UMass McGuirk Stadium (pre-expansion)
God how I wish Amherst Town Meeting had been half as smart as the UMass faculty union back in 1987 when we spent a whopping $2.2 million--an astounding $4.4 million in today's dollars--to buy a golf course we could have had for free. Although interestingly enough, it was a UMass professor, Richard Minear (then Chair of the Amherst Select Board) and fellow history professor Ron Story (a few years prior to Ellen Story becoming State Representative) who led the ill fated charge.
As usual, a 159 neighbors had signed a petition supporting the purchase to, as usual, stop development; and town meeting used the sacred power of eminent domain--the political equivalent of detonating a nuclear weapon--to steal the property away from a developer who had a legal agreement signed--at far less than $2.2 million--with owner Dave Maxon.
If only Town Meeting said to the selfish neighbors: "Sure we will take the property, as long as you come up with 80% of the funding," what a different history I would now write. And the town treasury would be so better off because of it.
Of course UMass football making the big jump to FBS will make Cherry Hill look like a Powerball lottery win by comparison. The jump (the shark) has already cost $1 million with the buyout for coach Kevin Morris and staff and next year scholarships alone will cost an addition $2 million. And of course there is that $30 million to expand McGuirk Stadium that the faculty union is now wisely trying to sack.
All this for a football program that lost millions last year. Yikes!