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The Future of TU Facilties? A rabidTU2 Suggestion.
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rabidTU2 Offline
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The Future of TU Facilties? A rabidTU2 Suggestion.
Let me start by saying that this is just my view of what TU could do to help fund programs, put the existing athletic facilites to better use and build even greater venues as well as become an even greater asset to the the city and region.

This is something that is just my view and may never, ever become a reality, but its something I have thought should be discussed for a long time. I'm sort of an athletic facilites geek so to speak and have been interested in athletic facilities for a very long time. I actually designed a facility to fullfil a course requirement in college many years ago and did quite a bit of research on venue size, venue accessability, parking, need, expense, and ultimate revenue from it.

But I'm not going to bore everyone with the minutia from that stuff, but would like to delve into the non-boring athletic facility enhancement that is and has been occuring in college athleitcs for many years - including TU.

I'm going to try as best I can to give a forward looking view of where I think TU could and should go with their unique position as "Tulsa's University". Some of what I will present might be criticised because it may be TOO forward looking - too much in the future, but thats OK. Its just my view and if anyone wants to ignore this, thats OK. But like I say, its just a message board.

More later.
04-15-2016 10:54 AM
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rabidTU2 Offline
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RE: The Future of TU Facilties? A rabidTU2 Suggestion.
There are a couple of athletic facilites we have at TU that are as good as any in the league, state and nation IMO. That would be the Case Tennis Center, which again will be the site of the NCAA Tennis Championships next month. It is without a doubt, the best venue for that sport in this part of the nation. So I don't think any renovation or addition is warranted at this time. The other venue we have that is as good as any in the league and region is the Donald Reynolds Center which is home to 3 programs - MBB, WBB and WVB. That facility is new enough and well designed enough that I can't imagine anything more we could upgrade. It has everything from state of the art dressing, meeting and large weightroom facilities to a nice practice facility and huge Presidential/Guest Suite.

So I will be addressing the other facilities and leave those two facilities as is.

More later.
(This post was last modified: 04-16-2016 10:05 PM by rabidTU2.)
04-16-2016 04:16 PM
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rabidTU2 Offline
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RE: The Future of TU Facilties? A rabidTU2 Suggestion.
One of the advantages TU has is that it lies inside the city of Tulsa. Now some in our conference who don't know better think TU is just a tiny private school in a hick town nobody wants to visit or cares about. But that couldn't be farther from the truth.

Tulsa is just the right size. We aren't so big we have a bunch of bigtime NFL, NBA, MLB teams to compete with within our city borders. There is 1,000,000 people in the metro and 400,000 inside the city itself. So IMO its just the right size for success if we can muster the programs, tap into the strength of the league and keep our winning ways going for a good long while. Of course everyone understands we have the intentionally small enrollment which has allowed TU to change and beautify its campus and become the residential destination it now is.

TU is a gem and can be an even greater hub of activity if the city and region latch onto its vast potential. Academically, TU as we all know, is one of a kind in the region. Athletically, TU has a very exciting history of competition and winning. TU is easily the most important academic institution located in a large city anywhere in the state and region. Even TU's location lying on the mother road (Route 66) is unique. TU is in just the right spot in the city imo, not too close to the downtown and not too far away. We don't have the impossible task of an SMU for instance located within an area which limits campus expansion.

Now imo TU does need some assistance from the city to help it grow athletically and there is a long history of TU and the city working together. Many remember when TU MBB played in the downtown Civic Center (2 miles from campus) before the Don was built. The cities USFL football franchise "Oklahoma Outlaws" played at TU's Skelly Stadium. The "old" Tulsa Roughnecks of the North American Soccer League played at Skelly Stadium and drew great crowds. Many events like several Dallas Cowboy pro FB exhibitions were played at Skelly as well back in the 60's. When TU had its once great baseball program, it played in the old Oiler Park only 2 miles from campus to the south at the fairgrounds. So there is a long history of the city and TU sharing facilities and working hand in hand to make both better and more successful.

More later.

Next up - The city of Tulsa and TU - Sharing facilites.
(This post was last modified: 04-22-2016 09:43 AM by rabidTU2.)
04-18-2016 09:41 AM
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rabidTU2 Offline
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RE: The Future of TU Facilties? A rabidTU2 Suggestion.
TU has a multiple number of sports programs and has built or renovated almost all its facilities within the last 20 years. The Case Tennis Center and the Hardesty Complex (Softball, Track, Soccer) along Delaware Ave. didn't exist until the 1990s. That opened up the huge amount of construction on the west side of TU. At about the same time, TU opened the Don for MBB, WBB and WVB. The construction of those athletic venues ensured TU's place in a growing, burdgeoning and brand new conferences of similar universities with academic excellence and great athletic potential - first the WAC, CUSA and now the AAC. So athletic facilities are tremendously important and "MUST" be a focal point of our great school at 11th and Harvard.

