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July 16, 2001
Welty To Tell All!
Mart Arena Donors List
Amy Williams, Staff
FRESNO STATE -- According
to the California
Appellate Court in Fresno, state law requires that Fresno
State Administration open its records to public inspection. On
Monday, the 5th District Court of Appeal in Fresno ordered
President John Welty to disclose the purchaser's names and financial
transaction records in the $103,000,000 Save Mart Arena
"Privacy Suites Licenses".
The McClatchy Company, doing business
as the Fresno Bee, requested documents from the University,
under the California Public Records Act , to obtain the
names of the individuals and companies that purchased the luxury
suites. Welty denied the request, and McClatchy filed a
petition for a writ to force public disclosure. The court announced
its ruling today.
President, John Welty, Ed.D., released
a press statement late today in which he wrote, "...people
who leased luxury suites requested to remain anonymous ...."
However, the people who purchased those leases will be paying
the University $1.5 million per year.
A drop in the bucket. This year, University
finances are slightly less that $318,000,000 and Welty is seeking
ways to augment the possible loss of income from a possible ban
on alcohol sales on campus currently needed to finance the athletic
The Court summarized its ruling simply,
"The time has come to disclose the requested documents..."
The estimated cost of the Save Mart Center
is approximately $103 million. The State of California contributed
approximately $8 million for pre-planning and design costs and
off-site improvements to the roads and freeways providing access
to the site.
The remainder of the funding is from private
donations. Save Mart Supermarkets and Pepsi Bottling Group together
pledged a $40 million sponsorship gift, payable over 20 years.
The Save Mart Arena will feature
32 luxury suites available for use by purchasing a license. Each
suite will have 18 seats, a private restroom, refrigerator, wet
bar, television monitors and Internet access. The University has
represented the suite licenses as confidential tax deductible
The Appellate Court ruling on public disclosure
of the names of the people, corporations and subcontractors who
make financial contributors to the University is expected to result
in a large deficit in Fresno State's curent and future fund-raising
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