A Talk With Tom Gabbard, Part 1

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Tom Gabbard
Tom Gabbard has played a huge role in facility improvements since 1998.

We met with Senior Associate Athletics Director Tom Gabbard a few weeks back, and we talked about his tenure at Virginia Tech, past projects, and future projects. Gabbard is Tech’s top facilities man, and he’s been in Blacksburg since 1998.

Today’s article will focus on upcoming projects at Virginia Tech, as well as one interesting “what if” project from the past. A later article will focus more on Gabbard himself. He has a very interesting story that has never been told.

English Field

For some people, going to a ball game is about the game. For others, it’s about the experience. Gabbard knows that. He thinks Virginia Tech made the right decision to build terraces down the left field line, rather than bleachers.

“One of the smartest things we did in my opinion was build the terraces,” Gabbard said. “In March and even early April there are plenty of cold days, and to have 1500 empty aluminum seats doesn’t help you at all.”

Still, he knows that more things need to be added to help the fan experience.

“I think what we do next is go down the right side and out in bleachers there and maybe make a park setting for picnics and stuff like that.”

English Field is one of the few stadiums in the country without a video board, but Gabbard added that a new scoreboard and video board are in the works. Also in the works is a new press box with suites.

“The press box needs expansion,” Gabbard noted. “We hosted Regionals and had to bring that in. It worked, but we need some suites and clubs,