Monday, December 15, 1997

Some HokieCentral Plans are in the Works for Selling More Tickets

During half time of Saturday's men's basketball win over ETSU, Tech AD Jim Weaver went on the radio with Bill Roth and Mike Burnop and announced that Tech had sold just over 8000 tickets for the Gator Bowl so far. Given that about 5700 had been sold at the end of the day Monday, that means that about 2300-2400 more were sold in the next five days.   I think we'll top 10,000 this week, but to keep our reputation as a good traveling school, I think we need to total at least 14,000-15,000 tickets.

Many Hokie fans are willing to buy more than they need and donate the rest to a local Jacksonville charity of some type, or to other Hokie fans, i.e., students, who can't afford the tickets (of course, buying someone tickets to the game doesn't pay for the hotel room or gas to get there, but that's another issue).

So, this week at HokieCentral, since there are no basketball games and it was shaping up to be a relatively slow week for me, I'm going to provide some worthy causes for those of you who want to donate tickets.  The folks on the message board have been working on some things, and I decided to take the bull by the horns and try to help out.

Item #1:  there's a Hokie grad who is a company commander in the U.S. Army to 130 soldiers in Savannah, GA.  He estimates that 30-40 of his soldiers are going to be hanging around with very little to do during the Christmas and New Year's holidays, and since Jacksonville is only a two hour trip down the road from where they're stationed, he thinks it would be a good idea for interested Hokie fans to donate tickets to his soldiers.  He'll arrange the transportation to the game for his soldiers if we can get tickets to them.

I think it's a great idea.  To help implement it, I'm going to call the VT Ticket office Monday and try to set up a ticket bank for these soldiers.  If I'm successful, you'll be able to call into the ticket office, place an order for however many tickets you want to contribute, and your efforts will all go into a group of tickets for the company.

Watch this space Tuesday morning for an update and directions on how to participate in the ticket purchase.  And if there are any other military Hokies out there who know of similar scenarios, send them to me, and I'll see if we can help.

Item #2:  a message board poster suggested calling up Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Jacksonville, asking for the name of a sponsor/child pair who might be interested in going to the game, and mailing them two tickets.  I think this is a good idea also, and like the poster said, you never know if the kid you send to the game is going to grow up to be a 6-6, 300 pound Hokie fan who runs a 4.5 forty!

I've got a name and number to call down there, and I'm going to give them a buzz on Monday and try to set up an organized way of doing this.  Again, watch this space tomorrow morning for directions on how to participate in this.  More than likely, using BB/BS as a focal point for ticket donations and letting them distribute the tickets to sponsor/child pairs will be the best way to do this.

While I've got BB/BS on the phone, I'll ask if they've got any good ideas for other organizations that might want tickets for kids.

Any More Ideas?  Send them to me, at  I may or may not be able to implement your idea, but I would like to hear all of them.

Why am I Interested in Doing All of This?  Because I can.   Not many people in the Hokie universe have the ability to organize efforts like these, and since I do, I might as well go for it.  If we can increase Tech's ticket sales and help other people out at the same time, then great.  If we add as few as 20 tickets or as many as 200 to Tech's bottom line, it will be worth it.

So check back here tomorrow for more information, and like I said, if you have other ideas, send them to me!

1997 Membership Offerings Coming to a Close

I'm going to stop accepting 1997 memberships at the end of the week (which is my way of saying that the membership form will no longer be posted on-line).  And actually, at this point, if you're interested in becoming  a member, I would appreciate it if you would hold off until 1998.  The new stuff is going to be posted in late December or early January, and it's going to include a lot of the same stuff that is being offered this year - or better.

The bumper stickers will no longer be offered, but they'll be replaced by something even better - window statics.  Huggies are going the way of the dinosaur, because they're a royal pain to ship.  I'll have some mouse pads left over, and I'll have new T-shirts with a new design.  In addition to all that, I'm going to offer polo shirts - with a special twist.

Telling you anything more than that would be giving it away, so I'll wait for a few weeks to unload the whole slew of 1998 offerings on you.

So if you're interested in becoming a member, I would prefer it if you wait a couple of weeks.  The biggest reason I say that is that I'm out of some of the 1997 membership items (bumper stickers and large T-shirts, for instance), and I don't want to reorder, and you don't want to have to wait for them, either.  So hang on to your money and wait for the new stuff.

And one more thing:  next year, HokieCentral will accept credit cards, making on-line ordering of HokieCentral memberships possible.  This will beat the pants off of the old "fill out a membership form and mail it with a check" routine.   Needless to say, I'm very excited about this development, which is in the final stages of being put into place.  Barring anything unforeseen, plastic is the wave of the future here at HC.  The ordering method will be secure, and you'll still be able to just mail in a check if you prefer to handle the transaction that way.

Tune in tomorrow for details on the ticket purchase plans outlined above, and we'll see you then!


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