Wednesday, April 14, 1999

Season Ticket Order Forms Are In the Mail

Most of you who are season ticket holders have already received your football season ticket order forms in the mail, and for those of you who haven't, rest easy, they're on the way.  The Tech ticket office originally planned to send them out earlier, but the women's basketball NCAA games and the subsequent Sweet 16 appearance kept the ticket office hopping and delayed the season ticket forms.

The big news is that Tech will now charge a fee for parking in "campus lots."   I had heard that this was coming.  The fee is $5 per game, or $25 for a six-game discounted season pass.  So, if you are a Hokie Club member and purchase season tickets, you'll have to pay an additional $5 per game to park in your usual lot this year.

Me, I'm not the least bit surprised.  Jim Weaver has spent a ton of money in the last year to keep Tech's phenomenal coaching staffs intact, and the money has to come from somewhere, and parking is a good place to start.  If you estimate that 10,000 cars park for each Hokie football game (and I have no idea if this is a reasonable estimate or not), then a $25 season parking pass for each car will generate $250,000 extra this year, which ought to be enough to help pay for the salaries of Frank Beamer, Bud Foster, Bonnie Henrickson, et al.

Yes, it's kind of sad that as Tech's athletic programs mature, so do the salaries and facilities, and in the end, Joe Fan winds up paying more.  But that's life in the big time.  You can either run with the big dogs or stay on the porch.  I know that as cost increases, many of you will start to be shut out by the rising costs, but it's a fact that Tech football is a hot commodity, and as the demand goes up, the price that can be charged for it goes up as well.  It's simple economics.

The good news is that season ticket prices have held almost steady over the last few years, and as a matter of fact, football ticket prices did not change one bit from last year to this year.  Tech's increased revenue in 1999 will come from the parking passes, not ticket revenue.

In 1997, season tickets were $132, and individual game tickets were $25 (for the good games) and $22 for the mediocre games.  In 1999, the season ticket price rose only $6, to $138, but individual game tickets shot up to $25 and $27.  It was at this point that season ticket holders got a significant discount for the first time.

This year, ticket prices have held steady - $138 for the season package, and $25 and $27 for individual games.  There are discounted packages for faculty and staff ($120, I think), so Tech won't get $138 for every season ticket sold.

Last year, approximately 18,400 season tickets were sold, and this year's goal is 20,000 (with a privately stated goal of 25,000, according to rumors I've heard).  If you assume that Tech gets the 20,000 figure, and that the average cost, ignoring the faculty/staff packages, is $138, then ticket revenue will be a cool $2.76 million.   Add 10,000 $25 parking passes to that (which is probably high), and you've got just over $3 million in revenue, before the single-game sales occur, before the concession revenue comes in, and before TV revenue comes in.

Before the first football has even been kicked off, Tech rakes in $3 million from football.  That'll pay some bills.

A word of advice:  if you're not a season ticket holder, and you can afford it, jump on board now.  Since 1993, season tickets sold have risen from just over 10,000 to nearly 20,000.  Last year, single game tickets for UVa and WVU were tough to get, and this year, despite the 4,000 new seats that will be added in the North end zone, there will be other tough tickets - Syracuse, Clemson, and Miami.  If that November 13th game with Miami shapes up as the Big East title game, I don't even want to think about how hot those tickets are going to be.

So the best way to guarantee yourself seats is to pony up now for season tix.  And it's also the best way to get good seats and hold onto them far into the future.  Me personally, I've got seats in the Orange and Maroon Hokie Club portion of Section 13, and although I've upgraded to Silver Hokie status, I'm going to keep the same seats I've got.   They're only on about the 25-yard line, but they're great seats, about 30 rows up and deep into a row, so people who are going out to the concession stand or the bathroom don't trample me, and my view is never blocked, unless the person in front of me stands up to cheer, which is cool by me, because it means the Hokies are doing something good.

My point is, get on board now, get some seats you like, and unless you drop your donation level, you won't have to give up your seats until they drag your cold, dead body out of them.  At least for now - odds are, when they expand Lane Stadium a few years from now, they'll obliterate the current priority levels and will open the seating back up for reprioritization, and it'll be every man for himself (don't have a cow - that's just my guess).


Friday Night Pre-Spring Game Bash at Boomer's / GRSC

N2 announced on the message board yesterday that there will be an event at Greg Roberts Sports Club / Boomer's Deli in Roanoke that you won't want to miss if you can help it.

Greg will have special guest speakers Bill Roth (from 7-8 pm), and from 8-9 pm, VT Defensive Coordinator Bud Foster (a.k.a. "VT's next head coach") and Defensive Line Coach Charlie Wiles will be speaking!  As always, there will be door prizes, and lots of great food and drink.

There will be a nominal cover charge, probably in the $5 range, but that hasn't been set yet.  Come as early as you can, because this event will have a limit on attendance and it WILL fill up!

Boomer's Deli / Greg Roberts' Sports Club
7226 Williamson Road
NE Roanoke
(540) 563-4956

From I-81, take the 581 exit into Roanoke, take the second Peter's Creek Road exit which will be Rt. 117 North, stay on Peter's Creek until it "T"
intersects with Williamson Road. Boomer's / GRSC is on the right of the "T" intersection in a small strip shopping center called Market Square North (I think that's what it's called). You can't miss it!

See you HokieCentral nuts there!  N2 will be doing the sound for this event, and Mrs. HokieCentral has cleared me for takeoff, so I'll be there!   Don't forget...COME EARLY!!


Other Stuff:  Sweet 16 T-shirts, etc.

I'm still in a holding pattern on the Sweet 16 T-shirts, awaiting licensing approval from the NCAA.  That should happen without any other snags, the question is just when.  So for those of you who have outstanding orders, it's being worked, so hang tight.

Now that the last spring scrimmage has taken place, things in Blacksburg have quieted down.  In non-rev sports, the softball team is tearing it up, having won 11 in a row, as of an April 12th sweep of St. Joe's.  The softball team now stands at a remarkable 37-12 on the season, 4-0 in the Atlantic 10, according to

The baseball team thumped Radford 17-7 on Tuesday at Radford University (a scant three-minute drive from my house, if that long).  The baseball team is hitting a groove as well - they have a 21-12 record after starting out 2-5.  The Atlantic 10 web site shows Tech in first place in the A-10 West, leading GW by a half-game.

Here at HokieCentral, I've been spending my time doing behind the scenes stuff.  I have moved some of the archives from the free portion of the site over to the Members Only web site, and I have started work on a Members Only article about the women's basketball team that I promised a couple of weeks back.   That will have to get finished this week, because, of course, the Spring football game will eat up the whole weekend (but that's a good thing).

I have also been working on the latest item for the Hokie Stuff page - it's a T-shirt (yes, another T-shirt) that will be unique and that I know you'll enjoy.  And this time, I promise I'll get Licensing approval before I start taking orders!


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