So what is next? Well, we've announced the IPF and I assume its on the drawing board to be built even though we haven't heard much lately. TU has announced it and I assume it will be a done deal sooner than later. After that, there has been talk about further developement of Chapman Stadium and specifically building suites/inside seating on the east side of that venue. I'd like to discuss that later in this topic forum.



The City of Tulsa and TU - Sharing Athletic Facilities.

Just as in the past, I believe there needs to be a renewed push for both the city and university to work closely together and use the existing facilities at hand. Right now that isn't really being done as much as in the past. Part of the problem was that TU isn't as dependent as before on city owned venues like the aformentioned Civic Center, Oiler Park and the cities use of Skelly Stadium as an attraction as a pro venue etc.

Right now the city sports teams have evolved and changed. We don't and won't have "major" pro sports at least in the forseeable future. There is no NFL franchise waiting in the wings nor is the NBA breaking down the door of the mayors office to play in the BOK. Even the OKC Thunder won't play more than a single exhibition game here - imo a snub to the city that helped them acquire the franchise in the first place.

Because of the present demographics of the city, soccer has become a major pro sport once again in the metro. We actually have two pro teams - the Roughnecks and Athletics. Neither of those teams have a soccer friendly facility and both play in venues designed and setup for baseball, not soccer. And there is no push to change that as far as I can tell. Actually the Athletics appear to be in jeopardy of losing their venue altogether - the old Driller Park on the fairgrounds which is set to be demolished and transitioned into a BMX facility. So I'm sure that franchise is desperate to find another venue or will move or disband altogether.

Soooo! How about TU's soccer (and Track) facility coming to the rescue. The Roughnecks and Athletics need a complex that is soccer friendly, not too far from the middle of the city and is set up for that sport and not baseball. Some folks might say that there would be too many conflicts, but I investigated that and there really wouldnt be as far as I can tell.

The TU Facility at 6th and Delaware - We use that facility for track AND soccer - both men and women. But track doesn't seem to be a problem since most of the meets are away and only one dual was scheduled this year at the facility. So its mostly a practice venue for that sport. No, the main use as a game venue is for college soccer. TU's mens and womens soccer teams schedule runs from August to September in the fall when pro soccer isn't being played. So there is no conflict during that time of year. The only conflicts would come during the spring. TU's spring schedule fell this year between mid-March to mid-April (6 games) and the womens schedule is similar. The Athletics played their schedule between early May thru July with only 7 home games. The Roughnecks schedule was longer and ran from the last of March thru early September. If you look at a calendar, you can easily see there would be very few schedule conflicts if the matches were played at the TU Hardesty complex.

So why do I advocate taking a look at this? Well it comes down to one word - revenue. TU can make money renting its ready made soccer friendly venue to these pro soccer teams - one or even both if the schedules are compatable for both.

The other reason is that imo we need to nourish the idea of getting more people on campus and forming the habit of encouraging the citizens of Tulsa to make TU its home team.

Now there might have to be a few renovations to our campus venue. We might have to upgrade the seating, parking, amenities and make a small investment in those or even ask the city to help with that. Its been done before. But in the end, whats good for Tulsa is good for TU and vice versa. Oh and one other thing, it certainly can't hurt the TU soccer programs to have a pro soccer team playing on their field and on their campus.

IMO
(This post was last modified: 04-22-2016 09:49 AM by rabidTU2.)
04-19-2016 11:18 AM
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rabidTU2 Offline
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RE: The Future of TU Facilties? A rabidTU2 Suggestion.
Also TU has the additional soccer practice auxilliary field just a block away from Hardesty and south of the Case Tennis Center and would alleviate any practice conflicts and would also allow a pro soccer team a practice venue if needed. And then when the IPF is built, it would also become an extra practice facility for any or all the teams - TU or pro. And according to design plans there would be leftover space for an additonal football sized field at Harwell which could also be used for soccer practice. That amounts to four fields on the TU campus that could be used for soccer games or practice.

