Wednesday night was the first night that ticket holders, or anyone, could learn about the new reseating plan at WVU's Coliseum. Athletic representatives were on hand to help people understand how they'll be affected. Athletic Director Oliver Luck said this is a way for them to bring as much equity and fairness into the seating program - which is set to begin next season.
Big-money donors will have a better view. The coliseum, which has 14,000 seats, is more than 40 years old. In all that time there's never been a reseating plan, which Luck said should happen every 20 or 25 years. He said the system will be based on points, which are decided by many factors. It will also limit you from being able to buy tickets from a single person. That way they can make sure loyal fans get priority.
"We are running into the problem where new donors, folks who are giving us good money, I mean 25, 30, $40,000 a year were not able to get seats in the lower bowl. That's a problem because folks that donate big dollars expect and probably deserve to have better seats," said Luck.
The new points system will be determined by your donations to the school, longevity, if you're faculty and other factors. Virginia Tech, University of Virginia, James Madison and other schools operate on a similar scale, which Luck says they've studied. "If you look at those schools, they've all effectively done pretty much the same thing."
One woman who's been attending games for more than 30 years said she was shocked at first, but after learning she could upgrade her seats should she want to, she's ok with the plan.
"I'm fine with what they've done. You know it's all about the donors, and it's about donating your money. If you want to sit in a certain seat, you're going to have to pay to sit there. That's the way it is in big basketball and football across the country," said Jeanie McNabb-Jenkins.
Another woman has been going to games all her life. She's also a proud donor. "For the most part I think it's a good thing. There will be people upset about it because they probably have good seats now and aren't donors. I'm halfway up in the upper deck, so I expect it to benefit me based on the points system," said Jeanne Wooten from Martinsburg.
But a man who's been giving money to the Mountaineer Athletic Club for almost 20 years said he'll be giving his money to another organization.
"Unless I'm willing to donate several more thousand dollars on a yearly basis, I can't keep the seats, and they aren't even sideline seats. But I can't keep those, I'm not good enough anymore, and they've actually made the decision easy for me," explained Chris Stout from Elkins.
If you weren't able to catch the open house, there will be another on February 23rd and March 9th before the games.
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