User ID: Password:

June 11, 2013

Cassell Coliseum reseating set to get underway

By: Jimmy Robertson

After going through the reseating process for Lane Stadium, Tech fans shouldn’t have any reservations about going through the process for Cassell Coliseum.

After all, the process is practically the same.

Season ticket applications for the upcoming 2013-14 men’s and women’s basketball seasons have been mailed to all season ticket holders, including those not in the Hokie Club, and to all Hokie Club members. Those orders need to be returned by the June 24 deadline. Once the athletics department officials receive those orders, they plan on beginning the process for reseating Cassell Coliseum.

“I’m hoping that people will say, ‘Gosh, Syracuse is coming in (to the ACC), Pitt’s coming in, Notre Dame is going to be here, and next year, Louisville is going to be here, so let’s go ahead and get our good seats now,’” said Lu Merritt, the senior director of development for intercollegiate athletics and the one who oversees the Hokie Club. “This is going to be the best league in the country, and there’s a great opportunity to see some of the best college basketball you’ll ever see.”

The June 24 deadline for basketball season ticket orders is much earlier than in years past. Usually, the order form gets sent out in September. But the ticket office needs the extra time to coordinate the reseating process, as it did last year for the Lane Stadium reseating process.

Those who order basketball season tickets will receive a letter in July that gives them an appointment time, and they also will receive a “how-to” guide to reference when using the Ballena Technologies online system – the same system that the athletics department used in the reseating of Lane Stadium. This system allows customers to see available seating options beforehand and then choose from among the available options during their appointment times.

The appointment times will be in August. Smith said that he expects to ship season tickets in October well in advance of both teams’ season openers in early November.

“We feel like the process is straightforward,” said Sandy Smith, Tech’s assistant AD for ticketing services. “We want to give the customer the flexibility to decide where he or she wants to sit. Everyone has the same opportunity to see what’s available beforehand and then choose during the appointment time.”

The order of selection again will be determined based on where a customer ranks on the reseating “ladder.” This ladder recognizes a combination of both giving and continuous years of purchasing season tickets. In fact, those who have been a continuous season ticket purchaser since 1966 take the top spot on the ladder and get to retain their current seat location, if they so choose. Next comes contributors who rank as Benefactors, Century Champions, Golden Champions, Diamond and Platinum Hokies. Then, those who have purchased season tickets continuously between 42 and 45 years get to choose, followed by Golden Hokies and so forth.

Not all seats in Cassell Coliseum will be available for selection. Customers noticed this exact same thing in the Lane Stadium reseating process, and some questioned it. The athletics department sets aside blocks of seats to meet certain demands as required by contract.

For example, the visiting team receives a certain number of seats. Also, corporate sponsors to Tech athletics often receive tickets to both football and basketball games as part of their contracts.

Plus, the athletics department sets aside a block of seats for athletics department personnel, and also, the band and the students get certain portions of the coliseum.

There are a couple of things to be aware of as the reseating process for Cassell gets ready to begin. For starters, there will be separate selection processes for both men’s and women’s basketball. The ticket office plans on conducting the process for purchasers of men’s basketball season tickets first, and then conducting the process for purchasers of women’s basketball season tickets shortly thereafter. There is simply not a good way to combine the two for those who purchase season tickets of both sports.

Also, customers should be aware that they will not be selecting their parking spots for men’s and women’s basketball. The ticket office assigns lots based on where customers rank on the Hokie Club’s point priority system. Once in a particular lot, the customer may park in any available space, as there will not be assigned spaces.

“We’ll start with Lot 1 based on a customer’s point priority, and then move to Lot 4 (next to the softball field and outdoor track) and Lot 8 (the Litton-Reaves lot),” Smith said.

The athletics department encourages all those with questions about the Cassell Coliseum reseating process to visit a website dedicated for this purpose – The “how-to” guide can be downloaded from this site as well.