But the key point is that a university soccer team (TU) doesn't schedule games in the summer months when the kids are on summer break and pro teams do. That opens up the possibility of a college facility to be used and revenue to be made from renting it during that time.
(This post was last modified: 04-19-2016 07:14 PM by rabidTU2.)
04-19-2016 07:12 PM
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RE: The Future of TU Facilties? A rabidTU2 Suggestion.
Softball has replaced our one time great baseball program that was a perrenial top 10 program, went to the CWS and almost won the national baseball championship in Omaha a little over 40 years ago. Title 9 forced TU out of mens baseball and into womens softball, so we need to make softball the best we can and the equivalent success of baseball imo. As I stated above, the men played at the old Oiler Park and it was a mess - wooden bleachers that eventually collapsed at an event and the county was actually sued from a couple of bleacher related problems with that old venue. That should never happen again at any venue in the city of Tulsa including TU.

So imo there is a duty to make TU softball the female equal of TU baseball. That will take a venue that allows for success. We have an on campus softball venue and it is "adequate", but nothing special when its compared to others we compete with inside the AAC and in our geographic region.

We ARE making progress with the new dressing/lounge/meeting facility on the east of the softball field, but that should just be the start. What I'd llike to see (eventually) is an upgrade of seating, especially to chairback seats. Softball contests are often double headers or single games that go into extra innings and last several hours. So if TU wants the good folks that support softball to keep coming, we need a bit more comfort for those wonderful fans. Most of the venues on campus have "some" chairback seating like basketball and football so its appropriate for the softball venue as well.

TU could start out with only a reserve section of chairback seats and then expand as needed. I'd also like to see MORE seats by extending the seating area behind the concreted seats we have. I believe we have a capacity of about 1,000, but that should be expanded in the future so we can accomodate bigger crowds and give the place a feel of a major venue attracting even more fans. The cost of this shouldn't be excessive. Also the softball venue is next door to the Case Teninis Center and that alone should demand excellence.

More later.
(This post was last modified: 04-20-2016 11:22 PM by rabidTU2.)
04-20-2016 03:00 PM
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RE: The Future of TU Facilties? A rabidTU2 Suggestion.
Mabee Gym is a building that has been on campus for about 40 years and I've heard some folks say it is really a piece of trash. But to be honest, thats in the eye of the beholder. A 40 year old building on campus is still a good deal younger than several others that are landmarks like McFarland Library and yes, Chapman/Skelly Stadium that was built in 1930 - 86 years ago. And of course those iconic structures have gone through more than one renovation. I am a big advocate of renovation where feasable and replacement where renovation isn't. I was in Mabee Gym on the west side a couple of months ago in the area where the offices are located and its really fairly nice there. We have a lot of important offices and storage there and it looks fine imo. There is also a lot of irreplaceable athletic workout areas that are vital to the athletic dept. Of course the Rowing/Erg and water tank are there as well as our main volleyball practice gym and I believe we still have the indoor golf practice room as well as a large indoor workout room for track and a softball infield IPF "area". We also have a fairly large band room and dance drill/cheer room there. So Mabee Gym is very, very important to the athletic programs and needs to stay - period. Mabee is centrally located right across the street from Chapman and the Don, so it should be considered as "Athletic Territory" so to speak.

The one place I haven't been in is the campus police headquarters. Now I think the campus police are a vital dept at the university, but it just looks out of place in what I consider "athletic territory" and I'd be pleased to see the campus cops move to another part of campus and free up that part of Mabee for athletics. TU has talked about having an athletic team training table for some time and I assume we still don't have one at TU, so I'd think either an expansion at Mabee or renovation of a part of it would provide the space needed to have a dining area there. And its proximity to the football and basketball arenas would allow for another place for pregame and booster club affairs during bad weather.

Present Athletic Dept Use of Mabee Gym:
1. Athletic Offices (adm)
2. Equipment Storage (ath dept)
3. Rowing (Tank, Erg, meeting etc)
4. Indoor Golf Practice Room
5. Volleyball Practice Room
6. Utility workout room/practice area for track, soccer, softball (infield size).
7. Band/Instrument room, Cheer, Dance (considered as part of athletics)

Did you know? ------ Before Mabee Gym was built as it exists today, there were plans to build an arena on that piece of TU land. But at that time back in the 60's/70's, the adm decided (because of cost) not to build an arena, but to construct Mabee instead. There was actually a rendering of what the arena would look like at that time. (I wonder if that still exists?)
If you remember, we were playing basketball during those years at first in the national guard armory on the fairgrounds and later at the fairgrounds pavillion. My how things have changed! Those kinds of changes will occur in the future as well and a reason I started this thread - a glimpse into the "possible" future of facilities at TU.

