Nevada postpones re-seating plan | NevadaAppeal.com

Nevada postpones re-seating plan

RENO ” Tough economic times have caused University of Nevada athletic officials to postpone indefinitely their plan to re-seat Lawlor Events Center for Nevada basketball games.

Nevada, using its priority points system, was going to re-seat Lawlor prior to the 2009-10 season. According to Cary Groth, Nevada’s athletic director, the school will re-evaluate its direction once the economy gets better.

The priority points system was started two years ago, according to Rory Hickok, associate athletic director. Donors get points based on how much money they contribute, how many years they have held season tickets, if they are a Nevada graduate and if they are a letterman.

When the re-seating was first announced it wasn’t a popular decision. The school already puts a premium on season tickets based on location, and many people were upset at possibly being moved out of their current seats.

Groth admitted that several donors came to her with concerns about the plan.

“We have listened to our fans and decided to postpone the re-seating plan,” Groth said. “The economy has had a tremendous effect on all of us at a national, state and local level, and everyone, including the university, and in turn, the athletics department, is facing severe cutbacks and financial uncertainty.

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“While generating revenue is more important than ever for us, we need to be there for our fans and understand the economic challenges they face.”

Groth said that recent state cuts have left Nevada with $1 million less for athletics. She said that cuts have affected the athletic department. When people leave, jobs are not being filled.

Groth said that donors will continue to receive priority points for their contributions, and that the university will continue to use the points system for post-season ticket allocation, donor parking assignments and seating upgrades as they become available.

Nevada basketball coach Mark Fox said he supported the school’s decision.

“I think the community has been great to the (basketball) team,” Fox said. “I think that the team has been great for the community.”

In fact, Fox had suggested to university officials that they sell a block of tickets for $5 each. The university has decided, except for the UNLV and North Carolina games to sell 100 tickets at $10 apiece starting one hour before tip-off.

That plan is to attract people that may not be able to afford full price for a ticket or wants to go at the last minute.

“The support of Wolf Pack fans have helped to build our basketball program,” said Butch Anderson, the president of the Athletics Association at the University of Nevada in a prepared statement. “It’s important to show them the same level of support and sensitivity.”

– Contact Darrell Moody at dmoody@nevadaappeal.com, or by calling (775) 881-1281

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