Osborne weighs in on 'N' debate

2013-06-19T16:51:00Z 2013-06-20T11:23:13Z Osborne weighs in on 'N' debateBy STEVEN M. SIPPLE JournalStar.com
June 19, 2013 4:51 pm  • 

Granted, it's just an "N" on the side of a building.

But it's sparked some debate.

(Yeah, slow news day in sports).

There should be no Big Red "N" on the outside of the Pinnacle Bank Arena, Pat McGrane told the group overseeing arena construction.

The red letter leaves the impression the University of Nebraska built the arena, Nancy Hicks wrote in her column.

Taxpayers -- through the city's arena tax on bars and restaurant meals and drinks, hotel rooms and rental cars -- are footing the bill, McGrane told the West Haymarket Joint Public Agency last week.

The Nebraska men's and women's basketball teams will begin playing this fall as the arena's major tenants. Nevertheless, McGrane's stance makes sense. A Big Red "N" on the arena would indeed be misleading.

Tom Osborne was Nebraska's athletic director when the arena deal was being formulated. I asked him Wednesday for his opinion regarding the great "N" debate.

"The arena doesn't belong to the university, but it is the home of University of Nebraska basketball," he said. "I do know the city needed an anchor tenant. And unless the city had some sort of anchor tenant, with a certain number of events it could count on every year, that it would be very difficult to make the thing work financially.

"Certainly the concerts and all those types of things are good. But they are somewhat sporadic."

There's really no debating the notion there would be no arena without UNL's major involvement.

"It would've been more difficult, let's put it that way," Osborne said.

Creighton is the major tenant at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, yet you don't see a Creighton logo of any sort on the building -- that I know of, anyway.

At any rate, it appears the "N" will be prominently displayed.

Writes Hicks: Although the "N" is not yet up, all the contracts have been signed, Mayor Chris Beutler, one of the three JPA members, told McGrane.

"We are obligated to put the red 'N' up," Beutler said.

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Steven M. Sipple

Steven M. Sipple

Steven is the Husker sports columnist for the Lincoln Journal Star.

Brian Christopherson

Brian Christopherson

Brian is the Husker football beat writer for the Lincoln Journal Star.

Brian Rosenthal

Brian Rosenthal

Brian Rosenthal is the Husker men's basketball beat reporter for the Lincoln Journal star.

Brent C. Wagner

Brent C. Wagner

Brent is the Husker volleyball and women's basketball beat reporter for the Lincoln Journal Star.