Ask the AD -- August Edition

    Mario Moccia

    Mario Moccia

    Aug 30, 2013

    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 to saluki1@me.com.

    Have you found a title sponsor so that a trophy can be awarded to the winner of the SIU-SEMO football game at Busch Stadium?

    Southeast Health is the title sponsor of the SIU versus SEMO game. We are in discussions with SEMO regarding a possible trophy presentation, which would be a fun competition for the teams and their fans, plus provide added recognition for our sponsor.

    For many years, the PA announcer gave the scores of conference games and games of interest at halftime (Big Ten, MAC). Seems like now all we get is loud, annoying music and no scores. Can we please have the scores back?

    During every home football and basketball game, we are always sure to include the scores of games of interest. At halftime and at various points in the game, the scores are either read by our PA announcer or displayed on the video boards. If you don't happen to see or hear scores at halftime, we always give scores at the end of the third quarter of football and sometimes in the second half of basketball games.

    What were the determining factors for the amount of seating for the new stadium? It seems to be on the smaller side. Also, will it be possible to view games from the bleachers located at the new track and field complex?

    The entire project really came down to money. While we would have loved to have had more seating, the stadium design is modular, allowing us to add more bleacher seating and increase the size of the grandstands in the future, if there is sufficient demand and available financing. We have raised $1.9 million to date and expect the project to cost between $4-4.5 million. Our goal was to reach the half-way mark (with the other half coming from a University loan). We are especially excited that the project includes a new, state-of-the-art field turf, as well as lights for night games.

    Good question on the track bleachers. Games certainly will be visible from there, but we don't plan to add seats in the outfield at this time. We are going to build a fence around the entire stadium and sell season and single-game tickets for the first time in the program's history.

    How will "The Hill" be enhanced with the new baseball stadium? Will admission be charged for The Hill? Will alcohol be served?

    From our discussions with fans, former players, former coaches and former administrators, the general sentiment was that The Hill should be left alone. Their opinion was that there is nothing wrong with The Hill, in fact, it was the only thing about Abe Martin field that was right! When planning the stadium construction and improvement of the field, grandstands, and press box, we made a concerted effort to minimize the impact of those improvements on The Hill. The Hill experience will be enhanced by a permanent concession stand and new restrooms within the stadium concourse. Of course, the purists are welcome to continue to use the green bunker restroom building behind the stadium -- that will remain as-is!

    Yes, we intend to charge admission for all seating at Itchy Jones Stadium, including The Hill. Entrance to The Hill will continue to be contingent on the weather, so we don't damage the path to and from The Hill during long periods of rain. We have had brief discussions on the subject of beer but are a long way from making a decision.