronger ties to tradition and a much more established fanbase. The NFL really didn't gain significantly in popularity until after World War II. Even though they are the same sport, college and professional football have some significant differences:

1) Although it's grown to be a big business, the focus is still on amateurism. Players aren't paid; they are students. The motivation is to bring fame and noteriety to your school. Loyalty is a much stronger factor. Players for the most part start and finish playing for the same school. Transfers are rare.

Winning brings significant notoriety to the school. For example, after Texas won the national championships in 2005, they saw a 40% rise in applications and over $100 million in licensed product sales the next year.

2) For college football fans, it's a very personal connection to their teams. Although some support the team because they live nearby, the vast majority are alumni and students. Since the players are also students, you can imagine the sense of camaraderie that goes along with supporting the people that you sit next to in class, are friends with, etc.

It's through these alumni that many schools get a huge amount of funding. Many donate millions a year to support their teams, not to mention many more "average" fans that donate thousands to have the right to buy season tickets.

Although there is probably some bleed off with professional teams, many fans enjoy all of the different levels of football. Many of the largest college football programs coexist alongside their professional teams. For example in Texas, many of spend our Friday nights watching high school football, Saturday is reserved for college, and then Sunday is for the NFL.

3) Tradition and pagentry reigns. College football thrives on traditions like Ohio State's "Dotting the I" manouver, Michigan's "Hail to the Victors" fight song, Texas' "Hook 'em Horns" hand sign, Notre Dame's "Touchdown Jesus", Georgia's "Between the Hedges", Texas A&M's 12th Man, Tennessee's "Rocky Top", Florida's "Gator Chomp"... not to mention marching bands, cheerleaders, mascots, fight songs... the list goes on and on. This probably stems from the fact that it's been around for so long, but every team/school is incredibly proud of it's unique heritage.

This focus on tradition also explains some of college football's oddities, like being the only sport that names a champion without a tournament/playoff because the tradition of bowl games is so strongly engrained.

4) College football stadiums are usually larger than their professional counterparts. If you look at the top 20 largest stadiums in the US, 19 of them are college football stadiums with the one remaining being from the NFL. This is more impressive considering that they only host 6-7 games a year.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_American_football_stadiums_by_capacity

This strong sense of tradition leads to how most often stadiums are expanded and renovated instead of being built anew to maintain that tradition and nostalgia of the old stadia. That also the reason why the best stadiums are also called the "cathedrals of college football".

The atmosphere and culture at college football games is absolutely electric. The passion in both the atmosphere and the fans make NFL games feel quite sterile in comparison.

This thread can probably give you a better idea of what it's like: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=286428&page=12

5) College football is viewed as the level for an age group instead of a by play level. The NFL cannot draft (select) players until they have been out of high school for 3 years, so all of the NFL players (regardless of early ability) play at the college level. However, the average level of play is higher in the NFL because of experience and the difference in numbers (1700 NFL players vs. ~30,000 college football players). Also as you can see only a small percentage of college football players ever make it to the NFL.

My personal preference is college sports, but I definitely still enjoy both.



unless they go to USC or Ohio State
 

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Another appeal of college sports are the cross state rivalries and border wars you don't get with professional sports. There is a lot more banter between fans when there are a lot of rival fans living in the same area.

For example Seattle's closest NFL rival is over 650 miles away in San Francisco while the University of Washington in Seattle has a cross state rival with Washington State University, in which most of their alums live in the Seattle area, and a rivalry with the University of Oregon, our "sister" state.

Also, many successful college teams coexist with professional teams. Occasionally in Seattle we have two college games and an NFL game on the same weekend. Those weekends are fun!
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Seeing as this started as a pending expansion thread, there aren't really any pictures of the actual stadium, so here we go.
Capacity 92,138






 

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Personally, I hope they dont go through with the expansion. I love the stadium as is and like that one side doesn't have a top deck. If they add the top deck it would feel just like two bowled levels, which to me, isn't as aesthetically pleasing. The stadium will be nice with the expansion, but it won't be as great as it is now, IMO.
 

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Tax payers play no part in the financing of these teams.
That is only true for very few schools. 100's of schools lose money on football which means the college is losing money supporting the sport. Most schools have student fees that pay for sports and have stadiums that are partially financed by the state.

On a side note, the only sport the NCAA does not title a champion is football at the bowl level. Notre Dame, Alabama, USC, ect. in fact have ZERO national championships.
 

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That is only true for very few schools. 100's of schools lose money on football which means the college is losing money supporting the sport. Most schools have student fees that pay for sports and have stadiums that are partially financed by the state.

On a side note, the only sport the NCAA does not title a champion is football at the bowl level. Notre Dame, Alabama, USC, ect. in fact have ZERO national championships.
That all depends on what level you are looking at. At the top, Division 1-A, I would bet that more than 75% of school make a profit off of their football programs. Don't forget, with the deluge of bowl games, most unneeded, programs can receive big paydays for playing in the bowls.
 

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That all depends on what level you are looking at. At the top, Division 1-A, I would bet that more than 75% of school make a profit off of their football programs. Don't forget, with the deluge of bowl games, most unneeded, programs can receive big paydays for playing in the bowls.
Only 56% of I-A's turn a profit in football from the numbers I've seen. I know at least some schools lose money playing in the lower level bowl games when you factor in that they have to pay for a 100 football players, 100s of students in the band, coaches, ect. all to fly, eat, and sleep in hotels.
 

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That is only true for very few schools. 100's of schools lose money on football which means the college is losing money supporting the sport. Most schools have student fees that pay for sports and have stadiums that are partially financed by the state.

