LSU's Tiger Stadium Likely Done Expanding, AD Focused On Fan Experience
LSU AD Joe Alleva yesterday said that the third major expansion of 90-year-old Tiger Stadium since '00 "may be the last," according to Scott Rabalais of the Baton Rouge ADVOCATE. Alleva said that the addition of suites, club seats and a 1,500-seat upper deck on the stadium's south end are "pushing capacity from 92,542 to just over 100,000." Alleva said, "Unless things change significantly, I can’t see us ever needing an(other) addition." He added that the "current and future focus is about improving the fan experience" in efforts to "stop or even reverse the gradual leaching of ticket-buying fans to seats in their living rooms in front of their massive high-definition TVs." Alleva said that Tiger Stadium's capacity someday "may be reduced by installing bigger, more comfortable seats." He also said that traffic and parking "remain the two biggest areas of complaint for LSU fans." Meanwhile, Alleva said that the school's athletic budget will "again be over" $100M, including an annual $7.2M donation "to the academic side of the university." He added that he could "envision beer sales being extended to the general seating areas in the future." Alleva also said that LSU will "eventually spend as much as" $2M getting ready for the SEC Network launch (Baton Rouge ADVOCATE, 5/13). Alleva said, "We needed to raise ticket prices to balance the budget for the season coming up. With our setup costs and the uncertainty of the network, if we didn't raise ticket prices we wouldn't have been able to balance the budget for this year, even with the network. My hope is over time the funds we get from the network will significantly reduce the need to raise ticket prices in the future. I'm not saying we won't raise ticket prices, but hopefully not as much" (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 5/13).