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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by VTHokie2000 View Post
    I agree with you that I am not a fan of the piecemeal approach either. If VT were to build a brand new stadium, then where on campus would it go (assuming that VT continues to use Lane until it is built)? If it is decided to build the new stadium in the same location as Lane, then which stadium(s) would VT use as a temporary home until the new one is built?
    Good question. I would say the current site is fine, but there could be other spots around that work better. One of the cow pastures? Someone else is probably better suited to determine that than me. If you tear down Lane to build new on the same location then we'd probably have to play a bunch of neutral site games in Landover, Charlotte, and Baltimore (cause everyone loves those, right? Right?) for a couple years until the terrordome gets finished.

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by hokieball View Post
    Good question. I would say the current site is fine, but there could be other spots around that work better. One of the cow pastures? Someone else is probably better suited to determine that than me. If you tear down Lane to build new on the same location then we'd probably have to play a bunch of neutral site games in Landover, Charlotte, and Baltimore (cause everyone loves those, right? Right?) for a couple years until the terrordome gets finished.
    Probably couldn't demolish and rebuild on the current site. Got those trees nearby, you know.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Mercury's Avatar
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    Obviously, we have alot of so called experts on building, but not planning for a sports infrastructure.

    VT has been very smart with preliminary defining the requirement of the sports infrastructure and with the projected sources of revenue (at that given time), the size of lane is about right (give or take 5-10k).
    During bidding of the west end, the university did a dumb thing when the bids exceeded the available funding. They cut back on the column size on the press box, so in the future it would be very expensive to build another deck above. Original design had that capabilities. It might have been better to find the extra money and paused before awarding the contract. What lane needs now is more the entertainment and customer service aspects. THe concession stands are more like a carnival than a sports venue like a NFL stadium, the flow of fans to handle peak loading is very pour. The East side is worse.

    In terms of other Requirements of course there is the need for here football practice facility and rector renovation, and cassell has about 10-15 years.

    THe problem also that lack of integration between the athletic campus facility needs and campus master plan and generally lack of understanding by the athletic department of the role to the campus plan. In the campus plan, the athletic department don't get just a tract of land and they are free to do anything they want. There are planning considerations that MUST be included in each project, that includes siting, alignment to transportation corridors, scale, sustainable development and preservation of natural and cultural resource areas that must be included. I expect one of the qualifications that the new AD will be challenged by the new president is better integration of planning and development with the university and enhanced collaboration.

    The footprint of the university is very small, and there is no additional room for sprawl for large areas but rather more compact development. ANy work with Lane will be modernization and enhancement not starting from scratch.

    Also, any plan requires capital, and the University is going to look at different funding streams to raise the bar on athletic budget to 100 million a year. Key is innovative financing rather than bake sales. Expect VT to increase student size to handle the growth and particularly outreach to out of state and out of country students. VT can get much more revenue from these students than 'constrained' revenue sources in state. THis includes more student fees to support these services.




    Quote Originally Posted by laphroaig View Post
    Probably couldn't demolish and rebuild on the current site. Got those trees nearby, you know.

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Mercury View Post
    Obviously, we have alot of so called experts on building, but not planning for a sports infrastructure.

    VT has been very smart with preliminary defining the requirement of the sports infrastructure and with the projected sources of revenue (at that given time), the size of lane is about right (give or take 5-10k).
    During bidding of the west end, the university did a dumb thing when the bids exceeded the available funding. They cut back on the column size on the press box, so in the future it would be very expensive to build another deck above. Original design had that capabilities. It might have been better to find the extra money and paused before awarding the contract. What lane needs now is more the entertainment and customer service aspects. THe concession stands are more like a carnival than a sports venue like a NFL stadium, the flow of fans to handle peak loading is very pour. The East side is worse.

    In terms of other Requirements of course there is the need for here football practice facility and rector renovation, and cassell has about 10-15 years.

    THe problem also that lack of integration between the athletic campus facility needs and campus master plan and generally lack of understanding by the athletic department of the role to the campus plan. In the campus plan, the athletic department don't get just a tract of land and they are free to do anything they want. There are planning considerations that MUST be included in each project, that includes siting, alignment to transportation corridors, scale, sustainable development and preservation of natural and cultural resource areas that must be included. I expect one of the qualifications that the new AD will be challenged by the new president is better integration of planning and development with the university and enhanced collaboration.

