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Sun Belt Arms Race
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MG61 Offline
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Post: #1
Sun Belt Arms Race
The Sun Belt arms race
7:47 PM Fri, Feb 11, 2011
Brett Vito

North Texas is building a new $78 million football stadium. It sounds like Troy is going to come pretty close to keeping pace by building a new end zone facility for what might be the nicest stadium in the Sun Belt at this point. I was told the last time I was out there that plans would be unveiled this spring some time.

And don't forget, Troy is also getting out of what amounts to the high school gym it plays in now to move into a new area that is already under construction.

Middle Tennessee just got a $1 million donation to renovate its women's basketball offices for by far and away the Sun Belt Conference's best team in that sport.

Western Kentucky recently expanded its football stadium.

Florida Atlantic is building a new stadium.

Florida International has a new stadium in place. And no, recruits don't care what the press box looks like or where the visiting radio team broadcasts from. If you don't believe me, check out the class FIU just signed.

UNT also recently picked up a $1 million donation for facilities.

And today, Louisiana-Monroe announced it is ... drum roll please ... building a 23 feet tall by 49 feet wide video board at Malone Stadium.

Give Monroe credit. The school has one of the smallest budgets among FBS programs, but it's trying.

What I find interesting is the bigger picture here. There is a lot of money being spent around the Sun Belt these days.

I have noted several time just how much money UNT is throwing at the big pink elephant in the room that is its football program. There's no doubt it will help, but I wouldn't expect the rest of the Sun Belt to just sit back and concede anything.

A lot of schools are investing. That will be good for the long-term health of the Sun Belt, and it certainly will give UNT some competition down the line.

I was talking with a UNT booster the other day about what UNT has to sell in football and whether or not it will put UNT at the top of the league when it comes to what it has to sell to recruits. That new stadium and the athletic center will be nice.

I just wouldn't discount every other school in the league and what it's doing to enhance its resume, especially schools like FIU and Troy.

At this point, they have the one big selling point that UNT doesn't in football. Those schools have won football games, championships and bowl games. Plus Troy sends a ton of guys to the NFL.

UNT is definitely in the Sun Belt arms race, but it's still that -- a race that seems to be heating up daily, one replay board at a time.

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02-11-2011 10:47 PM
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BMarkey Offline
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RE: Sun Belt Arms Race
To be taken seriously by fans, FIU needs to remove the high school bleaches from its east side and build the promised next phase of the stadium. It just looks too weird as is.
02-11-2011 11:09 PM
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FIU4Ever Offline
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RE: Sun Belt Arms Race
(02-11-2011 11:09 PM)BMarkey Wrote:  To be taken seriously by fans, FIU needs to remove the high school bleaches from its east side and build the promised next phase of the stadium. It just looks too weird as is.

You should have first hand knowledge about high school bleachers having played forever in a high school stadium. I guess it didn't look weird when FAU plays in Lockhart, a high school stadium for a high school team?
02-12-2011 12:31 AM
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AstroCajun Offline
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RE: Sun Belt Arms Race
(02-11-2011 10:47 PM)MG61 Wrote:  The Sun Belt arms race
7:47 PM Fri, Feb 11, 2011
Brett Vito

North Texas is building a new $78 million football stadium. It sounds like Troy is going to come pretty close to keeping pace by building a new end zone facility for what might be the nicest stadium in the Sun Belt at this point. I was told the last time I was out there that plans would be unveiled this spring some time.

And don't forget, Troy is also getting out of what amounts to the high school gym it plays in now to move into a new area that is already under construction.

Middle Tennessee just got a $1 million donation to renovate its women's basketball offices for by far and away the Sun Belt Conference's best team in that sport.

Western Kentucky recently expanded its football stadium.

Florida Atlantic is building a new stadium.

Florida International has a new stadium in place. And no, recruits don't care what the press box looks like or where the visiting radio team broadcasts from. If you don't believe me, check out the class FIU just signed.

UNT also recently picked up a $1 million donation for facilities.

And today, Louisiana-Monroe announced it is ... drum roll please ... building a 23 feet tall by 49 feet wide video board at Malone Stadium.

Give Monroe credit. The school has one of the smallest budgets among FBS programs, but it's trying.

What I find interesting is the bigger picture here. There is a lot of money being spent around the Sun Belt these days.

