UH’S HOFHEINZ PAVILION COULD PICK UP TILMAN FERTITTA’S NAME That anonymous naming-rights-sized donation toward the redo of UH’s Hofheinz Pavilion looks to be coming from none other than local real estate mogul and reality teevee star Tilman Fertitta, writes Benjamin Wermund this week. The UH board of regents, which Fertitta also chairs, voted to authorize the basketball arena upgrade last fall after the donation was announced. Fertitta also helped the university navigate the subsequent lawsuit from the Hofheinz family over the potential renaming; the matter was eventually resolved by new plans to rename part of Holman St. and to erect a statue of late county judge Roy Hofheinz near by. Based on a chat with former Georgia Tech Foundation president John B. Carter, Wermund writes that the board “would have to vote to accept Fertitta’s gift and to name the arena after him. It’s not uncommon for members of university governing boards to give large donations to the colleges they represent, but board members who become donors should recuse themselves from any discussions or votes about granting them naming rights on a university building.” [Houston Chronicle; previously on Swamplot] Photo of Hofheinz Pavilion: University of Houston
Feetitta really going to bat for UH with his big name support in the law school tussle and now a big donation to the bball court. Guess I can overlook bubba gumps shrimp company. The rest of his restaurants are pretty awesome.
Maybe they should just rename Houston as Fertittatown. It’s got a nice ring to it.
That’s nice, but how about a little love for the arts & sciences? Not since 1991, when John Moores stepped up to the plate (pardon the metaphor), has there been any significant private support in these areas, significant meaning in the 8-digit range. The feeling must be that the state will always pony up for research and the arts, but not for athletics.
All of Tilman Fertitta’s restaurants are bad. I can fry or microwave frozen seafood at home. What I can’t do is go to Kemah and get fresh seafood anymore.
Naming should be reserved for those who are really old or dead.
@Morton Pestle – George and Cynthia Mitchell left $20 million in 2003 to found the Mitchell Center for the Arts at UH. My fingers show that gift is about 8-digits, so that at least brings us up to the new millennium.
Hey Morton, You are COMPLETELY wrong my friend. Here’s how: The Grove $1.7 million in upgrades when the Alley used us for a year. Blaffer $2 million renovation. Comm school upgrade $3.6 million. Not to mention, the university will be transforming that area into what is called “The Arts District” If you read the latest master plan, that parking lot will be gone.
The sad thing is that college sports are a huge revenue generator for schools. I have heard that the revenues from the football team at UT funds a third of the general education budget for the school. It is just how the college finance game is played these days.
The sad thing will be having Hofheinz renamed, which will paint over the memory of Phi Slamma Jamma. And you know that it won’t be named “Ferrtita Pavilion”. It will probably be “Landry’s Pavilion”.
@meme – seriously? Mortons steakhouse is not awesome? McCormick and Shmicks is not great food. Granted I am not a seafood addicts mask but the crawfish etoufee or similar dish at Landrys is delicious and mccormicks has good seafood. The investments fertita has made in Galveston are helping keep the island relevant, along with other developers and small restiatants of course. The San Luis resort is pretty amazing. Am I a fan of everything he does? No. But, UH is lucky to have him on board and his overall body of work is pretty impressive and an addition to the Houston area.
Afficianado, not addicks mask. Blame auto correct
@meme – If it sucked so bad, he would not be making millions off of the people lining up at the doors of all of his restaurants. In general, I find the food quality quite good at most of his restaurants, especially compared with other chains.
@Old School I know I’m a bit late to the party but it is unlikely that the sports program is a net positive for the school, and even if it was it’s almost certain that it wasn’t a significant contributor to the general education budget. ESPN and a few others have done in depth financial analyses of NCAA programs and have found that in almost all cases they are net drains on the university. This is partially due to Title 9, which requires less popular programs to be supported, but is also due to the fact that NCAA is just really expensive and doesn’t generate near as much cash as people think. The handful of schools that do turn a profit are the big big big name duders like Alabama.
Just to back up my statement with some data, take a look at this:
You can see that most of the schools are barely breaking even if they are at all. And the really interesting thing is the column “University” under revenue. That’s the subsidy that the university itself pays the sports programs. I have a very hard time seeing that as revenue, but YMMV.