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Grand Rapids to have a Division I school?


GRLaker

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11 hours ago, GRLaker said:I wonder if Grand Action 2.0 would get involved to make such a stadium happen.

I hope not. If this happens it would be nice if a fat cat donor stepped in (like what happened at MSSU recently). I also think it would be better for the school / campus if they kept it on campus. 

move though GVSU should go D1 for a while. I hope it happens, but unless they did some sort of soccer/GVSU combo stadium, I’d hate to see this downtown. With the amphitheater and soccer stadium, that’s just a whole lot of area that I think could be put to better use.  

GVSU has lost 4000 students in recent years. I think a bigger, better football team would probably help the campus life experience (get drunk, go to football game, get drunk again). LOL

Joe

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My hope is that they get serious about it, and the have boosters that will help them be aggressive in getting their next coach.   I  wish the West Michigan billionaire families cared about bringing a national level football program to the area.  They could do what UTSA did and build a program in less than a decade(Though to be fair San Antonio already had the Alamo Dome before they decided to build a program.)   The money is already in the area for it, there's also a decent corporate presence as well. I just don't think the people who have it care enough haha.   

The ultimate dream for me:  Build a stadium on the west side of the river. GVSU enters FBS as an independent or a group of 5 team.  GVSU administration and local wealth have the institutional and financial commitment to build a competitive program.   Meijer sponsors a bowl game at new stadium.   For the first time in history aerial night shots of GR appear on ESPN :D

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2 hours ago, MJLO said:The ultimate dream for me:  Build a stadium on the west side of the river. GVSU enters FBS as an independent or a group of 5 team.  GVSU administration and local wealth have the institutional and financial commitment to build a competitive program.   Meijer sponsors a bowl game at new stadium.   For the first time in history aerial night shots of GR appear on ESPN :D

That’s a fun dream.  After hearing a lot about Miami struggling with attendance at football games because they don’t have an on-campus stadium, I have to wonder if any schools have done well with stadiums that are not on their main campus…

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28 minutes ago, cstonesparty said:

That’s a fun dream.  After hearing a lot about Miami struggling with attendance at football games because they don’t have an on-campus stadium, I have to wonder if any schools have done well with stadiums that are not on their main campus…

I think it's something to consider.  Though I don't know that it's an apples to apples comparison.  The U of Miami is 21 miles from Hard Rock Stadium in a metro that has pretty heavy congestion, it's a pain in the ass to make that commute.   On top of that Miami as an area is notoriously ambivalent to its sports teams, and even their pro sports franchises struggle with attendance.   

GVSU main campus to downtown is only 12 miles, much less congested, and the downtown and main campuses are pretty interconnected.  A significant chunk of the student population already lives in the city.  That and I think W. Michigan an area is pretty hungry for a team that would compete at a more national level.  The population is far less transient and more prideful than a place like Miami, and you're bound to have a strong base of local support between alum and just the general population.  It would be much easier to fill a 25k(ish) stadium, than a place that holds 65k like Hard Rock.

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About time, GR is the largest metro area without a D1 program...by a lot, in facts theres several other D2 to FCS transitions this year and all are much smaller schools in much smaller markets. Its almost embarrassing that a school the size of GVSU, with the success they've had and the financial backing/boosters has refused to move up for a long time, with the excuse that it would be too competitive and too much money even though they have 4x the amount of tuition paying students that most of their competition. FCS is the right move for them, lord knows they wouldn't want to do it any bigger than necessary and this allows them to keep the facilities they currently have so MAC would be out of the question. Ohio Valley/Horizon could be a stepping stone and really the only other conference that may be better fit is Missouri Valley with Youngstown St ILL St IN St ect being closer and Pioneer not a good fit because its all small private schools even though closer. It would be great to see another GLIAC school(s) move up too (Wayne, Ferris, SVSU or perhaps NMU?) This move will allow them to compete and win in football gaining more exposure, more recruiting talent and also certainly more exposure in basketball, but all other sports about the same.  As mentioned it could also allow GR to host NCAA tournament games that Dayton, Des Moines, Spokane ect always seem to host, that alone would would probably make it financially worth giving out a few extra scholarships. 

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1 hour ago, Prankster said:

I may be mistaken, but I thought the Van Andel arena is too small to host NCAA tournaments. At least it was when it first open. 

12,000 seats is the minimum required to host a tournament game.  VAA has 10,800 fixed seats.  It can go over 13,000 for concerts with the added floor space, but it only gets to 11,500 with a basketball court in the center.   It would meet the requirement if they ever finished the bowl. 

