Sterk taking Phase III message to the streets

WASHINGTON STATE athletic director Jim Sterk needs to sell seats -- or at least get a down payment on them -- right now. Why? Because the ambitious Phase III renovation of Martin Stadium can be completed a year sooner if enough seats are spoken for by mid December. To kickstart the effort, Sterk is taking the message to the Cougar Nation in a series of town hall-type meetings around the state.

The first gathering is tonight in Pullman. It will be followed by six more -- in Seattle/Bellevue, Tacoma, Tri-Cities, Portland/Vancouver and Spokane -- over the next two weeks.

Phase III of the Martin renovation involves the construction of luxury suites, loge boxes, and club seats in a gorgeous edifice atop the north stands. For two reasons, the project is critical to the long-term success of WSU football.

First, the 2,200 premium seats created will nearly double the revenue the school generates from home football games, from about $2 million currently to approximately $4 million. And second, having a jewel of a stadium will put a supercharge into recruiting efforts –- world-class facilities attract world-class athletes.

The immediate need to secure down payments on those seats is driven by this: Once 80 percent of the premium seats are claimed by fans, WSU can leverage the bond market to help finance construction.


SIDE-VIEW OF THE PLANNED PREMIUM SEATING TIER ON THE STUDENT SIDE OF THE STADIUM. Color renderings of the frontal view are at the bottom of this page.

If WSU can sell, or get down payments on, 80 percent between now and Dec. 18, construction will commence in the spring and be completed in time for the 2011 season. If the 80 percent mark isn't attained by Dec. 18, then construction will be delayed and the project not finished until the 2012 season.

Of note is that to secure premium seats now only requires a down payment -- a $300 deposit per seat -- with full payment not due until spring 2011 at the earliest. Moreover, if seats are secured now, the owner gets a big say in where they're located.

The town-hall meetings that Sterk is holding are open to the general public. However, space is limited so RSVPs are needed. Contact Michelle Lipsker at the WSU Athletic Foundation at 509-335-0218 to get your spot. The dates and locales are:

• Thursday, October 29 – Pullman, (Fireside Grille, 6-8 p.m.)
• Tuesday, November 3 – Seattle (Bellevue Hyatt, 6-8 p.m.)
• Wednesday, November 4 – Tacoma (The Hub, 6-8 p.m.)
• Thursday, November 5 – Vancouver/Portland (The Rose Garden, Portland 6-8 p.m.)
• Wednesday, November 11 – Tri-Cities (Meadow Springs CC, Richland, 6-8 p.m.)
• Thursday, November 12 – Spokane (Northern Quest Casino, 6-8 p.m.)

Phase III will cost about $33 million. Nearly $17 million has been raised so far. Cougar fans are being asked to help by making a down payment to buy premium seats, and by donating to the construction effort.

The 2,200 luxury box, loge and club seats will offer a high-end, comfortable and exclusive way to watch games. Chairs will be deluxe sized and appointed. Liquor sales will be available for these ticketholders in a private lounge area, replete with flat screen TVs and upscale food offerings.

Luxury suites seat up to 24, loge boxes come in 4-person and 6-person configurations and club seats can be purchased indoors or outdoors. To get your piece of the rock, contact Dan Meyer in the athletic department at meyerd@wsu.edu or 509-335-0236.

For more information on Phase III, including a video summary, click HERE.


ARTIST'S RENDERING OF WHAT ONE VIEW OF THE PREMIUM AREA WILL LOOK LIKE ON GAME DAY.


ARTIST'S RENDERING OF WHAT PHASE III WILL LOOK LIKE WHEN COMPLETED. THIS IS THE STUDENT SIDE OF THE STADIUM AS VIEWED FROM STADIUM WAY.





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