Bahn: Razorback AD Shows He's Not Lacking For Long-Term Vision Or Confidence

by Chris Bahn  on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011 11:00 am  

A basketball practice facility is proposed in a recently released facilities master plan for Arkansas athletics. (Photo by Populous/UA Media Relations)

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It’s ambitious. A little daunting. And totally doable in the eyes of Arkansas administrators.

Instead of looking for funding on a project, building it and then resting (like the old days), the focus is on continual fundraising. Now donors and potential donors have a vision of what their donations are making possible.

“Man, fundraising should be every day,” said Chris Wyrick, senior associate AD for development. “Why not throw it out there and make it a continual effort? We’re really just beginning to scratch the surface on our fundraising."

Not all the project costs will come from private donations. Bonds, SEC media distribution, ticket sales and multi-media rights profits will help fund these projects. “All forms,” of fundraising will support the project, Long told reporters after his presentation.

Still, $300-plus million seems like a lot of money. That total looms even larger considering the state of the economy, but Long said he is optimistic that better financial times are ahead in the country.

And Long is equally optimistic the athletic programs at Arkansas are poised for bigger things. It’s a different approach than the program has seen in the past and Long is hopeful the confidence he has in himself will rub off on others.

“We’re not afraid to dream big,” Long said. “Hopefully our fans and supporters believe too.”



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