On a side note, the only sport the NCAA does not title a champion is football at the bowl level. Notre Dame, Alabama, USC, ect. in fact have ZERO national championships.
In football, of course.

Southern California has 84 NCAA-sanctioned national championships, Notre Dame has 13, and Alabama has 4.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
News on the proposed expansion to the south endzone.
http://blog.al.com/live/2008/11/trustees_to_discuss_bryantdenn.html

Trustees to discuss Bryant-Denny expansion Friday
Posted by By GENTRY ESTES, Sports Reporter November 11, 2008 5:29 PM

Formal approval for the next stage in the proposed expansion of Bryant-Denny Stadium's south end zone is set to occur during meetings held this week by The Board of Trustees of The University of Alabama System in Tuscaloosa.

On the agenda for Friday's report by the Physical Properties Committee is consideration of a "resolution authorizing execution of architect agreement and approving preliminary project budget for Bryant-Denny Stadium south end zone expansion."

During meetings in September, trustees issued the go-ahead to continue exploring the idea of expanding the south end zone seating next to Paul W. Bryant Drive, a move that could bring Bryant-Denny beyond a 100,000-seat capacity.

UA athletics director Mal Moore said in August: "We are working in the athletics department's side with the architects to be ready when we get the nod from the president. We don't know exactly when that will be. Hopefully, soon, but if not, we're ready."
 

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Discussion Starter #36
http://blog.al.com/bamabeat/2008/11/trustees_move_stadium_expansio.html
Trustees move stadium expansion to next stage ...
Posted by Gentry Estes, Mobile Press-Register November 13, 2008 5:45 PM



The Physical Properties Committee of the University of Alabama Board of Trustees heard a presentation from UA today regarding the proposed $80.6 million expansion of the south end zone of Bryant-Denny Stadium. The committee unanimously approved the project to move into the third of four stages, the fourth being final approval to begin contruction and bring the facility to a capacity of more than 101,000 seats.

The entire BOT is expected to ratify today's committee action during tomorrow's meetings.

Read much more in tomorrow's Press-Register.
 

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I hate to admit this but if completed that would likely be my favorite among the 100k stadiums. I'd say it would be near ideal if the arc of the stands along the sides wasn't so deep and removed from the actual field. Texas' eventual expansion of DKR will surpass this in grandeur, but this would have a grace and character beyond Neyland, The Horseshoe and Happy Valley.

Still wish the program nothing but losses, though.;)
 

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With how college football stadiums are routinely expanded, it's hard to classify them using this new sub-forum structure with 'Proposed', 'Under Construction', and 'Completed'. With this thread as an example...there is a proposed expansion, but Bryant-Denny obviously is way beyond the drawing board stage and actually exists. While you look at the other threads in this sub-forum and they're more pie-in-the-sky hopeful.

I'm not sure if I really have a solution, except maybe a forum on stadium expansion vs. complete construction. Anyway, just a thought...
 

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Discussion Starter #39
The Bryant-Denny Stadium south endzone expansion project has begun.

Bryant Drive has been closed right by the stadium. Construction crews are carrying out utility relocation right now. The sidewalk will be torn up soon after, followed by tearing down the scoreboard.

 

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Discussion Starter #40
This one means they are actually about to start the real work.

http://blog.al.com/bamabeat/2009/02/trustees_can_greenlight_bryant.html
Trustees set to green-light Bryant-Denny Stadium expansion this week
Posted by Gentry Estes, Mobile Press-Register February 03, 2009 4:24 PM
Categories: Football

The University of Alabama will ask the UA System Board of Trustees this week for final approval to begin $80.6 million construction on the south end zone of Bryant-Denny Stadium.

(View more details of the project here).

The project will enclose the stadium, adding more than 9,000 seats to bring the capacity to more than 101,000 in time for the 2010 football season. The south end zone expansion will mirror recent north end zone expansion, with video scoreboards in the corners of the end zones.

UA athletics director Mal Moore announced the proposal - which is aimed at the final of four stages of approval from the BOT - during a press conference today at Bryant-Denny Stadium on the eve of National Signing Day.

Moore cited an "unbelievable demand for tickets" and this past season's success as reasons behind expansion. Moore said a waiting list for tickets had grown to more than 10,000 people.


"There's no question the excitement of Coach (Nick) Saban coming in and the success of the team this past year has made a difference in our decision," Moore said. "That is part of the demand for the tickets."

Included in the expansion will be 8,500 upper deck seats, 1,700 club seats, 36 skyboxes at a $500,000 pledge apiece, an upper concourse with restrooms, Crimson Tide Foundation offices, a Donors Hall of Fame and an outdoor market on street level for food and merchandise. It will also increase seating for UA students, Moore said.

The new addition will bring the stadium's edge near Bryant Drive but not alter the current street alignment. Davis Architects of Birmingham will be in charge of the project, which Moore said will not rely on public funds.

"We do not use or never have used state tax money or money from the university itself," Moore said. "The athletic department will fund this through ticket sales, through our ability to raise money and through bond issues that will be coming down the road."

Stadium expansion is one of the issues set to go before the BOT during meetings Thursday and Friday in Birmingham.

Work on the south end zone would begin this spring and be timed so that Alabama can use the stadium for the 2009 season. There will be a few changes. For instance, Moore said the current south end zone scoreboard would not be in place next season.

Saban offered his support in a prepared statement.

"This is yet another very positive sign of the momentum and vision that the entire University of Alabama community shares," Saban said. "We are very optimistic that this expansion will make Bryant-Denny Stadium one of the finest facilities in the country and give our fans an even greater venue to continue their positive support of our team."

 
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