Written By: Steve Macy, NM State Associate Athletic Director
A Win is a Win, Unless it is Against Your Rival
Is it wrong to still be excited about the football win over UNM in Albuquerque? Add that to the big win over the Lobos in volleyball last night and it makes for a pretty good four-day stretch. It just goes to show that a win is not a win when it comes against one of your rivals… it tastes soooooo much better!
Between the euphoria, there is still a lot to work on, and not just in the current sports. With the bye week in football this coming weekend, we have been hammering away at men’s basketball. To be more accurate, we are busy making announcements about things we have been working months on relative to the upcoming season.
Starting last January, we undertook a massive assessment of our external relations operations. Collegiate Consulting was hired to come in and look at marketing, promotions, funding, staffing, effectiveness, best practices, pricing, etc. They used focus groups, meetings and surveys to collect opinions, while also looking at data pertaining to where we are, where we have been and the best way to get to where we all want to be. One of the major areas of concern was men’s basketball.
We wanted to know what needed to happen to make the Pan Am THE place to be for home men’s basketball games. While they are many things that will be tweaked to make the game experience better, several major recommendations came about:
1. Reduce the seating capacity to 8,000-9,000: they looked at comparative data from across the country, as well as our community size, alumni base, student population, 20 years of ticket sales data and demographics. To create a better environment for our fans, we needed to immediately implement a more intimate seating solution. Therefore, we have permanently closed the four upper corners of the arena, which will allow our fan base to sit closer together and give us a true home court advantage. The new configuration will allow for 8,994 seats in the Pan Am for basketball.
2. Reduce the prices in the upper deck: The reserved seats in the upper deck were $120 last year. This year they will be in line with general admission prices from last year at just $69. There will be no more general admission seating.
3. Upgrade ticket software technology to allow for a better system connected with the seat donation system. For those of you that have long been frustrated with having to renew your season tickets in person rather than online, you know this needs work. In addition, we all recognize that the donation levels need to be re-visited and with a new system this can be accomplished. The president has commissioned a committee to find the best solution for our needs. This is exciting news for the future.
4. Freeze ticket prices for this year and next year at last year’s prices. Done.
With the changes already done and the ones to come, we expect the Pan Am to regain its rightful place as the toughest place to play in the West and one of the most enjoyable atmospheres (for the home crowd, that is). I hope you join us this year in cheering your Aggies on to victory. Click here for complete ticket information.