Wednesday, April 13, 2011

CSUN Football Stadium would promote economic development in the valley and community identity

By: Jason Aula

With 4,000 signatures of the associated students submitted to the CSUN student government,  and a student vote projected in May of 2011. The vote will decide whether CSUN students accept or reject a student activity fee of $86 per semester phased in over 5 years. The highest annual increase within the 5 year period is $25 and the lowest increase is $6. With that in mind, usually peoples' next question is where would a football team play?

In 1999 the CSUN Athletic Facilities Siting Advisory Committee recommended the North Campus site as the location for a future new stadium, saying the site provides the best opportunity to minimize any impacts on surrounding property owners. As a concept, the stadium would be built into the hilltop as a bowl. In case you did not know the North Campus Stadium Site still exist off of Lassen and Zelzah.

 But the committee also liked Pierce College as an off-site option, calling its stadium "the most suitable for short-term use because of its availability." In total, the committee reviewed 11 locations-six on campus and five off campus-in coming to its final recommendations.

 A university-commissioned survey of San Fernando Valley residents in April of 1999 found that 68 percent supported construction of an on-campus stadium, provided taxpayer funds are not used. And nearly 88 percent thought it important that any such facility also be available for high school and community events.

Two-thirds of San Fernando Valley-area residents support construction of an 8,500-seat campus football stadium at Cal State Northridge. An on campus football stadium would provide a community center for the Valley and a solid foundation for CSUN's identity, not to mention campus pride and school spirit would go through the roof. Maybe CSUN could try and kick the commuter campus image?

In addition, an on campus football stadium would bring people to campus and allow students to promote their university. An on campus stadium would attract donors and alumni. It's a rallying point and a very important piece to the puzzle!

Bring Back Matador Football, the student group that gathered over 4,000 Associated Students signatures, to trigger a student vote to reinstate football at the Division 1AA Level is currently working to address the issue of where a team would play. Currently two Big West schools participate in Division 1AA Football UC Davis and Cal Poly SLO. Furthermore CSUF is also proposing bringing back football at the Division 1AA level, the vote is projected to take place in September 2011. CSUF has the advantage of having an on campus stadium with over 10,000 seats. Bring Back 49er Football at Long Beach State is gathering signatures for a proposed special election to bring back football in November 2011.

Bring Back Matador Football has created a new piece of legislation that is being circulated in a form of petition titled Matador Pride. Matador Pride addresses the need for an on campus football stadium. Making an investment on an campus stadium would provide a community center for the Valley and a solid foundation for CSUN's identity.

Matador Pride proposes adding a $20 per semester student activity fee for 5 years to be directed to capital improvements on North Campus Stadium. Over 5 years the Matador Pride fund would direct about $7.2 million to capital improvements on the North Campus Stadium site. Matador Pride needs about 4,000 signatures to trigger  a special AS campus wide vote.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Bring Back 49er Football Fails by Narrow Margin

Big West Football Reinstatement Status
By Jason Aula

The vote to Bring Back 49er Football was not favorable, 52% of students voted "No" and the additional 48% voted "Yes".  Bring Back 49er Football faced many obstacles including the Daily 49er lack of fair and balanced reporting on the issue over the YEARS. In addition  Associated Students Inc. @ Cal State Long Beach was not helpful collectively. Student government leaders acted like your average self serving lying politicians especially former ASI President Chris Chavez who negated students calls for football.  I was lied to by multiple administrators and given the run around in regards to multiple football issues. Bring Back 49er Football even picked up the nick name: " The Football Tea Party".

Since Bring Back 49er Football began almost 3 years ago in mid April of 2008 during my run for ASI VP there have been so many negative comments and closed minded thinkers. My intentions on starting the campaign to bring back football was to change the culture of our university. President Alexander stated he wanted to make CSULB more of a "traditional college", which impress upon me that if a favorable vote got to his desk it would be enacted, despite non supportive rumors that come out of King Alexanders office.

The two primary reasons the referendum failed was the lack of on campus venue and money. If there was an on campus stadium and maybe $500 more to spend  during election week for promotional materials.  Bring Back 49er Football has already composed a new petition that is being circulated to get to get a 2nd vote on the ballot to bring back football this fall. This time the proposal will include proposed bonds to build an on campus stadium after the program has played its first 5 seasons, in the mean time Vets Stadium, the 49er's old home will have to do.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

4,000 Cal State Northridge Students Call for Football

CSUN Football Helmet

By Jason Aula

Cal State Northridge is following in Long Beach State's footsteps in terms of bringing back football. Bring Back Matador Football has collected over 4,000 student signatures which is above the 10% requirement of the student body signatures to put the matter of bringing back Division 1AA football to a binding vote which, is projected to take place in May 2011. CSUN did away with football in 2001, but many students want to see football back in Northridge, 4,000 student signatures speak volume on demand for football in these hard economic times. All signatures were collected during the Spring 2011 semester and are currently being verified.
Bring Back Matador Football is lead by CSUN student Jeffrey Benson. CSULB and CSUF have also been quite influential in assisting CSUN, in fact both CSUN and CSUF are using the “CSULB Model” to get the proposal of bringing back football on the ballot.
At CSULB 2,200 signatures were needed to qualify for the university student government ballot. CSULB used the Georgia State Proposal to implement bringing football at the Division 1AA level Football would get $2.7 million in operating expense whereas Big West Rivals UC Davis and Cal Poly SLO that play D1AA football put in only $2.3 million. The March 2011 vote at CSULB failed, with 3,084 students voting 52% No and 48% The CSULB vote was very promising because the margin of defeat was so little and another petition is currently being circulated to get a new proposal to bring back football on the ballot during November 2011. The major reason for defeat was the lack of an on campus venue to play.
Bringing back football does involve an $86 per semester student activity fee phased in over 5 years; the highest annual increase would be $25. In addition to bringing back football Women’s Crew, Field Hockey, and Lacrosse would also become NCAA sports to offset Title XI issues. There is an on campus stadium site, but a team would most likely play at Pierce College. An on campus stadium could be built for $12-15 million according to estimates for a similar venue at CSULB.
Bring Back Matador Football in collaboration with CSUF and CSULB have been working relentlessly to bring back football democratically. CSUF has about 2,000 of 4,000 signatures to get on the ballot at that university, 1 of 3 universities will bring it back and it will be a domino effect at other universities were movements are starting like UC Riverside and UC Santa Barbra.