Randy York's N-Sider
If you like envisioning the future before buildings are built, seats are installed and new eras begin, your time is now. All you need is a ticket to any of Nebraska's last four home basketball games of the season – the men’s last two home games and the women’s last two home games. Any one of those four tickets is your invitation to view an architectural model of the Pinnacle Bank Arena under construction in Lincoln's downtown West Haymarket Area.
Fans with tickets to those games can see the PBA model in the Hendricks Training Complex, adjacent to the Bob Devaney Sports Center, two hours before the men’s games and 90 minutes before the last two women’s games. That will give both sets of fans a viable “sneak peek” of the arena.
Husker fans also will gain a better grasp of what tickets they would like to purchase when Pinnacle Bank Arena opens in the fall of 2013. Even though season ticket holders already qualify for comparable seats in the new arena, fans are inspecting prospects and making decisions for additional seats by adding their names to the 2013 Men's Basketball Waitlist and to the 2013 Women's Basketball Waitlist.
Architectural Model a Highly Detailed Depiction
The architectural model is a highly detailed depiction of both the inside and the outside of the structure. It was unveiled in December at the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce offices. Husker men’s fans have two opportunities to view the model: on Saturday beginning at 2 p.m. before the 4 p.m. tip-off against Illinois at the Devaney Center and on Wednesday, Feb. 29, beginning at 6 p.m. before the 8 p.m. tip-off against Iowa.
Husker women fans can use their tickets to see the model at the Hendricks Complex, beginning Sunday at 11:30 a.m. before Nebraska hosts Wisconsin at 1 p.m. The second chance for women’s fans will be Sunday, Feb. 26, beginning at 1:30 p.m. before the Huskers’ 3 p.m. regular-season finale against Ohio State.
“We’re well aware that fans of both basketball teams want to see what they’ll be transitioning into when we move out of the Devaney Center and into the Pinnacle Bank Arena, and we’re excited to show them,” said Marc Boehm, Nebraska’s executive associate athletic director in charge of both basketball programs.
“The city built this model to give fans a bird’s-eye view of the new arena both from the inside and on the outside,” Boehm said. “Our Administrative staff, Huskers Athletic Fund staff and Ticket Office staff are looking forward to meeting fans in the lobby of the Hendricks Complex and answering any questions they may have regarding the arena. This model is very helpful. Fans want to envision the comparable views they can expect in the new arena’s configuration, and this gives them a very good idea.”
Boehm said the arena model is sufficiently sophisticated and detailed enough to pinpoint specific sections, rows, even seats.
Letters, Emails Inform Donors, Ticket Holders
Paul Meyers, associate athletic director of the Huskers Athletic Fund, and Holly Adam, assistant athletic director of the NU Ticket Office, co-authored a letter to Nebraska season ticket holders for the men's basketball program. They also sent an email to men's and women's basketball season ticket holders as well as fans who have bought single-game tickets to the final Husker men’s and women’s games.
In the letter, Meyers and Adam point out that students will have seats on the side court behind the team benches. For men's basketball, there also will be an end-court section for students. According to the letter, there will be an opportunity to request a change in seating location after this initial process has been completed. All requests and locations will be awarded in the following order: 1) Availability; 2) annual basketball-specific per-seat contribution; and 3) priority points and years of purchase.
Men's basketball ticket holders who received the letter this week were able to confirm what they already expected: A basketball-specific (Rebounders Club) contribution requirement will be attached to seating located in the lower bowl and a portion of the upper-bowl seats of the arena. However, contributions being made for other sports or for other sport season tickets will not be applied to new seats at PBA.
“There will be some seating available in the upper bowl level that will not require an annual per-seat contribution,” Meyers said, adding that fans with questions regarding current giving levels and the distribution of their contributions can contact the Huskers Athletic Fund or the Nebraska Athletic Ticket Office at 800-8-BIGRED.
Athletic Department Selling Seats, Not Suites
Meyers and Adam said the Nebraska Athletic Department is in charge of selling courtside seats, club seats and all general seats in the arena for both men’s and women’s basketball games. Legends Sales and Marketing, which reports to the City of Lincoln, is organizing and selling suites and loge seating at PBA.
Meyers said accounts that receive club seating for Nebraska basketball will have an opportunity to work with the city-based group to purchase the concert and event package.
While Nebraska works diligently to plan for the future of Husker basketball, the Athletic Department has not lost sight of the current season. Both Husker teams are working to finish as strongly as possible before the Big Ten Women’s Tournament March 1-2-3-4 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis and the Big Ten Men’s Tournament at the same site a week later (March 8-9-10-11).
“Even though we’ve communicated with our season ticket holders and invited them to get a glimpse of a future game day at Pinnacle Bank Arena, we remain committed to this season,” Boehm said. “Fans who buy tickets to our last two home games are invited to visit us in the Hendricks. Once they get inside our new practice facility and see the architectural model for future game days, I think they’ll understand why we’re excited.”
In the meantime, Boehm said promotions will continue in the stretch drive of the men’s and women’s seasons. Saturday’s men’s game against Illinois will include a popular halftime performance, the K.C. Disc Dogs, known for their ability to fly to and catch airborne Frisbees. Each ticket purchased to the Illinois game will be good for free general admission to the Sunday women’s game against Wisconsin. Fans are encouraged to wear pink in support of breast cancer awareness, and pink pom-poms will be handed out at the door to support the Play4Kay Day promotion.
Women’s Senior Day Feb. 26, Men’s Feb. 29
In addition, the Sunday, Feb.26 women’s home game against Ohio State will be Senior Night for Kaitlyn Burke and Harleen Sidhu, two natives of British Columbia, Canada. Hopefully, Nebraska will still be in contention for a Big Ten title, and the coaching staff has asked for a White Out with red pom-poms handed out at the door – a fitting contrast for Big Ten Network cameras.
On Wednesday, Feb. 29, the Nebraska men’s regular-season home finale against Iowa will be Senior Night for four Husker starters – Toney McCray, Brandon Richardson, Bo Spencer and Caleb Walker. The first 1,000 Big Red fans through the Devaney Center doors will receive a free Souvenir cup good for free Pepsi product refills at concession stands.
“Our goal,” Boehm said, “is to attract as many Husker fans as possible, so they can visualize what our new game day home will look like 20 months from now. We believe the Pinnacle Bank Arena will have a profound impact on our basketball recruiting. We also believe that our new state-of-the-art facility will make the Nebraska game day experience better than it has ever been for our students, our season ticket holders and for all other fans who buy tickets and support our teams.”
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