Monday, July 11, 2011

FAU Football Stadium Events?

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

It's hard to believe that in 94 days, the FAU Owls Football Team will begin a new era with their new on-campus stadium.

I'm amazed that in the 1980's, FAU was a commuter school and it has now grown up into a Division I institution.

By the time FAU plays in its' new stadium, the Owls will have played five road games. Their first three games will be against the Florida Gators, Michigan State Spartans and defending National Champion the Auburn Tigers. While it seems destined FAU could start 0-3, they'll definitely get three big pay days to put in the athletic departments checkbook.

FAU's first two Sun Belt Conference games are at the University of Louisiana Lafayette and North Texas.

By the time Oct 15 rolls around and FAU faces Western Kentucky (2-10), the Owls should be able to win its first game in the new stadium against the Sun Belt Conference last place Hilltoppers.

Will the Owls be out of the post-season picture and be looking for a miracle to become bowl eligible? Time will tell. 

I've always wondered that with a 30,000 seat expandable stadium, that this season will occupy five dates. In the future it could have as many as seven home games.

The question remains, what events could we see down the road? 

I anticipate that there could be a bowl game.

Here are some ideas for Athletic Director Craig Angelos.

Angelos should have no problem attracting events because being in South Palm Beach County, this stadium is centrally located to Palm Beach, Broward, Dade and Martin County.

There is no doubt that Angelos will get his fair share of concerts.

Years ago, the Orange Bowl (OB) was a venue that attracted concerts. The Marlins new baseball stadium, on the OB site, will be ready by next season. Although there will be competition for the outdoor market, I do believe that there is enough room for two outdoor concert facilities.

Back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers played their home games at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale. Even though Lockhart was horrible for the Owls because of the poor locker-room's, it was good for a North American Soccer League team.

Major League Soccer has a solid fan base in the USA so it's time to see if Angelos can get a team on campus and call it the South Florida Strikers.

In 1983, FAU Coach Howard Schnellenberger left his National Champion Miami Hurricanes for the USFL to coach a team in Miami at the Orange Bowl. This move backfired because the league never played a game in this market and subsequently folded.

The Spring of 2012 marks the return of the New USFL. While I highly doubt we'll see the 77-year old Schnellenberger coach this team, it would be neat to see a team in the area in a league where he wanted to coach in the pros again.

Back in the old USFL, there used to be a territorial draft where teams could draft players that played at local schools. I could see a territorial draft with Miami, FIU and FAU and there will be old faces chasing their dreams in Boca Raton.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at scottsports33@aol.com and his blog can be read at www.scottsports33.com. 

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