I have noted several time just how much money UNT is throwing at the big pink elephant in the room that is its football program. There's no doubt it will help, but I wouldn't expect the rest of the Sun Belt to just sit back and concede anything.

A lot of schools are investing. That will be good for the long-term health of the Sun Belt, and it certainly will give UNT some competition down the line.

I was talking with a UNT booster the other day about what UNT has to sell in football and whether or not it will put UNT at the top of the league when it comes to what it has to sell to recruits. That new stadium and the athletic center will be nice.

I just wouldn't discount every other school in the league and what it's doing to enhance its resume, especially schools like FIU and Troy.

At this point, they have the one big selling point that UNT doesn't in football. Those schools have won football games, championships and bowl games. Plus Troy sends a ton of guys to the NFL.

UNT is definitely in the Sun Belt arms race, but it's still that -- a race that seems to be heating up daily, one replay board at a time.

DENTON RECORD-CHRONICLE
http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/archiv...ilbag.html

Vito forgot about the Cajuns.

Softball stadium renovations this year which insure that it will remain the class of the conference.

Baseball stadium overhaul next year on the heels of installing new synthetic turf last year.

Track/Soccer conference is also getting a new home next year.

Football stadium overhaul in two years also on the heels of installing new synthetic turf field 2 years ago.

Also because of Hud, we've raised 2 Million in 2 months and will expand the weight room and convert the old weight room into a video room this year.

Yeah, the SBC is keeping alot of construction firms very busy.
02-12-2011 07:18 AM
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FIUFanatic Offline
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RE: Sun Belt Arms Race
I think it's great for all SBC teams the new construction going on everywhere. Both UNT's and also FAU's new stadiums look marvelous. Way to go SBC!
02-12-2011 10:25 AM
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fauowls561 Offline
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RE: Sun Belt Arms Race
(02-12-2011 12:31 AM)FIU4Ever Wrote:  
(02-11-2011 11:09 PM)BMarkey Wrote:  To be taken seriously by fans, FIU needs to remove the high school bleaches from its east side and build the promised next phase of the stadium. It just looks too weird as is.

You should have first hand knowledge about high school bleachers having played forever in a high school stadium. I guess it didn't look weird when FAU plays in Lockhart, a high school stadium for a high school team?

Weird that FIU can never seem to beat our "high school team"...

BTW, insulting Lockhart doesn't bother us FAU fans...nobody hated having to play there more then we did.

Anyway, BMarkey makes a good point. What is the plan for the rest of FIU's stadium? Are they ever going to finish the open sideline? I heard there was another phase of construction to fill that side in, but never when.
02-12-2011 10:41 AM
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FIUFanatic Offline
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RE: Sun Belt Arms Race
The stadium's plans were to finish that side by this season or next, but as FAU fans already know with how long it took to build your stadium, the plans got derailed with time and economic situation. Right now, unfortunately, I don't think anything is moving in that direction...at least publicly.
02-12-2011 10:52 AM
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CardinalBlackTrojan Offline
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RE: Sun Belt Arms Race
Troy softball just got rid of their high-school looking scoreboard that was behind center field and replaced it with a bigger, nicer scoreboard. The new Trojan Arena is starting to make more progress from the looks of it too. Still just a bunch of foundation work going on. I'll get some pics up tomorrow for those interested.
02-12-2011 09:10 PM
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BMarkey Offline
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RE: Sun Belt Arms Race
I wasn't trying to belittle FIU's stadium, but just say what many people think. Not having a sideline ruins the look of the facility. Otherwise, it looks great from inside. From outside, it needs some landscaping and/or a wrap of some sort to hide the erector set look.
(This post was last modified: 02-13-2011 10:24 AM by BMarkey.)
02-13-2011 09:18 AM
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Mr. Peanut Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Sun Belt Arms Race
(02-12-2011 10:25 AM)FIUFanatic Wrote:  I think it's great for all SBC teams the new construction going on everywhere. Both UNT's and also FAU's new stadiums look marvelous. Way to go SBC!

quite impressive 04-bow
02-13-2011 10:21 AM
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Side Show Joe Offline
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Post: #11
RE: Sun Belt Arms Race
I didn't realize how many Sun Belt schools are making improvements to their facilities. I think it is safe to say that every team in the Belt has been looking to leave for a bigger conference with a better T.V. contract. But, if we continue to improve and become more attractive to student athletes, the Sun Belt will grow into a stronger conference. Expansion has elevated the Sun Belt ahead of the WAC, and on the field, the Sun Belt has proven to be at least the equal of the MAC. Continued neglect by C-USA and the MWC has created stability in the Sun Belt, and will be our advantage in strengthening this conference.

