Several posters posted on here before seating began that they had been notified that it did not appear that they would be able to select the "In the Paint" seats for which they had prepaid. Ergo, they did know prior to commencement of selection that there would be insufficient $550-dollar seats for which donors had prepaid. They also knew how many seats were available, because they each red or green dot represented a seat, even under the new seat configuration.
Finally, prior to commencement of selection, I took screen shots of the seats of the "In the Paint" seats on the selection board. There were hundreds of seats already selected/blocked (red) prior to the commencement of selection last Tuesday. If you want the screen shots, send me an email. This pre-selection of seats occurred during the last open seating several years ago.
Sandy Smith told me at that time (several years ago), that there were 800-seats already selected/blocked prior to commencement at that time (400-seats for the HC/AthDept and 400-seats due to "Contractual Obligations.").
So, you can logically deduce that they (HC/AthDept/VTTO) knew exactly how many seats at each level were available when selection began last Tuesday. I'm undertaking efforts to find out how many seats were blocked off prior to selection. I'll let you know what I find out (if I get any answers).