Stadium Funding: Impossible?

May 5, 2008

Read Class of 1955 Ed Schwartz’ piece in the Targum. It’s an interesting perspective on financing public projects such as the $100+ million Rutgers Stadium expansion (aka Mulcahy’s Folly). Says Schwartz: “I am just saying that raising this amount of money in the current environment is next to impossible. I did not say impossible. But it’s close!”

A key to the difficulties, per Schwartz, is how “polarized” the citizenry is. On the one side there are the frothing boosters. On the other side, there are New Jersey taxpayers who are mad as hell and not going to take it anymore, there are those who care for Rutgers academics, and there are the students and faculty who will take it on the chin as Rutgers keeps cutting more programs.

And of course there is the recession that is crippling New Jersey’s economy, just as soaring energy prices have every New Jersey family scrambling to balance personal budgets.

The economic turmoil makes fundraising for Mulcahy’s folly all that much harder, whilst, per Schwartz, the politically fraught environment repels potential donors and many political supporters.

Writes Schwartz: “The stadium project, from a fund-raising point of view, is the very worst-case scenario. Many alumni are against it, and very little – if any – money has been raised.”

Read his piece.

Then keep on keeping on.

There is plenty of time to stop the expensive Phase 2 of the stadium expansion and we continue to believe that is exactly what will happen.

Plenty of time for wise heads to prevail.

Plenty of time.