Georgia Tech's McCamish Pavilion Opens After $50M Retrofit; New Club Seats Added
Georgia Tech's on-campus arena "reopened as McCamish Pavilion last week after a $50 million retrofit that brings fans much closer to the action," according to Don Muret of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. The centerpiece of the project, the "500-seat Callaway Club, is part of a reconfigured seating bowl that hugs the court compared with the facility's original circular seat pattern." School officials said that fixed seating is "now 8,600, down from the initial setup of 9,191 seats." That includes "a new balcony that holds about 1,700 seats." The arena's 12 suites "were eliminated to help clear space to build three center sections of club seats on the arena's east side, opposite the team benches." The Callaway Club has "cushioned, theater-style seats with cup holders, and those premium patrons have access to a private lounge behind the seats." GT Athletic Association Premium Sales Dir Kyle Shields said that the school has "sold about 450 club seats." The cost is "$2,000 a seat per year, covering the price of season tickets, food and drink, and an annual donation." GT had "no problem marketing an improved courtside seat." Shields said that the 48 seats, "40 distributed along the east side and four along each baseline, were priced at $5,000 a seat per season and sold out in about an hour" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 11/12 issue).
GENERATING BUZZ: In Atlanta, Ken Sugiura noted GT's men's basketball game against Tulane Friday night was held "before a sellout crowd of 8,600 that included about 150 former players, coaches and staff." McCamish Pavilion, which "bears almost no resemblance to the Alexander Memorial Coliseum structure that it replaced, crackled with energy" (AJC.com, 11/9). Also in Atlanta, Mark Bradley noted the arena "was nice and bright and, at least for this one night, nearly full." If the arena "comes to house a serious basketball team the redo will have been worth the cost." McCamish gives GT "a momentum it hasn't known since the architects of the run to the 2004 NCAA championship game departed" (AJC.com, 11/9).