Might a new UB stadium spark something bigger?

I was previously inspired to write about UB’s football program due to my desire to see a true Division 1 college team in my hometown. The Bulls were close at one time, but still have some work to do.

During the time I spent thinking about that previous post, Brian Koziol and Mike Harrington were discussing the Big East’s hope for a 14th team. Their conversation evolved into a discussion over UB’s stadium and the shortcomings the building has.

Upgrade me, please.

UB Stadium is just about 20 years old and has a much younger, albeit unimpressive, addition on the north and south ends. It its current state – replete with Jacksonville-style trap advertisements on the north end – the stadium holds just over 29,000 people. That is an average number for a stadium that houses a team whose fan base is quite small. Filling it, however is a completely different problem. As detailed in that previous post, in-roads need to be made to establish the legitimacy of the Bulls in the Buffalo sports market. Truthfully, this team should be no lower than third in priority behind the Bills and Sabres. This is a DI football team that seems to get equivalent treatment to a double-A baseball by many.

Improving non-conference competition and providing your head coach the appropriate amount of time to build the program are vital parts of taking UB to the next level But if the digs aren’t up to snuff, big conferences and fans that is on the fence may not be lured towards the Bulls.

UB’s current set up is by no means old. But it is severely below the standard for most DI programs. An ideal situation would bring about a new facility to house the football, track and soccer teams, but finding that kind of funding is going to be next to impossible. As of now, the only changes due to the stadium under UB2020 is the removal of the – now tarped – north bleachers. That will make room for an indoor facility which is a wonderful recruiting tool, but it doesn’t do much for the glorified DIII stadium that stands at UB North today. Continue reading