SBD/August 14, 2012/Facilities

Washington State Univ. Seeing Early Returns After Football Stadium Upgrades

WSU's upgrades include additional seating at Martin Stadium, new football ops building
Washington State Univ. Senior Associate AD John Johnson predicts that the football team will have its "first sellout in five years" for the Sept. 8 home opener following $65M in upgrades to Martin Stadium and the addition of new head coach Mike Leach, according to Howie Stalwick of the Tacoma NEWS TRIBUNE. The venue's new capacity will be "about 33,522," which is up from 32,248 last year. More than 13,000 season tickets "have been sold -- an increase of 3,000 from a year ago." WSU also has plans for a $15M football operations building, which the school expects "to be approved in time to start construction at the end of the season." No tax dollars "are being used for either football project." Bonds, donations and "millions of dollars of revenue generated by the new Pac-12 television contracts will cover most of the bills" (Tacoma NEWS TRIBUNE, 8/14). Johnson said that, when all the "new luxury seats are sold, they will be worth about $3 million a year to the athletic department." He added that "all 21 of the luxury suites are spoken for, as are 42 of the loge boxes." The AP's Nicholas Geranios noted, "All of the indoor club seats are sold, although some outdoor club seats remain." Johnson said that the school's next phase of improvements "is a $60 million addition to consolidate all football offices" (AP, 8/13).

COWBOY UP: In Oklahoma City, Gina Mizell notes Oklahoma State Univ. football has sold 36,668 public season tickets, "setting a new public sales record for the second consecutive year." The sales are "an increase of last year's mark of 36,651." The next "key number to surpass is the total number of season tickets sold to the public and students of 48,714." For the "first time, OSU hired a three-person staff of retention representatives this year to focus on working with season-ticket holders to ensure they would renew for 2012" (OKLAHOMAN, 8/14).
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