Villanova And The Big East Expansion Delay: Conference Reactions Vary Wildly

Villanova and its ill-boding attempt to move up to I-A is all the rage in the Big East chattering classes this week. Below, a roundup of prevailing sentiments from around our conference blogs.

 

Our West Virginia blog interviews a Villanova hoops writer about potential future venues:

I think that the MLS stadium is the best option for Villanova at this point. It is brand new, has great sight lines, comfortable seats, luxury boxes, plenty of concessions, and it is expandable (though, that can only happen with the MLS team's cooperation). The Philadelphia Union have been looking for non-soccer events to hold at their stadium to generate additional revenue, and that will include Rugby Sevens and Lacrosse games. [...] To be honest, I can't tell you too much about Lincoln Financial Field in the long term. I know that Temple University's lease ends in 2017 and it costs them approximately $1,000,000 per year. The Eagles are one of the bigger wildcards in that arena though. They control the stadium, but because it was built using public money, they are susceptible to political influence -- and may have to renew Temple's lease. There is no indication either way at this time of whether Villanova would even be able to bid on a lease in 2017. 

Our Rutgers blog has about had it with the Scarlet Knights and Panthers being blamed as the roadblocks to expansion:

Here's a radical notion: how about everyone in the Nova camp stop worrying about ulterior motives, step back, and realize the very concept of Villanova spending millions to upgrade from the FCS level, and then planning to play in a 18,500 seat soccer stadium with no concrete plans for expansion (to a meager 30,000 total, mind you) was not even remotely feasible in any capacity. The emperor had no clothes. If their membership would have improved the conference's revenue picture, then they would have received the go-ahead. Of all people, you would think a former CSTV executive in Rutgers A.D. Tim Pernetti would have a good handle on any revenue-related matters.

And our Syracuse blog tries very hard to look at the long game here:

The problem, I think, for a lot of Big East folks, is that adding Villanova for football is a lot like investing in your 401K when you're 22. You know it's going to be a really great payoff down the road but that payoff is so far off that it doesn't really seem to matter right now. There's a part of you that would rather take that money and throw it down on the roulette table at Caesar's Palace for the chance at immediate returns on your investment (i.e. UCF). The question then becomes, what's better for you...the sure thing ten years from now or the reasonable risk right now?

Stay tuned to this StoryStream, The Nova Blog, and SB Nation Philly for more news on possible Big East expansion in 2011.

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