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Volume 20 No. 46
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Wright State targets groups with its new baseline buffet

Wright State University officials have developed a banquet-style hospitality space behind the north basket at Nutter Center.

The Raider Party Deck, a retrofit designed by John Cox, assistant director of operations for the Dayton, Ohio, arena, is reserved for single-game group sales at men’s basketball games. The cost is $650 a game plus food and beverage fees of $9 to $13 a person for a group of 50 people.

The new layout puts 10 tables beyond one basket on Nutter Center’s court.
The flexible space could accommodate up to 120 people if necessary by setting up more tables in addition to selling standing-room tickets, said Jake Vernon, president of Get Real Sports Sales, the firm that the Horizon League school hired to sell ticket sales.

As of last week, the event-level party deck had been sold for eight of Wright State’s 14 home games, Vernon said.
The deck is a temporary space built on a platform four to six feet above event level. In general, there are 10 circular tables with 10 cushioned folding chairs at each table.

Of those 10 tables, the three in front are reserved for Raider Club donors, said Mark Gazdik, Wright State’s associate athletic director. Those donors had seats and a buffet meal in the area last season before their space was upgraded.

“This year we were talking about different options for hospitality and saw an opportunity to give a different experience for groups,” Gazdik said. “It’s innovative and puts them close to the action. We reconfigured the entire area without cutting any benefits for donors.”

The party deck opened Nov. 16 for the first regular-season game. It caught the attention of fans in attendance, some of whom asked about how to gain access to the new premium space, Gazdik said.

Wright State officials are developing signs for the deck with information on purchasing the premium space.

Ovations Food Services, the arena’s concessionaire, offers five meal packages for the Raider Party Deck served buffet style.