Jan. 30, 2009
This is the latest installment of our monthly feature called, "Ask the AD." If you have questions for Saluki Director of Athletics Mario Moccia, feel free to submit them by e-mail.
With construction of the new football stadium and renovations to the arena, is consideration being taken to improve traffic flow, improve the layout of the tailgating area and install outdoor lighting to easily see your way to and from parking areas?
Todd Sigler from the Department of Public Safety, Jason King the Associate AD for Game Operations and Facilities, and Phil Gatton who heads up the Physical Plant, have had many discussions on this topic. There have been discussions on where some additional parking might be added (potentially where the current Saluki Row is), a possible additional artery to U.S. 51 just north of the tennis courts, and several other possibilities. This isn't a main focus now, but will be once construction gets going in a few weeks. We are always looking to improve our ingress and egress to the stadiums and arena, as well as identifying the most vibrant place to have our tailgate area in 2010.
What is the rationale for scheduling a game on New Year's Eve in the evening?There were MVC games this year in the early afternoon on New Year's Eve, but Southern played at 7 p.m.
This was the first time we have played a New Year's Eve game in quite some time, and I am aware that out of 50+ games on that day, we were one of the latest (Wichita State played a home game at 7 p.m. as well). First off, I always consult with Chris Lowery on our game times to see what would be the best for our kids. For consistency sake, on a weeknight game, he likes the 7 p.m. start. With regards to our 5,000 season ticket holders, I assumed that even though it was New Year's Eve, some of them, if not many, would have to work a normal day from 8-5. I would have felt bad if we scheduled a game where someone who purchased a season ticket either couldn't go or would have to leave work early to get to the game. These were the main reasons we selected the traditional weeknight start time.
Players' names have been printed on the men's basketball uniforms for many years now. Is it possible the football team will add them?
It is possible, but that is up to our head coach, Dale Lennon. I know Coach came in with the "All In" concept and wanted to make sure that we were focusing on team versus individuals. We certainly have the ability to add this, but it is the head coaches call.
Why is it that the basketball coaches don't ever wear school colors? Even Bruce Weber will wear an orange jacket to show support for the school.
I've attend virtually all games -- home and away -- and I am pretty confident I have seen Chris Lowery in both maroon shirts as well as ties. Also, with he and Brad Korn being alums and former student-athletes, I know they have a great respect for the institution. In addition, with Rodney Watson and his 20+ years of service, I am sure he has a healthy amount of maroon ties. I know the coaches are focused on recruiting and coaching, and I am sure would like to receive any gifts of maroon ties from fans. I purchased a maroon jacket at the same store (Delbert's in Arthur, IL) where Bruce got his jacket, and I am trying to talk Chris into getting one as well. Perhaps this question will be the tipping point.
As I was driving past the Arena the other day, it occured to me how cool and festive it would look if the domed roof was painted to resemble a basketball. What do you think?
It certainly would be unique. With our budget of $83 million and the three projects that need to be completed with this money, we need to focus on the necessities before we look at doing things that are secondary in nature. I am confident that we will have included in the design some very unique Saluki items that will bring attention to the arena. I believe, from what I have seen in the bids so far, that a roof paint job of that magnitude, plus the maintenance that it would require, would be cost prohibitive. I appreciate the suggestion and keep them coming.
Have you considered reserving the first several rows around the entire lower bowl for students? This way, when a game is televised, cameras would show screaming students dressed in their school pride around the entire perimeter of the arena.
We have looked at several different models from a student seating standpoint. With the propensity of students to stand for most or all of the game, I believe the configuration of our remodeled arena wouldn't work too well. Our alumni and donor patrons would be almost immediately behind them, which would cause sightline problems. I have been to the Breslin Student Events Center (Michigan State) and Cameron Indoor (Duke) and their student seating is significantly separated from their alumni and donor seating. We do plan on having the students on the floor as they currently are. In addition, we currently have the highest percentage of student seating in the entire Missouri Valley Conference and plan to stay at No. 1 in that category with the renovated arena.
Saluki games televised on MVC-TV are found on Fox Sportsnet Midwest. No one outside that viewing area can watch live, so most of us are out of luck. Can anything be done to broaden the MVC-TV coverage?
I don't think this is possible from a coverage standpoint due to the way television distribution is set up. ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU just seem to have more distribution. I know it is an added cost, but I believe by purchasing the sports package on Dish Network or DirecTV would allow individuals outside the viewing area to receive more games.
Will the renovation to the Arena include a new floor? If so, will the old SIU logo be removed. You know, the one that looks like the Clarion symbol? And please tell us that the Clocktower logo will not be on the floor. We don't want to bore other teams from coming to the Arena.
The basketball floor will certainly contain new graphics, and the old ones will be stripped off. I would like to go with a much cleaner look that is friendly to television and clearly states that we are the Salukis. This is a ways down the road, but like everything, I am sure there will be a committee that assists us in deciding this.
There was a question in last month's Ask the AD regarding exit signs on the interstate. My answer pertained to billboards, and I would like to clarify that IDOT is in control of exit signs.