Mar. 29, 2007

RSU Approves Lease of Claremore Expo Center for Basketball Games

Agreement Also Provides Access to Recreational Center for RSU Students and Employees

Rogers State University has approved a ten-year agreement with the City of Claremore to lease the Claremore Expo Center for its home basketball games.

The lease agreement between the university and the Claremore Cultural Development Authority was approved on March 28 by the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents, the governing board for RSU, and will be considered by the Claremore City Council on Monday, April 16.

The term of the lease would begin on Oct. 1, 2007, and continue through the last day of February each year for the next ten years, allowing the university to play all of its home basketball games at the facility, which is located a few blocks from the campus.

“The Claremore Expo Center is ideally situated for RSU home basketball games,” said RSU President Dr. Joe Wiley. “It’s located close to the campus, has adequate facilities, including arena, seating, locker rooms, restrooms and concession stands, and has been somewhat underutilized in the past.”

The Expo Center seats up to 3,500 fans for basketball games. RSU recently purchased a basketball floor from the University of Oklahoma, which will be reconditioned, festooned with the RSU Hillcat logo and installed in the Expo Center for home games.

RSU will play the City $215,000 each year to maintain rights to the facility during basketball season.

“The City of Claremore is pleased to serve as a partner with RSU in bringing top-flight collegiate basketball to Claremore for the first time,” said Troy Powell, Claremore City Manager. “The partnership also makes sound financial sense for both the university and the city.”

In return, the City would provide access to the Claremore Recreational Center to all RSU students, staff and full-time faculty members, as part of the agreement.

“This is a win-win agreement for the City and the university and promotes the health and well being of our employees by providing them with the added benefit of access to a comprehensive health club facility,” Wiley said.

The City also would provide certain upgrades and improvements to the Expo Center, and both parties will share responsibility for maintenance and repairs as outlined in the contract.

“The Expo Center promises to be an ideal location to launch the Hillcat basketball program,” said Wren Baker, RSU athletic director. “With the planned upgrades and improvements, the center has all the amenities needed to accommodate collegiate basketball games.”

Under the agreement, the City will pay all utilities, general liability insurance premiums and fire insurance premiums, while the university will provide general public liability and personal property damage insurance, combined with single limits per person for bodily injury and death and property damage.

Legal staff members at the university and the City have thoroughly reviewed the lease agreement, Wiley said.

The first RSU Hillcat basketball game is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 5, against Rhema Bible College at the Claremore Expo Center. The women’s game will begin at 6 p.m. and men’s game will start at 8 p.m. Both will be exhibition games.