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Most of the FBS schools that play football games off-campus have urban campuses that are constrained in their ability to build a stadium - UCLA, Pitt, Miami, Temple, etc. 

The best comparison is probably UConn, who plays many basketball games and all football games in Hartford, 20 miles from their campus in Storrs. The basketball games are played downtown and are a big draw, though the fact that UConn is generally very good in both men's and women's basketball contributes to that. Football has been a disaster, but all things about UConn football are a disaster - though playing their games 20 miles from campus in a stadium that shares a parking lot with a  Cabela's probably doesn't help. 

if GVSU goes D-1, the biggest beneficiary will probably be their basketball teams, who will be competing at the highest level (unlike football). Sure, they'll be in a lower level conference, but they will have a shot at playing in March Madness, and smaller schools with fewer resources have made deep runs. They should aim to play a half dozen games at Van Andel per year, and could probably get some seriously big names to come play them there. Michigan and Michigan State would do it for sure, but it couldn't hurt to call the big names (Duke, Kentucky, etc) and see if anyone bites. Those games would sell out and be on ESPN and be huge advertisements for the school and city - even though the Lakers would probably lose by 50. 

Football should probably aim to get to the MAC eventually, because I'm not sure FCS football really helps the school that much. But being a MAC school and being on even athletic footing with Western/Central/Eastern would definitely be beneficial in terms of prestige and student recruitment. 

All that said, the enrollment drop mentioned earlier in the thread is part of a nation-wide demographic shift as the Millennial generation passes college age and the smaller Zoomer generation replaces them.  There are simply fewer 18-22 year olds now than there were 5-10 years ago, and the number is going to continue to drop over the next decade. GVSU is not alone is seeing enrollment drops, and is probably better positioned to withstand the demographic dip than many schools. 

 

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On 12/3/2021 at 8:49 PM, GrSportsGuy said:

Maybe GVSU could poach Tony Annese from Ferris if  they did make the jump. Matt Mitchell just ain’t cutting it.

Bolded for emphasis. He'd be a D3 quality coach coaching in D1. 

2 hours ago, Prankster said:

Yeah, that ain’t going to happen

 

I would be interested in knowing if host cities see any kind of positive economic impact from hosting tournaments. It may end up paying for itself in the long run if there is.

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5 hours ago, Khorasaurus1 said:

if GVSU goes D-1, the biggest beneficiary will probably be their basketball teams, who will be competing at the highest level (unlike football). Sure, they'll be in a lower level conference, but they will have a shot at playing in March Madness, and smaller schools with fewer resources have made deep runs. They should aim to play a half dozen games at Van Andel per year, and could probably get some seriously big names to come play them there. Michigan and Michigan State would do it for sure, but it couldn't hurt to call the big names (Duke, Kentucky, etc) and see if anyone bites. Those games would sell out and be on ESPN and be huge advertisements for the school and city - even though the Lakers would probably lose by 50. 

The bigger schools in football and basketball are always looking for early season sacrificial lambs to tune up/pad their schedules.  The smaller school gets a good payday in return.

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  • 2 months later...

I haven't heard much more on this in the last few months, but the rumors are still stirring. The GVSU Board of Trustees agenda for Friday seems to include an action item titled "Fieldhouse Addition/Renovation." Not sure if that is a little foreshadowing or long-needed upgrades to the Fieldhouse Arena. 

https://www.gvsu.edu/boardoftrustees/download.htm?type=agenda&meetingId=A8B977AE-D0B8-0811-FDF5E6FBB583CB17 

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20 minutes ago, NoDustBusterNoMore said:

It's pretty much just an expansion of the field house.

image.png.41b0910f00e1ac297ea16ff6f36a43a7.png

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Any idea what the details are regarding use of the expansion? Any modification of seating to the inside of the Arena? It looks like this expansion is to the south and west? So many questions. 

Edited by demhem
typo on directions
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1 hour ago, demhem said:

Any idea what the details are regarding use of the expansion? Any modification of seating to the inside of the Arena? It looks like this expansion is to the south and west? So many questions. 

Not sure about reno to existing field house. This expansion is a new gym, locker rooms, weight room and new entry area.

image.thumb.png.6ed54ed9bf2e76cd883e01bb2781e808.png

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1 hour ago, NoDustBusterNoMore said:

Not sure about reno to existing field house. This expansion is a new gym, locker rooms, weight room and new entry area.

image.thumb.png.6ed54ed9bf2e76cd883e01bb2781e808.png

Looks like a dedicated facility for the new wrestling program and possibly volleyball. 

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