As the college basketball season gets fully under way, "Sportfolio" on Bloomberg TV turns the spotlight on the Saint Louis University men's basketball team -- a program they say has high expectations, unique assets, and most recently, exceptional challenges.
As SLU mourns the passing of head coach Rick Majerus, this week's episode examines the inner workings of the program he led to national prominence, and explores how the school's administrators and community together developed a financial and operational platform for athletic excellence in a major basketball market that does not have an NBA franchise.
Bloomberg says a big factor in SLU's strength is its 10,600 seat on-campus home, Chaifetz Arena, which opened in 2008. Since moving to the facility the basketball team has a home winning percentage close to .800 and has significantly enhanced its revenue from ticket sales, sponsorships, and athletic donations.
In late November, Bloomberg's Rick Horrow toured the building with naming donor Richard Chaifetz, founder and CEO of ComPsych Corporation, whose $12 million naming gift helped finance its construction. Horrow also sat down with Chaifetz, SLU athletic director Chris May, and interim head coach Jim Crews to discuss the impact of the Arena, the growth of the Atlantic 10 Conference and the legacy of Coach Majerus in raising the profile and goals of SLU basketball.
"Sportfolio highlights the Billikens being ranked in the top 30 in most preseason national polls, and second in the Atlantic 10's poll of coaches and media (ahead of new conference members and recent Final Four participants Butler and VCU) and that coming off a year in which they won 26 games and nearly upset top-seeded Michigan State in the NCAA Tournament, how SLU is once again expected to make a run to March Madness, despite the emotional loss of one of the game's most beloved and accomplished coaches in Rick Majerus.
The program will Wednesday night at 8:30 p.m. and 11:30 P.M. (central) on Bloomberg TV. Check your satellite or local cable systems for channel information. The program will be available online Thursday morning.