Matt Borman, Mountaineer Athletic Club Executive Director and Associate Athletic Director, recently took some time to answer some frequently asked questions regarding the MAC’s new reseating policy:
1. How will this reseating help the athletic department?
This process will provide an equitable and transparent way to allocate tickets in the WVU Coliseum for men’s basketball. In the past, we did not have a way of ensuring that our top-level donors had access to the best seats in our inventory. At other institutions who participated in a reseating process, there has been an increase in private support as a direct result of their efforts. We anticipate similar results at WVU.
2. What do I need to do to keep my seats in the same location?
In order to maintain your seat location outside our VIP locations,* you must be a Champion Level ($6,500) donor to keep up to four tickets in the exact same location. At the Blue Scholar Level ($10,000) you will be able to keep up to six non-VIP seats; Gold Scholars ($15,000) can keep up to eight non-VIP seats, and Mountaineer Scholars ($25,000) and Stadium Suite Holders can keep up to 10 non-VIP Seats. Mountaineer Scholars ($25,000) and Stadium Suite Holders can keep up to four VIP Seats if so desired.
Also, to recognize long time ticket holders, we have also allowed season ticket holders who have 25 or more consecutive years purchasing tickets to keep two seats as long as they join or maintain a membership in the MAC at the Blue Level ($400).
3. As a new customer, what is it going to cost me to get seats in the lower level of the Coliseum?
While we cannot predict exactly how many donors will join the MAC at each giving level, we do anticipate that every donor at the Champion Level ($6,500) and above will receive at least four tickets in the lower level. We also believe there is a chance a limited number of Director ($3,500) Level donors will also select the last remaining seats in the lower level.
4. Is there a plan in place to fix the problem of unused seats in the lower level?
Currently, we assist season ticket holders with the ability to electronically transfer their unused game tickets. The priority ticket limits put in place during the reseating process will also likely help reduce the number of unused tickets. In the future, we will continue to promote the electronic transfer of unused tickets as well as explore other programs to promote the use of every ticket.
5. How has the MAC educated donors and season ticket holders on the process?
We spent countless hours developing a reseating brochure (posted online at MountaineerAthleticClub.com) that fully explains the reseating process, annual giving requirements and important dates and deadlines. We have also hosted three open houses throughout the season and recently held an open house in Charleston to help people understand the process. Our staff has also met with hundreds of donors and season ticket holders further explaining the process. We encourage anyone who has any remaining questions to reach out to the MAC at anytime.
6. Are you limiting the number of seats that fans can purchase?
We are not limiting the number of seats fans can purchase. Fans are encouraged to purchase as many season tickets as they desire. What we have done is limit the number of priority seats that each donor can purchase in order to be more equitable to a larger number of donors and fans. All tickets purchased outside a donor’s priority limits will be seated by the MAC in the best upper level location possible. This was an effort to make sure our top level donors are not buying an inordinate amount of seats and making sure all donors have the opportunity to purchase quality seats at a location commensurate with their annual giving level.
7. Has there been any thought given to accommodate long time season ticket holders?
It was very important to us throughout the creation of the reseating process that we recognize long time season ticket holders. We felt that season ticket holders that had been with us for 25 or more years deserved to keep their seats with a minimal gift to the MAC. We set this donation at $400 annually and let these ticket holders who have been with us for 25 plus years keep two seats in a non-VIP location.
8. How is this reseating going to affect WVU faculty and staff?
WVU faculty and staff have always been an important part of our athletic community. We have honored and recognized them by doubling non-tax credit for donations they give to the MAC as well as offering a 20% discount on the price of season tickets. This will not change during the reseating process. Faculty and staff are able to keep up to four non-VIP seats in the lower level by giving half of the required annual giving amount for Champion level ($6,500/2 = $3,250) and above. Also, faculty and staff will be selecting seats with donors that possibly give twice as much as them. Faculty and staff who choose not to join the MAC, will also have the ability to select their seats before general public seats are assigned.
9. What do current or new season ticket holders and/or MAC donors need to do to make sure they are in the best situation possible?
Current and/or new season ticket holders and/or MAC donors will need to make their 2013 MAC gift by the May 15 deadline and submit their 2013-14 men’s basketball season ticket intent form by May 31. Seat selection times will be mailed in mid-June based on annual giving level and priority points totals. The seat selection process will begin on July 15 and run through the end of the month.
10. How have people responded since the reseating plan was announced?
The majority of responses have been very positive. Many donors we have spoken with are very excited about the transparency and fairness of our process. Our donors feel good knowing that their seat locations will be representative of the financial support they provide to the WVU athletics program. With that said, we have also had conversations with individuals who have expressed concerns about the process. We understand their frustration because change is always very difficult.
11. Why now?
Based on our research, and conversations with peer institutions, the reseating of the Coliseum was necessary to keep our fundraising efforts moving in the right direction. Many donors have been giving at some of our top levels for numerous years and become increasingly frustrated with their lack of ability to secure representative seats. We understood when we decided to proceed with this process, it would be difficult. However, with our move to the Big 12, we felt the timing was right. This move will help keep up with our peers and show our donors and long time season ticket holders that we appreciate the support they give to make sure our athletic teams remain competitive.
* VIP seat locations include both rows of the floor seats along the sidelines, in addition to sections 100 and 103 on the floor behind the baskets and the padded seats in the lower level (sections 7, 9, and 11).