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May 27, 2009
Tech fans once again gobble up season tickets; club seats remain

Sold out ... again.

Virginia Tech officials announced today that all season tickets for the 2009 football season have been sold out, marking the 10th consecutive year Tech has sold its entire allotment of regular-season tickets.

“It’s a unique situation,” said Sandy Smith, Tech’s assistant AD for ticketing services. “We’re in the minority in than not many schools in the country can sell out every game on a season-ticket basis for 10 straight years.”

After winning back-to-back ACC titles and returning a team that could be ranked in the preseason top 10, it’s not surprising that Tech fans snapped up every ticket. However, at the recent ACC spring meetings, officials at several schools raised concerns about how the economy was affecting their ticket sales for this coming season. At Virginia Tech, apparently, there will not be a drop off.

“We always have some attrition, usually between two and three percent,” Smith said.

This year roughly four percent of 2008 season ticket holders did not renew for 2009, but since the waiting list for tickets far exceeds the availability, some Hokie Club members will be able to purchase tickets for this fall when they couldn’t in 2008.

“Last year, we had Hokie Club members who donated at the $1,000 level (Silver Hokie) and did not get season tickets,” Smith said. “This year, some of those donors will be able to purchase tickets.”

While the stadium is officially sold out, a limited number of premium season club seats remain available in both the indoor and outdoor clubs on the west side of Lane Stadium. Those seats require an annual seat gift commitment of $2,000 per seat (indoor clubs) or $1,500 per seat (outdoor club), plus the cost of each season ticket. A 2009 football season ticket costs $288.

If you haven’t been there, the indoor club seating area is beautifully decorated with richly detailed wood trim and luxurious appointments in a climate-controlled setting. Each seat features a plush, upholstered chair-back and provides a great view of the game. Indoor club tickets holders also have elevator access, private restrooms, and high-end concessions with specialized food choices.

The outdoor club seats, which are at midfield, allow access to the climate-controlled room with private restrooms, multiple television monitors and the high-end concessions.

So, if you’re looking for great seats, with the option of sitting outside or inside and moving around during the game, then the club seats are a perfect option.

As for the rest of the stadium, it’s gone.

“Basically, all we have left are the 4,300 seats that, by contract, we have to allot to the visiting team,” Smith said. “If the visitor doesn’t use all those tickets, they’ll return them and we will put them on public sale to our fans.”

Smith wasn’t aware of many schools in the country that completely sell out their entire allotment of both football and men’s basketball facilities on a season-ticket basis. Tech has sold out Cassell Coliseum in advance for each of the past five years.

“In the ACC, I’m not sure who else might do that,” he said. “I think, nationally, Ohio State might and perhaps a few others, but it’s unusual.”

Meanwhile, ticket sales for the Hokies’ season-opening game against Alabama have been very solid through this week as well. Smith says Tech has sold approximately 23,000 tickets to the game at the Georgia Dome. Tickets for that game have been made available to only season ticket holders and Hokie Club members at this point. Tech’s allotment for this game is roughly 31,000 seats.

Hey Bill,

Glad to see the mailbag back. I wonder how you and those you speak with in the athletics department view the trend of the past several years of a segment of VT students and alums becoming much more vocal -- militantly, sometimes -- about their negative perceptions, whether or not those perceptions can be backed up by facts. The kid who ambushed Beamer during a Hokie Hotline comes to mind. Is it inherent in a successful program? Is it the instant-access new media that fertilizes instant, poorly nourished opinion? Is it the Internet megaphone with no accountability? Maybe a combination? I and a lot of other Hokies would be interested in your observations. Craig Nesbit, Naperville, Illinois.

Craig,

Interesting question. An “instant-access new media that fertilizes instant, poorly nourished opinion” could apply to many aspects of the ‘Twitter-era,’ not just sports, wouldn’t you agree?

I wouldn’t consider overly passionate fans to be militant, but perhaps, at times, some can lose perspective on things. The Internet gives fans a platform for all issues, from politics to sports, and that’s a good thing for the most part. I like passionate fans who truly care, and who tailgate like crazy and spend way-too-much money on their grill because they insist on having the “VT” cover. I think it’s great when fans don’t think twice about dropping $25 on a martini at The Clevelander because the place is packed with Hokies, or who name their dogs “Bruce” or “Royal” for obvious reasons.

For some however, beating UVa nine out of 10 isn’t enough. Winning the ACC seems trivial. Winning 10 or 11 games each season doesn’t satisfy. We all strive for more -- from our players to our coaches to our administrators. And while most fans totally recognize and appreciate that effort and those lofty goals, some thirst for ‘world domination’ like one of those egomaniacal characters in a James Bond film. (Fortunately for us all, James and Dr. Holly Goodhead saved the day in Moonraker.)

Bill,

Thank you for thinking outside the sidelines with your Roth Kroger Report on how media coverage of the Hokies is adjusting to new technologies and reduced budgets. We sports fans often complain about coverage of our Hokies without understanding that sports reporting is a business and businesses must evolve or perish. Perish the thought that Virginia's media outlets should abandon coverage of the Hokie Nation. Charlie Connor, Midlothian, Va.

Charlie,

Well said! There’s never been more information available about the Hokies and other ACC teams. And most of it is right at our fingertips.

Bill,

Thanks for your excellent reporting. I will miss Hank Thorns. His skills and enthusiasm made him fun to watch. I enjoyed the article on news sharing by the various news sources. My best friend and I sat in my new truck and listened to the Nebraska game on XM radio that night. (our wives were not pleased, however). We couldn't get the game on TV in Delaware. Mike Jamison, Springfield, Va.

Mike,

I’ll miss Hank’s enthusiasm, too. He’s a good kid and we’ll all follow him closely wherever he lands. Thanks for listening and enjoy the new truck!

Bill,

Not a question, but a comment. Now that Michael Vick is out of prison, the Hokie Nation should step forward and offer to help him get his life back on track. No one would agree that what he did was right, but if you had a good friend get in trouble with the law, you wouldn't abandon him, but try to help him straighten out his life. Let's remember, the Hokie Nation owes a lot to Michael Vick. He is by far the single player who propelled VT to the national prominence it has held for the past decade. If he is willing to fly right, we should be willing to stand with him. Steve Lay, Hackettstown, N.J.

Steve,

Like you, I am hoping the Michael Vick story has a happy ending. I’m confident he’ll get the support he needs from his family, and that includes his extended Hokie Family too.

Bill,

If the season started today, our starting offensive line would be what? Dan Porter, Pittsburgh, Pa.

Well, remember left guard Sergio Render is coming off shoulder surgery and was held out of spring ball. I don’t know if he could play today (May 29), but he should be ready to go for preseason camp in August, which I’m guessing is your real question. For August, it probably looks like this: LT: Ed Wang; LG: Render; C: Beau Warren; RG: Jaymes Brooks; RT: Blake DeChristopher. That’s a pretty experienced group coming back. Offensive line coach Curt Newsome feels like he has more depth on his offensive line this fall, which should help in a big way.

Bill,

Thanks for bringing the mailbag back. It’s always neat to read what other fans think. Unusual question: Any plans on having Metallica play live at a home football game? It might be the best sports song that is associated with a single team ever recorded. When people hear that song, they think HOKIES FOOTBALL!Thanks. You da man. Matt Smith, Fairfax, Va.

Hi, Matt. As of now, there are no plans to bring in Metallica for a home game. Best song ever recorded for a single team? That’s got to be Meet the Mets.

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