More later.
(This post was last modified: 04-21-2016 11:00 AM by rabidTU2.)
04-21-2016 10:21 AM
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Hurricane Drummer Offline
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RE: The Future of TU Facilties? A rabidTU2 Suggestion.
(04-21-2016 10:21 AM)rabidTU2 Wrote:  Mabee Gym is a building that has been on campus for about 40 years and I've heard some folks say it is really a piece of trash. But to be honest, thats in the eye of the beholder. A 40 year old building on campus is still a good deal younger than several others that are landmarks like McFarland Library and yes, Chapman/Skelly Stadium that was built in 1930 - 86 years ago. And of course those iconic structures have gone through more than one renovation. I am a big advocate of renovation where feasable and replacement where renovation isn't. I was in Mabee Gym on the west side a couple of months ago in the area where the offices are located and its really fairly nice there. We have a lot of important offices and storage there and it looks fine imo. There is also a lot of irreplaceable athletic workout areas that are vital to the athletic dept. Of course the Rowing/Erg and water tank are there as well as our main volleyball practice gym and I believe we still have the indoor golf practice room as well as a large indoor workout room for track and a softball infield IPF "area". We also have a fairly large band room and dance drill/cheer room there. So Mabee Gym is very, very important to the athletic programs and needs to stay - period. Mabee is centrally located right across the street from Chapman and the Don, so it should be considered as "Athletic Territory" so to speak.

The one place I haven't been in is the campus police headquarters. Now I think the campus police are a vital dept at the university, but it just looks out of place in what I consider "athletic territory" and I'd be pleased to see the campus cops move to another part of campus and free up that part of Mabee for athletics. TU has talked about having an athletic team training table for some time and I assume we still don't have one at TU, so I'd think either an expansion at Mabee or renovation of a part of it would provide the space needed to have a dining area there. And its proximity to the football and basketball arenas would allow for another place for pregame and booster club affairs during bad weather.

Present Athletic Dept Use of Mabee Gym:
1. Athletic Offices (adm)
2. Equipment Storage (ath dept)
3. Rowing (Tank, Erg, meeting etc)
4. Indoor Golf Practice Room
5. Volleyball Practice Room
6. Utility workout room/practice area for track, soccer, softball (infield size).
7. Band/Instrument room, Cheer, Dance (considered as part of athletics)

Did you know? ------ Before Mabee Gym was built as it exists today, there were plans to build an arena on that piece of TU land. But at that time back in the 60's/70's, the adm decided (because of cost) not to build an arena, but to construct Mabee instead. There was actually a rendering of what the arena would look like at that time. (I wonder if that still exists?)
If you remember, we were playing basketball during those years at first in the national guard armory on the fairgrounds and later at the fairgrounds pavillion. My how things have changed! Those kinds of changes will occur in the future as well and a reason I started this thread - a glimpse into the "possible" future of facilities at TU.

More later.

I spent a lot of time in the band room in Mabee Gym as recently as last year. As well as some time in the "IPF" portion. As far as the band room goes it could us a lot of work just to get it up to being a "decent" facility. Plus we've nearly out grown it even though the band isn't that big (Although numbers have gone up and down in recent years).

I think the ideal fix would be to build a new "Mabee Gym" to house all the facilities mentioned above and put it where they are proposing the new IPF be built on Harwell Field. And then build the IPF where Mabee Gym is right across from the football stadium. That would look really nice, but it would also take a whole lot more time and money.
04-21-2016 04:15 PM
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rabidTU2 Offline
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RE: The Future of TU Facilties? A rabidTU2 Suggestion.
(04-21-2016 04:15 PM)Hurricane Drummer Wrote:  
(04-21-2016 10:21 AM)rabidTU2 Wrote:  Mabee Gym is a building that has been on campus for about 40 years and I've heard some folks say it is really a piece of trash. But to be honest, thats in the eye of the beholder. A 40 year old building on campus is still a good deal younger than several others that are landmarks like McFarland Library and yes, Chapman/Skelly Stadium that was built in 1930 - 86 years ago. And of course those iconic structures have gone through more than one renovation. I am a big advocate of renovation where feasable and replacement where renovation isn't. I was in Mabee Gym on the west side a couple of months ago in the area where the offices are located and its really fairly nice there. We have a lot of important offices and storage there and it looks fine imo. There is also a lot of irreplaceable athletic workout areas that are vital to the athletic dept. Of course the Rowing/Erg and water tank are there as well as our main volleyball practice gym and I believe we still have the indoor golf practice room as well as a large indoor workout room for track and a softball infield IPF "area". We also have a fairly large band room and dance drill/cheer room there. So Mabee Gym is very, very important to the athletic programs and needs to stay - period. Mabee is centrally located right across the street from Chapman and the Don, so it should be considered as "Athletic Territory" so to speak.

