The renovation of University of California-Berkeley's Memorial Stadium was always intended to be debt-financed and paid for with revenue generated by Intercollegiate Athletics, including the sale of football seats, over the life of the project ("Cal's Football-Stadium Gamble," Sports, April 18). The idea that we should have raised the full cost of the project upfront is absurd. Such an approach would preclude most capital projects from being undertaken in the public or private sector.
We are fortunate that we have issued debt at lower rates and for longer maturities, ranging from 30 to 100 years, than initially planned. Current commitments for seat sales exceed $144 million for a stadium under construction, the target date for seat sales was always June 2013 and we are confident in our ability to meet our goals, including philanthropy.
It is disturbing that the article leaves unreported the fact that the financial modeling used to examine different scenarios was reviewed by a special committee of our Academic Senate. That committee, which included faculty trained in finance, determined the results to be credible and robust.
Seismic and safety issues made a "do nothing" option impossible. Our Regents instructed Berkeley to address the issue. We are doing what needs to be done in a responsible and, to date, successful manner that has the support of our alumni and faculty experts.
Finally, no central campus funds have been used to finance this project, and we intend to manage it so that none ever will.
Vice Chancellor of Administration and Finance
University of California-Berkeley