    The footprint of the university is very small, and there is no additional room for sprawl for large areas but rather more compact development. ANy work with Lane will be modernization and enhancement not starting from scratch.

    Also, any plan requires capital, and the University is going to look at different funding streams to raise the bar on athletic budget to 100 million a year. Key is innovative financing rather than bake sales. Expect VT to increase student size to handle the growth and particularly outreach to out of state and out of country students. VT can get much more revenue from these students than 'constrained' revenue sources in state. THis includes more student fees to support these services.
    The size of Lane is fine for the current demand. However, if VT wants the program's image to take that next step, then it will need to grow the fan base to the point where VT is playing its home game in a 80K+ stadium (maybe even pushing 90K+). It can build a matching South Endzone structure in the north endzone, but that will only increase it to about 76-78K. In order for Lane to increase above 80K, it will require connecting the 4 independent structures which will be difficult to achieve as they stand now. First, the South Endzone structure wasn't built to line up with the natural curve of the West and East sides. VT will have the same issue with the North Endzone structure. Second, because of how the luxury boxes were built on the West Side then it will make it difficult to connect that part to the South Endzone structure since luxury boxes were not built at the same height. Third, because the decision was made to built 2 towers on the West Side then that limits what upper decks can be built over the press box.

    So in order for Lane to be upgraded, then it will require tearing down portions of the current structures which costs additional money. Also, the portions that need to be torn down could be viewed as a "waste" of money because they built to be permanent and ended up only be "temporary" structures. That perception could become an issue since any capital projects VT does for athletic will have to be privately funded. Will people want to contribute as much to the project if it is perceived that a portion of the new structure is being built only to be torn down at the next expansion phase? Or will people be more willing to fund a capital project that re-configures Lane so any future expansion will only require adding new construction?

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by VTHokie2000 View Post
    The size of Lane is fine for the current demand. However, if VT wants the program's image to take that next step, then it will need to grow the fan base to the point where VT is playing its home game in a 80K+ stadium (maybe even pushing 90K+). It can build a matching South Endzone structure in the north endzone, but that will only increase it to about 76-78K. In order for Lane to increase above 80K, it will require connecting the 4 independent structures which will be difficult to achieve as they stand now. First, the South Endzone structure wasn't built to line up with the natural curve of the West and East sides. VT will have the same issue with the North Endzone structure. Second, because of how the luxury boxes were built on the West Side then it will make it difficult to connect that part to the South Endzone structure since luxury boxes were not built at the same height. Third, because the decision was made to built 2 towers on the West Side then that limits what upper decks can be built over the press box.

    So in order for Lane to be upgraded, then it will require tearing down portions of the current structures which costs additional money. Also, the portions that need to be torn down could be viewed as a "waste" of money because they built to be permanent and ended up only be "temporary" structures. That perception could become an issue since any capital projects VT does for athletic will have to be privately funded. Will people want to contribute as much to the project if it is perceived that a portion of the new structure is being built only to be torn down at the next expansion phase? Or will people be more willing to fund a capital project that re-configures Lane so any future expansion will only require adding new construction?
    What you are basically saying is that we have built ourselves into a corner. There are really no good options for stadium expansion beyond just enclosing the north end zone to get to around 76k-78k capacity. But the truth is that VT probably does not need a larger stadium than that for at least several decades, if ever. If you can't fill all the seats, expanding stadium capacity is a complete waste.

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by 133304Hokie View Post
    What you are basically saying is that we have built ourselves into a corner. There are really no good options for stadium expansion beyond just enclosing the north end zone to get to around 76k-78k capacity. But the truth is that VT probably does not need a larger stadium than that for at least several decades, if ever. If you can't fill all the seats, expanding stadium capacity is a complete waste.
    In a way VT has kinda built itself in corner. If you factor in that each structure is subject to different building codes (based on when it was constructed or last renovated), then when two structures are connected they will be subject to whatever building codes exist at the time of renovation. It is very possible that cost could range from the thousands to millions in extra cost to bring the older structures up to code.

