News Round-up

After a conversation with athletic director Terry Mohajir a few pieces of interesting news that aren't quite enough for their own stand alone story.

Season Tickets
As of last week only 70% of season ticket holders have renewed which would sound bad to someone not familiar with ASU but I'd say based on past experience that is probably a better renewal rate at this point than most years. Red Wolf fans are used to renewing late and it will be a hard habit to break. Even I renewed late this year.

The interesting news is that 20% of the season tickets sold so far are new purchases. If I remember my College Algebra correctly if renewals hit 100%, Arkansas State will be up about 17.5% in season ticket sales assuming no more new sales come in.

End Zone Facility Phases?
While Dr. Welch had left the door open a few weeks ago to the idea that the end zone facility might be built in phases, Mohajir says they are proceeding in the belief that it will be done as single project. Mohajir said that they are working up all the construction documents based on it being a single project. Fund-raising is taking place based on it being a single project as well.

Mohajir added that if it becomes a phased project the indoor practice facility would be the first phase.

Local Television
Arkansas State will be on ESPNU vs. Troy and either ESPN or ESPN2 vs UL Lafayette. The Auburn and Missouri games will be televised under the SEC contract but the networks have not been released yet that I've seen.

The Memphis game is under the American Athletic Conference contract. They've not released anything but weeknights and the first two weeks of the season but this is a game that seems likely to end up online on ESPN3 with most AAC games.

Probably a fairly safe guess that CSS/CST will pick up at least two games with ASU.

That leaves probably three Sun Belt games and two non-conference home games available for local television. At this time it appears unlikely that there will be local TV for those games but last minute deals do happen such as the failed satellite truck game at Troy last year.

Mohajir indicated his biggest priority is more television exposure locally for men's basketball as well as other sports and putting together a comprehensive package this year wasn't likely but would be a high focus item for the 2014-15 season.

2014 Schedule
The situation right now doesn't look good. Idaho becomes part of the league schedule taking away a non-conference game. Playing two FCS or two non-returned games at FBS schools are both possibilities.

Jonesboro Airport
Mohajir said that Jonesboro airport wants to be able to handle charters for Arkansas State as part of a long-term improvement project to be able to handle a wider variety of aircraft. At this point Jonesboro needs a longer runway, a wider runway, and stronger runway to be approved to handle the sort of aircraft that would be used by a charter company.

I would think that six flights per year by Arkansas State won't spur that sort of investment. If businesses in the area or considering locating in the area need the cargo capacity of larger aircraft then there will be a strong push to upgrade.