Austin Chapter member David Zambie files this report.
The Austin Chapter B&I group was fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in a 2 hour behind-the-scenes tour of the DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium on May 1st. We met at Rowling Hall which is inside the campus building that surrounds the stadium. For the first hour we had the pleasure of hearing Intercollegiate Athletics CFO Jon Payne tell us about his experience working for the University of Texas. Jon shared with us his personal career journey within the Intercollegiate Athletics department as well as discussing accounting systems, the challenges of making a profit in the athletic department, and the politics of working at a large university.
After Jon finished talking, he answered questions ranging from ticket prices, to the impact of the Longhorn Network on revenue and attendance, and future plans for tailgating areas and the Erwin Center (the University is getting out of the musical entertainment business). The group was fascinated by the information Jon provided and I believe we could have asked him questions for another hour. Jon ended his presentation saying he really enjoyed talking to our CPA group because we spoke the same language and we asked different questions than what he is usually asked during his presentations.
The 2nd hour of our tour we were allowed to take a peek into a couple of the luxury suites that were on the 50 yard line. The views of the field were fantastic and I was surprised to find out the windows in the suites can be opened so the people inside can get a feel for the excitement and atmosphere in the rest of the stadium.
The tour concluded with a visit to the field itself. We were allowed to step onto the field as far as the 10 yard-line where we took a group picture.
Being on the field and seeing all the seats surrounding me I could imagine a capacity crowd of 100,000 excited fans staring at me and I realized how completely different the experience must be for the players on the field than it is for the people sitting in the stands.
David Zambie, CPA