South End Zone Construction Update
by Will Stewart, TechSideline.com
March 26, 2002
The latest pictures, contributed by Chris Thomas, show that all ten raker beams have been poured, and seating is being placed on the upper deck. Some of the pictures also show the height relationship between the South end zone and West stands, as well as the proximity of the goal post to the stands.
Important Note Regarding West Side Expansion (added 3/26/02): In November of 2001, university administrators proposed a change to the West side expansion design. The original plans were for 36 luxury suites, 180 indoor club seats, and 1,650 outdoor club seats. VT proposed changing that to 18 luxury suites, 1,026 indoor club seats, and 1,650 outdoor club seats.
The change is being considered because a $25 million naming-rights benefactor did not come forward by Nov. of 2001. With the proposed changes, VT would still require $10 million in donations, but as long as 80 percent of the premium seats sold, that would generate an addition $1.6 million annual revenue, when compared with the previous configuration, that would help pay for the overall expansion (the quoted figures are taken from a Roanoke Times article by Kevin Miller printed on 11/13/01).
The changes would increase the cost of the project by $2 million, from $45.8 million to $47.8 million. At the time (Nov. 2001), the proposed changes were put aside until VT officials could see how premium seat sales for the South end zone went, in order to get a feel for how much demand there is for premium club-type seats. VT officials felt they would have plenty of sales data from the South end zone and would be able to make a decision on proposed West side changes during spring or summer (2002) meetings.
Cost analysis: Luxury suites are $47,000 annually, and if you assume the indoor club seats are $2700 annually (a figure quoted in the Roanoke Times on 11/13/01), the income breaks down like this:
Club seat sales for the South end zone, as of March 2002, had gone very well, so it is our conjecture that the changes proposed here will be adopted.