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UNCC football delay looking likely
UNC Charlotte’s already scaled-back plan to launch a football program is increasingly looking like it will be delayed.
The school’s board of trustees will decide during the fall whether to proceed with a plan to begin play in 2013, or to push the project back one year or more. The choice will hinge upon the number of seat licenses sold – currently behind schedule – and the diminishing likelihood of a successful fundraising drive.
“I feel like we’ve been fighting off alligators,” Chancellor Philip Dubois said at a trustees meeting Friday.
The initial plan was approved during November. In February, Dubois unveiled a Plan B that drastically reduced the amount the school plans to spend to create the program, from about $45million to $20million. Instead of a new stadium, Plan B would add bleachers to an existing field, and the proposed sports complex would be built with a prefabricated structure.
Plan B still requires 5,000 seat licenses to be sold, and $3.6million raised in private donations. Currently, 1,693 licenses have been sold, and the fundraising drive hasn’t begun.
Trustees indicated Friday they are in support of the scaled-down plan, but even this could be pushed back. With the state of the economy, both goals are in limbo.
“We’re just going to get out the Ouija board,” Dubois said. “It looks like a delay makes some sense.”
The final decision will be made this fall.
Until then, UNCC will be stepping up its seat license sales drive.
The school will run newspaper, radio and billboard advertisements throughout the summer, athletics director Judy Rose said.
It also will recruit a team of 175 volunteers to sell 10 seat licenses each. They will be supervised by a group of “team captains” who are responsible for 20 seat license sales.
“It’s a little bit of the Amway approach,” Rose said.
The program also has begun offering a payment plan that allows buyers to pay $52.63monthly until the license is fully paid.
“We’re trying to make it really doable for folks,” Rose said.