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Momentum for UF stadium project continues to fade

By BRIAN LESTER
Just as a team can look great on paper but fail to get the job done in an actual game, apparently stadium plans can also look good only on paper.

The University of Findlay’s lacrosse and football stadium project isn’t dead yet, but considering the way things have been moving along in the process over the last year, it is on life support at the moment.

A little over a week ago, news broke that the stadium project had been delayed after the university severed ties with iGoHD, an HD entertainment streaming company in Cincinnati.

The company had been a major player in putting the stadium plan into motion, but because it failed to execute its business plan, which included the signing of sponsorships, UF had no choice but to delay its plans for building a 5,000-seat on-campus stadium.

What gets me is that iGoHD stumbled in the execution of its plan. It shouldn’t be rocket science to get the money and sponsorships necessary to make the stadium a reality for the Oilers. The idea of a stadium should sell itself, and yet, we have learned that iGoHD represents incompetence at its best.

I was told that the university had minimal commitment in terms of funding for the stadium, which is surprising in some ways. I understand UF was counting on iGoHD to get its job done, but the university should have been a little more aggressive in getting money for the stadium as well.

As it is, it’s unlikely that construction for the stadium will begin this summer as planned. In fact, there is a chance work on the stadium won’t begin at all this year.

The news of the delay is a huge blow to the football team and women’s lacrosse team. You know coaches have been using the stadium as a major selling point in recruiting, especially in football as the Oilers were set to begin play their in the fall of 2015.

Rob Keys and his staff have done a phenomenal job in a short amount of time of building a program that has become a serious contender for a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship. The only thing missing from the program is a stadium, which Keys called a game changer back in November.

The stadium would be a game changer for the lacrosse team as well as it would help the team take another step forward in its quest to be a competitive team at the national level.

The impact of a stadium cannot be measured in dollars. It goes beyond money, but it seems the problem is there aren’t enough people involved with the project who have the vision to see beyond the price tag that comes with building an $8 million stadium.

UF has been talking about a stadium since last summer, but after the initial excitement of the plan, momentum has faded fast.

Someone needs to step up in this situation. Someone needs to step up and put the wheels in motion for a stadium to built. There is still time to make it happen this year. The longer it drags on, though, the more momentum fades.

It’s funny that the university used to make sure that whenever the stadium was mentioned, it was called a lacrosse and football stadium and not just a football stadium.

Well, as of right now it might not matter what we call the stadium because it’s starting to look like there won’t be a stadium at all.

I hope I’m wrong, but at the time, I’m not holding my breath waiting for a stadium to be built.

Follow me on Twitter @BLester1993