Campus: CSU Fresno -- February 01, 2002
Save Mart Center Bonds Snatched Up By Investors
A $74 million bond sale to finance the 16,000-seat Save Mart Center
at Fresno State was enthusiastically received today by investors who made
commitments to purchase all of the bonds.
"Investors responded very positively to the offering," said
Deborah Adishian-Astone, executive director of the California State University,
Fresno Association, Inc. "This is unprecedented for collegiate financing
of this type."
The bonds went on sale today (Thursday, Jan. 31). They were offered by
the California State University, Fresno Association, Inc. through Salomon
Smith Barney Inc., the underwriter for the sale.
"The bond underwriters quickly reported the exceptionally positive
reaction of investors," Adishian-Astone said.
The association, a nonprofit auxiliary organization that supports the
university, sold senior Series 2002 bonds. Bonds are typically used by
the government and nonprofit organizations to finance large capital construction
"I'm very pleased to see Fresno State's Save Mart Center generate
such strong support from large, well-known funds as well as our local
financial community," said Fresno State President John D. Welty.
"With the support of the people of Central California, our university
has been able to achieve some great things, such as the construction of
Bulldog Stadium, the Downing Planetarium and the Smittcamp Alumni House,"
"We have more than $150 million in construction projects under way
at Fresno State right now. That's a great thing for the university and
for the economy of the Valley." The bonds are secured through contractually-obligated
income that includes naming rights, corporate sponsorships, private gifts,
luxury suites and "Arena Builder" and personal seat licenses.
Adishian-Astone said, "We have been very conservative with our financial
projections for the Save Mart Center project. There was tremendous interest
in the bonds throughout California. I see that as a great statement about
the strength of the university and the Valley."
Construction of the Save Mart Center began in December at the corner of
Shaw and Chestnut on the east side of the campus. Clark Construction is
the builder of the 450,000-square-foot facility, which is the largest
privately-financed project in the history of the 23-campus California
State University system. The center is expected to be completed in November
The Pepsi Bottling Group and Save Mart Supermarkets kicked off Fresno
State's fund-raising campaign three years ago with a $40 million contribution
for naming and sponsorship rights for the arena.
Since then, major donors have included Cal Fed; Kroeker, Inc.; SBC Pacific
Bell; The Leon S. Peters Foundation and Pete Peters of Fresno; The Lincy
Foundation; the Fansler Foundation of Fresno; George and Ernie Beal, owners
and operators of Johnny Quik Food Stores; and several anonymous donors.
Additional information about the Save Mart Center, including a live Web
cam that tracks the Center's construction, is available at www.SaveMartCenter.com.