Oct. 3, 2010
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.
Has any thought been given to hosting the Hawgs and Dawgs event during a Saturday home game? There are many Saluki supporters (motorcycle enthusiasts) that would love to participate in the event but because we live a substantial distance from Carbondale we are unable to make the trip for a game played during the middle of a work week.
As long as Black Diamond Harley is interested in sponsoring the event, we will continue to have Hawgs and Dawgs, as it has been a great promotion. As far as timing, we will not play another Thursday night home football game until at least 2014. Typically, we've played a Division II opponent as a Thursday night opener, but our philosophy on that has changed. We're now focusing on regional FCS teams such as SEMO, Eastern Illinois and perhaps Murray State. Those games have the potential to improve our standing for an at-large bid to the playoffs. So from now on, count on Hawgs and Dawgs to be a Saturday season-opening game.
Are the UnderArmour shirts worn at the Saluki Stadium induction ceremony available for purchase anywhere?
The team-issue polo that was worn at the Saluki Stadium dedication is a custom shirt from UnderArmour and is not currently available for retail purchase. The issue with UnderArmour is they do not have another school at this time that shares the same maroon color as we do, therefore, we must custom order these polos. We are working with UnderArmour to supplement this order, and perhaps by next season or sometime during basketball season, we will be able to supply a limited number of these polos through the Saluki team store outlets in the Arena lobby and the University Mall. We try to match the pattern and color as closely as possible with what is available through the retail division of UnderArmour.The issue centers around the patterns of the design from year to year. In order to get our color patterns for the choices by the coaches, the must be custom, unless they were to select the basic solid color.
Why is SIU is charging so much money for online webcasts for this football season? The audio used to be free.
The price for our streaming audio and video packages has remained the same for the past three seasons, and it is in line with what other Missouri Valley Conference schools are charging. The audio package costs $29.95, which averages out to pennies per game when you add up football, basketball, baseball and softball. There is also free programming available, such as the head coach's weekly radio show and Mike Reis' Saluki Sports Today.
Why did the team change songs when entering the field? I thought "Thunderstruck" was the greatest. Also, how come they didn't play "Hells Bells" on third down like they did at McAndrew.
With the move from McAndrew Stadium to Saluki Stadium, we looked at ways to improve the game experience while bringing over many of the traditions that developed at McAndrew. As we researched our options for the new video board, we found that "Thunderstruck" was no longer a unique introduction song (the Southern Illinois Miners use it as their theme song as well). With the concept of the bullet train intro, the instrumental version of "Enter Sandman" was selected to play along with the video. "Thunderstruck" is now part of our pre-game warm-up music. "Hells Bells" is one of the traditions that we have brought over to Saluki Stadium and has been played on key third downs this season.
The band seems to be in a very bad spot. You can't hear them at the north end of the stadium during the game. Are there any plans to move them?
We wanted the Marching Salukis to be a part of the student section first and foremost. Our decision to locate them in the middle of the student section was due to our desire to have them close to the opposing team, as well as playing toward the West side of the seating bowl. We could not have them directly behind the opposing team, due to conference rules. I know that the School of Music is trying to increase the membership of the band as well, and I'm sure they will be louder as they grow.
How much did the U of I pay us for the football game, and how much will we get for the basketball game in November?
We received $300,000 for the football game and will receive $80,000 for the basketball game that we are playing at the University of Illinois. This has been a tremendous help in an extremely difficult budget year. The University of Illinois Department of Athletics should be commended for keeping these dollars in state, unlike other state schools that often choose to pay guarantees to out-of-state institutions.
Now that Saluki Way is nearing completion, have there been any proposals for renovating Abe Martin Field?
We have worked with 360 architecture on some preliminary drawings. Our wish list for Abe Martin includes lights, new dugouts and bullpens, stands and a press box. When Saluki Way is completed and the University decides what they would like to do with the track, we will have a clearer picture regarding what, if anything, we can do to improve Abe Martin field. We would all like to see progress made, just to show recruits and alumni that we are moving in a positive direction in the sport of baseball from a facilities standpoint.
The changes on the outside of the arena seem to have a ways to go. Can you comment on what changes are yet to occur and when the expected completion dates are?
After consulting with JE Dunn, our construction management team, they provided a partial list of items yet to be completed:
- Metal panels on the west entrance
- Installation of the bronze Saluki dog
- Cleanup on east side of stadium
- Finish sidewalk at far south construction lot
- Site work by construction trailers
- Metal panel work on south side around elevator tower and south marquee
- Site lighting on the west side
- Aluminum and glass doors at the northwest corner of the Arena.
- New storefront at the south event level lobby with new doors.
- Finish plaster on the ceiling of the overhang outside of the south entrance
The exterior painting is 99 percent complete. There will be some spots to touch up following the metal panel and glass work.
Will there be an open house for the arena?
We will have the Grand Opening of SIU Arena on Thursday, Oct. 28, which will be the last dedication for our facilities. At some point in the month of October, we will announce when the "open house" for the general public for all of our new and renovated facilities will be. We will post this on our website SIUSalukis.com as well as in the press.