The one place I haven't been in is the campus police headquarters. Now I think the campus police are a vital dept at the university, but it just looks out of place in what I consider "athletic territory" and I'd be pleased to see the campus cops move to another part of campus and free up that part of Mabee for athletics. TU has talked about having an athletic team training table for some time and I assume we still don't have one at TU, so I'd think either an expansion at Mabee or renovation of a part of it would provide the space needed to have a dining area there. And its proximity to the football and basketball arenas would allow for another place for pregame and booster club affairs during bad weather.

Present Athletic Dept Use of Mabee Gym:
1. Athletic Offices (adm)
2. Equipment Storage (ath dept)
3. Rowing (Tank, Erg, meeting etc)
4. Indoor Golf Practice Room
5. Volleyball Practice Room
6. Utility workout room/practice area for track, soccer, softball (infield size).
7. Band/Instrument room, Cheer, Dance (considered as part of athletics)

Did you know? ------ Before Mabee Gym was built as it exists today, there were plans to build an arena on that piece of TU land. But at that time back in the 60's/70's, the adm decided (because of cost) not to build an arena, but to construct Mabee instead. There was actually a rendering of what the arena would look like at that time. (I wonder if that still exists?)
If you remember, we were playing basketball during those years at first in the national guard armory on the fairgrounds and later at the fairgrounds pavillion. My how things have changed! Those kinds of changes will occur in the future as well and a reason I started this thread - a glimpse into the "possible" future of facilities at TU.

More later.

I spent a lot of time in the band room in Mabee Gym as recently as last year. As well as some time in the "IPF" portion. As far as the band room goes it could us a lot of work just to get it up to being a "decent" facility. Plus we've nearly out grown it even though the band isn't that big (Although numbers have gone up and down in recent years).

I think the ideal fix would be to build a new "Mabee Gym" to house all the facilities mentioned above and put it where they are proposing the new IPF be built on Harwell Field. And then build the IPF where Mabee Gym is right across from the football stadium. That would look really nice, but it would also take a whole lot more time and money.

Thanks for the input. What you are saying about using Harwell and the area where Mabee is (the parking lot anyway) was my first guess on where the IPF would go and if we didn't have an all purpose IPF (with a track) on the drawing board, I think that would be the place. But I guess the IPF would intrude too much into the frats since the IPF designed would be both longer and wider than an IPF without a track and I suppose they decided on Harwell for the IPF because Dr Upham wanted to leave Mabee where its at and didn't want to touch the rowing facilities/tank and the other stuff there. The band room (which I've only been in once) is big enough for a number of things like the aformentioned training table/cafeteria. Using the present band room for another purpose would of course necessitate band moving somewhere else. But of course, once the IPF is built it would serve nicely for band march drill as well as the other fields.

Everything I'm presenting here is just imaginery and like I say, may never occur, but I think its feasable and doable in the distant future. Just something to mull over in the off season. But keep up the ideas if you can. Thanks.

More later.
(This post was last modified: 04-22-2016 09:18 AM by rabidTU2.)
04-21-2016 06:38 PM
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rabidTU2 Offline
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RE: The Future of TU Facilties? A rabidTU2 Suggestion.
http://www.daktronics.com/en-us/products...oor-ribbon

The above link is just a an example of the newest innovation for athletic programs to make money through advertising. You have probably seen these at various events and they actually provide an additional revenue stream for any venue. There is of course an initial cost, but the long term revenue possibilities far outweigh that.

We actually do a lot of advertising as it is - mainly on the scoreboards we already have at Chapman Stadium and the Don, but it is limited to timeouts as well as pre-game and post game. What the "ribbons" do is display a constant series of advertisements over and over. That is money in the bank for the universities smart enough to install them.

To begin with, I think it best to erect them where the most people congregate which would be Chapman and the Donald Reynolds Center, then as need arises, expand that to the other venues. For instance "IF" our soccer/track complex were to grow into a college/pro soccer venue, that would be an excellent place for a "ribbon" display and would of course be making money for the university during both pro and college events.

A constant stream of ribbon advertising is a constant stream of money to the university and that would be worth the investment imo.

More later.
(This post was last modified: 04-22-2016 09:22 AM by rabidTU2.)
04-22-2016 08:50 AM
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