Troy, MTSU, and FIU are playing at an acceptable level, but we need more then 3 respectable teams if we want to become the equal of the MWC and C-USA. The rest of us need to step it up.

I'd like to see an advisory committee created, made up of conference administration, athletic directors, and successful coaches from the top three overall programs. This committee should advise under-performing programs in an attempt to help them become more competitive.

It is in every schools best interest to improve the competitive level of all the schools in the Sun Belt. The WAC never did this and it has severely hurt their conference. If expansion happens in the East, it will probably affect the Sun Belt. Some Belt schools may get into C-USA and others will be left to rebuild. Nobody wants to be left behind, trying to rebuild with FCS schools, like the WAC is trying to do now. A stronger Sun Belt might detour some schools from leaving.

It is my hope that someday soon the Sun Belt will produce 6 teams at or above .500 on a regular basis. We are half way there. I think Troy, FIU, and MTSU will again be at or above .500 next season, but who will join them?
02-13-2011 11:17 AM
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CardinalBlackTrojan Offline
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Post: #12
RE: Sun Belt Arms Race
Here is the new scoreboard for the softball field.

[Image: IMG_0764.jpg]

Here is the progress on the new Trojan Arena.

[Image: IMG_0777.jpg]
02-14-2011 07:37 PM
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Green Menace Offline
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RE: Sun Belt Arms Race
(02-12-2011 10:52 AM)FIUFanatic Wrote:  The stadium's plans were to finish that side by this season or next, but as FAU fans already know with how long it took to build your stadium, the plans got derailed with time and economic situation. Right now, unfortunately, I don't think anything is moving in that direction...at least publicly.
Keep winning the SBC, Bowl games, and your "opportunity" OOC games and people won't even think twice about your stadium.
02-15-2011 10:28 AM
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GreekTopper Offline
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RE: Sun Belt Arms Race
In the last few years WKU has spent over 100 million dollars on upgrades and has boosted its budget to 22 million dollars per year. :ncaabbs:
02-15-2011 05:54 PM
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trojanbrutha Offline
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RE: Sun Belt Arms Race
Here's a link to a photo gallery of the basketball arena...
http://troytrojans.com/photo_gallery.aspx?gallery=112
02-23-2011 05:48 PM
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GreekTopper Offline
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RE: Sun Belt Arms Race
AB Wire- Western Kentucky University announces a $180 million expansion to LT Smith Stadium. Expansion will include indoor practice facility and increase stadium capacity to 120,000.


[Image: 1445669_f260.jpg]
02-23-2011 07:55 PM
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TOPPERTOM Offline
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RE: Sun Belt Arms Race
(02-23-2011 07:55 PM)GreekTopper Wrote:  AB Wire- Western Kentucky University announces a $180 million expansion to LT Smith Stadium. Expansion will include indoor practice facility and increase stadium capacity to 120,000.


[Image: 1445669_f260.jpg]


Where are my hip boots? it's getting deep in here.
02-23-2011 08:07 PM
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trojanbrutha Offline
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RE: Sun Belt Arms Race
(02-23-2011 08:07 PM)TOPPERTOM Wrote:  
(02-23-2011 07:55 PM)GreekTopper Wrote:  AB Wire- Western Kentucky University announces a $180 million expansion to LT Smith Stadium. Expansion will include indoor practice facility and increase stadium capacity to 120,000.


[Image: 1445669_f260.jpg]


Where are my hip boots? it's getting deep in here.

A man can dream, can't he? 03-lmfao
02-23-2011 08:16 PM
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chargeradio Offline
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RE: Sun Belt Arms Race
I'd expect an announcement on USA's on campus stadium within a few years, because Ladd-Peebles has very little parking. USA also has plenty of land along Old Shell Road with which to play, in addition to tearing down part of the beleagured Hillsdale neighboorhood.
02-23-2011 09:40 PM
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