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I would say finishing the West Endzone in a timely fashion and give Littlejohn a facelift. Improve basketball facilities.
Absolutely agree finishing the WEZ is priority #1. As far as renovating LJ, I think only so much lipstick can be put on that pig. Georgia Tech's new arena will be one of the premier facilities in the ACC when it opens next month. I propose that it's time to scrap Littlejohn and build a new facility in the pit (Lot 5) behind the WEZ.
Hear me out on this.
What I'm proposing is to take Lot 5 and build a new basketball arena, offices and practice facility in addition to a parking deck to offset parking losses.
The big complaint about a parking deck is "people don't want to tailgate in a parking deck". Well there are thousands of people who come to Clemson every game day who don't tailgate for one reason or another. They head downtown, they tailgate with friends elsewhere, or they just show up for the game and then leave. These folks should be parking in the deck, opening up better tailgate spots to those who want to party and hang out.
Every Saturday as I walk to the game, I pass numerous spots along the Avenue of Champions and Centennial Boulevard that aren't being used for tailgating. These people should be parking in a deck. Then those spots can be used to help offset tailgate spots lost in Lot 5 and move donor parking closer to the stadium.
Make the deck a lower IPTAY donor threshold and give it direct access to both Death Valley and the new basketball arena. It can also be used to provide sheltered parking to student commuters so they don't have to stand out on the rain waiting for the CatBus.
To me it's a win for Clemson Basketball, a win for Clemson Football tailgaters, and a win for Clemson Students.
Jerry Oberholtzer | @JOber247 | Clemson.247Sports.com
Sparky, cant say I disagree lol! I think job one for Rad is very simple. Re-connect the AD department with Iptay members, those who have quit or are disenchanted with the "way" things have been handled under TDP. Clemson has always been a family, many have been turned off by Barker and TDPs arrogant and stand offish attitudes. If he (Rad) can "bring" the family back together and into agreement, he, in my opinion, has accomplished his first big mission at Clemson!
Jober247 ... Agree 100% but man what a way to create a divide in the fanbase from Day 1.
Littlejohn should have been torn down and replaced when we built the annex and the roof almost collapsed. In fact, several engineers have told me that it should have been predicted and we could have replaced it all for what ended up spending on a bandaid. The roof issues were there forever, I remember a question of whether or not it could be used for graduation one year in the late 80's before some repairs were done. A lot of this was due to the fact that Littlejohn was built directly by the state when they built the old Carolina Colosseum and it always had more state oversight than any other building on campus.
I agree that there is not much you can do to it without tearing it down. When the roof was off, there were some opportunities but we didn't have the money and Barker was using bonding that the AD could have accessed for other projects on campus.
If it were to be replaced, no need to move it. Replace it where it is. However, I don't see much support for that today. I would say we need to finish out the WEZ, continue upgrading gameday atmosphere and work on parking options. TV is a huge competitor to us selling tickets now and will only be a bigger issue in the future. Build some party parking further out with lots of amenities and door to door shuttle service to the gate of the stadium. Continue to up the connectivity in the stadium. Get rid of the crappy clemson guest wifi that you have to log into every time your phone goes to sleep and put in a gameday wifi service. Then put an app out that can let fans pick replay on demand on their phones and tablets. Interactivity is where it is going and we need to get ahead of that curve.
Build the basketball facility that is on the drawing board ASAP and if it is on the books for 5 million, double that budget and really make it first class. Add a training table for basketball. IF Brownell can really up the basketball program over the next 4-5 years, then I think you look to replace Littlejohn. On basketball notes, I would schedule games during Thanksgiving and Christmas break in Greenville at the Bi-Lo center. If the students are not on campus, play in a bigger population center. Work with the transportation companies in Greenville to have some cheap bus rides over and back. Include a ticket in the price if you want. Push group sales for games that are not going to sell out and include dinner in the West Zone or some other kind of perk that makes it an 'event' for the group. For goodness sake, look at the top minor league baseball teams and take notes! Immediately meet with the academic folks and work out a way to arrange big, night time tests to be scheduled for non-home basketball games during the ACC season.
Change the ticket pricing strategy immediately. Raise the price of the best 10% of the tickets in the stadium. Lower the price of the upper deck corners. It is a shame that the SEP just got re-done, but I would immediately look at it and set the real value of the premium seats. No way a front row seat in the lower deck is worth close the same as one at the portal level. That is just asinine. Again, get on group sales. Set up deals to have a ticket, a hot dog and a coke for $20. Work to fill that stadium every week.
Now that the tickets are barcoded for football and basketball, create some kind of reward program for people that use their tickets the most. Especially in basketball. Make it important to people to make sure their tickets are used.
Get ahead of the curve when our media rights come up again. If that isn't for a while, try to renegotiate the current deal or incentivize the partner to take advantage of the web. The fact that we put up impediments for internet broadcasts of our events is just stupid. We need to figure out how to make ads work on those broadcasts and put them out there. You connect so many more people with Clemson when you make it easy for those that are far away to hear/see the games. Approach ESPN and try to work out some kind of ESPN3/Watch ESPN subscription deal so that fans can pay $100 a year to have access to all broadcasts no matter who their provider is...
I could go on all day, but those things pop in my mind for immediate action.
Good stuff '89 Tiger.
As to the question at hand I agree football is king at Clemson and should always be the priority. The basketball practice facility is "1b", as we need to get that moving to improving recruiting, but football related projects such as the WEZ completion and other actions that enhance the gameday experience would be top of the list IMO.
Jody Whitt | Clemson 247Sports
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