    I agree with you that based on current demand, a 76K stadium would be sufficient for VT. However, in terms of a PR standpoint it may not be sufficient. If VT wants to brand its football program as a national elite program in the future, then it will need to be willing to play by the "rules" already established by its peers (i.e. Texas A&M, Alabama, Nebraska, Michigan, Ohio St, USC, LSU, Florida St, Notre Dame, Penn St, Clemson, Georgia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Auburn, and Wisconsin). I am intentionally excluding Miami from that list because it plays its home games in an NFL stadium so it have very little control over what happens to it. One common characteristic all those schools have in common is they play their home games in large stadiums. So eventually VT will need to build up its alumni and fan base to that level. Call it "keeping up with the Joneses" if you want, but VT would be considered the new kid on the block and need to do some catching up. Right now Lane Stadium is approximately the same size (within 6,000 seats) as Ross-Ade Stadium (Purdue), Commonwealth Stadium (Kentucky), California Memorial Stadium (Cal), Alamodome (UT-San Antonio), Kenan Memorial Stadium (UNC), Husky Stadium (Washington), and Faurot Field (Missouri). None of those schools would be considered national elite name brand football programs. I excluded UMass, Pitt, USF, Temple, Georgia St, and Tulane from the list because they currently play in pro stadiums. If VT finds the level of success again and becomes a regular contender for the playoffs, then I could see a Boise-like label placed on VT because it plays its home games in a "small" stadium for an elite school (even if Lane was expanded to 76K). It could become a factor if the playoff expands to include another round played at a neutral site. The committee may take the mindset of "small stadium small traveling fanbase" when deciding which schools are "deserving" of an at-large bid. After all the committee wants to make sure every game in each round is soldout even if a portion of the fanbase cannot attend every round.

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by VTHokie2000 View Post
    It could become a factor if the playoff expands to include another round played at a neutral site. The committee may take the mindset of "small stadium small traveling fanbase" when deciding which schools are "deserving" of an at-large bid. After all the committee wants to make sure every game in each round is soldout even if a portion of the fanbase cannot attend every round.
    If the playoff ever expands to 8 teams, there is no way the first round would be a neutral site game. It would be played at the home stadium of the higher seed.

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by 133304Hokie View Post
    If the playoff ever expands to 8 teams, there is no way the first round would be a neutral site game. It would be played at the home stadium of the higher seed.
    I wouldn't make that assumption. The playoffs will continue to incorporate the bowls for as long as possible and as long as they find corporate sponsors for the game. The fact that the semi-finals will be played at neutral sites instead of the higher seed's home stadium supports it. Logistically attendees who want to attend both games will have the same logistical issues as if they wanted to attend a third game. Most likely the percentage of people being able to attend both games will be relatively small which means a large percentage will only be able to attend 1 game. If a school wants to be able to sell out its allotment of tickets to both games, then it will need a large fan base to do it. Eventually the playoffs will switch to the higher seed's hosting, but it won't be at the same time it is announced the playoff is expanding to 8 teams.

  9. #19

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    Fortunately we stayed in the ACC, assuring stadium expansion will not be an issue

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by MPHOKIE View Post
    Fortunately we stayed in the ACC, assuring stadium expansion will not be an issue
    And at the same time could cost VT a spot in the playoffs. The committee wants to ensure the semi-final game and championship games are sold out, so they will be picking teams with large enough fan bases to ensure it. Even though VT had the perception that its fans traveled very well, that perception has slowly faded. Next year's semi-final games are being played at the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl with AT&T Stadium (Dallas, TX) hosting the championship game. Assuming the 4th seed will play in the Rose Bowl and the committee is deciding between a 11-2 VT (ACC Champion) or 11-2 Ohio St (Big Ten Champion), then don't be surprised if Ohio St gets the nod even if VT wins the game in Columbus. The committee knows that Ohio St will ensure a sellout for both games (assuming Ohio St plays in both). Whereas I am not sure the committee has the same confidence about VT. You figure any of the participating schools will have to sell approximately 32,000 tickets for both games. A few people will be able to attend both games, but a vast majority will only be able to attend 1 game. Most will hold out for the championship game which could mean attendance for the semi-final game suffers. Since it was decided that the semi-final games will be played at neutral sites, I suspect most years the 4 playoff teams will be from schools with large stadiums (large fan base). Don't be surprised if you hear of BCS football schools (i.e. Oregon, Stanford, etc) who play in smaller stadiums announce they will be untaking an expansion of their home stadiums especially if they get snubbed by another school that plays their home games in a larger stadium.

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