Virginia Tech Announces Reseating of Lane Stadium and Cassell Coliseum

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Virginia Tech Announces Reseating of Lane Stadium and Cassell Coliseum

Virginia Tech announced yesterday that a reseating of Lane Stadium will occur
after the 2011 football season. After the 2012-2013 basketball season, a
reseating of Cassell Coliseum will also occur. Lane Stadium’s last reseating
came prior to the 2005 football season, and Cassell’s last reseating came prior
to ACC entry in 2004.

Virginia Tech Athletic Department staff and personnel are working on the
reseating plan and currently have no other information to provide, other than to
let Hokie fans know the reseating is on the horizon.

“At the time of our first reseating, we felt the appropriate time to
reseat again would be no earlier than five years and no later than seven years,”
Virginia Tech AD Jim Weaver said in a hokiesports.com press release. “This
approach would allow for continued growth and success of the athletics
department.”

Strategically timed reseatings allow an athletic department to do two things:
(1) reward big donors who have come on board recently, but for whom good seats
are currently not available; and (2) provide an artificial boost to donations.

Long-time Director of Development Lu Merritt told the Roanoke
Times
:

“Over the last seven years, we’ve raised about $214 million, and
we’ve had a lot of donors that have made major gifts to help us build the
new basketball practice facility and the new football locker room. We’ve
even had some donors here this year that have said, ‘I’m going to make my
next gift when you reseat.’ So we need to reward those people. We have
people who come in and want to give us, say, a $50,000 or $100,000 gift and
we put them on the 20-yard line or 15-yard line because we don’t have any
place for them to sit.”

Reseating also helps increase revenue as costs continue to increase. Any
athletic department that reseats a stadium or coliseum hopes that fans will
increase their donations in an effort to improve their seating location(s).
Increases in donations generally stay in place, as donors give at the same level
in subsequent years.

Reseating should provide a nice boost to revenue, especially when combined
with increased revenue from the ACC’s
new TV contract with ESPN
, which kicks in this
fall and will bring an additional $7.3 million per year per school over the
current contract.

Hokie Club members will have until Dec. 31, 2011 to increase their donations
for football reseating, and until Dec. 31, 2012 for basketball reseating.

Virginia Tech will continue working on their plans and hope to announce
details of the reshuffling in August or September.

A note of interest from Mark Berman’s Roanoke Times article linked above:
Tech sold 34,614 football season tickets for the 2010 season, down from about
40,000 in 2009. Tech sold 5,061 men’s basketball season tickets for the current
season, down from 6,410 last season.

ACC Alters Tournament Ticket Allocation

Since ACC expansion, all 12 teams in the annual basketball tournament have
received equal shares of tickets. Expansion schools Miami, Virginia Tech, and
Boston College underwent a couple of years in which they built up gradually to a
full share, but for the last few years, all teams in the league have received an
equal number of tickets.

Not so anymore, beginning with this year’s tournament. In case you missed it,
there were several news articles in the last week or so covering the topic of a
new distribution scheme for tickets. 2,000 tickets went unsold to last year’s
tournament, and at almost $400 a booklet, that’s a loss of $800,000 for the
conference, which struggled to fill the approximately 23,000-seat Greensboro
Coliseum.

Last year, each of the 12 ACC schools received 1,740 ticket booklets, but
this year, the conference has a new distribution plan which cuts tickets from
schools that have shown poor sales and attendance, and allocates more tickets to
schools that are located closer to the tournament (in Greensboro) and have a
record of purchasing more tickets and showing better attendance.

Here’s this year’s distribution:

  • 1,990 ticket books: North Carolina, N.C. State,
    Duke, Wake Forest and Virginia Tech.
  • 1,600 ticket books: Maryland, Clemson and
    Virginia.
  • 1,200 ticket books: Boston College, Florida State,
    Miami and Georgia Tech.

Virginia Tech is the only non-North Carolina school to receive the larger
share of tickets. The inclusion of BC, FSU, and Miami in the lowest tier makes
sense, but Georgia Tech’s inclusion in that bottom tier is a little surprising,
until you consider that Atlanta is 330 miles from Greensboro. Clemson, by
contrast, is only 220 miles from Greensboro and is included in the middle tier.

Virginia Tech’s ACC Tournament attendance has not been impressive, so it
remains to be seen if the Hokies will continue to be included in the upper tier,
if the tiered structure remains in place in future years.

The 2011 ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament begins a week from today, so it’s
worth linking to the tournament bracket and seating chart. Here are the links,
from theacc.com:

Tournament
information and bracket

Seating
chart showing location by school (PDF)

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