Let’s face it: raising upwards of $100+ million to build a Rutgers Stadium expansion was far-fetched and fanciful in the first instance. The team is mediocre, the coach has a lifetime losing record, and the Athletic Director might charitably be described as a Trenton careerist (which is polite phrasing for a lot of profanities). The one member of the board of governors with experience with large capital projects for sports venues openly mocked the cockamamie stadium plan — and pointed out that the contractor chosen to do the work had no experience building stadiums and, furthermore, there is no cap on construction costs which surely will spiral.
That is prologue, today’s news is that — in the midst of a worsening national recession that is beginning to hit very hard in the tri-state market — even the Super Bowl champion New York Giants are running into big difficulties raising financing to finish a stadium construction project. As noted in the New York Post: “the credit freeze is stalling and threatening new stadiums and arenas that fans are eagerly awaiting.”
Hello Piscataway, show us the green.
If even the country’s best football programs — with armies of dedicated season-ticket holders — are finding financing difficult to score, whoever would think that a bottomfeeder Big East program with gossamer fan support will find credit markets more hospitable.
Note: there is no word on progress raising the $30 million donation needed to move the Rutgers Stadium expansion project forward (probably because there is no progress) and there is no sign the $70+ million in bonds are heading to market, probably because they aren’t.
It’s time to write RIP on this flatulent idea. Then again, watching Mulcahy, McCormick, Schiano passing the cup in an environment turned stingy — and with fans increasingly fed up with the mediocrity that is Rutgers football — just might be comedy on the order of the Three Stooges.