Here’s How To Navigate In ’09-10 By Mark Smith / Journal Reporter Tuesday, 13 October 2009 23:27 $60 Million Project Is on Schedule
Will fans experience discomforts during the 2009-10 University of New Mexico men’s and women’s basketball seasons? Certainly.
Will those same fans be more comfortable than ever come next year? Unquestionably.
They may also be healthier, to boot.
On Tuesday, UNM officials mapped out some of the changes Lobo fans need to be aware of as the season nears.
“Are there challenges? Yes,” says Tim Cass, UNM’s senior associate athletics director and the man in charge of the $60 million renovation. “But at the end of the day, it will be well worth it. This is just an incredibly exciting time.”
The end of the day for Lobo fans will be November 2010, when the new and vastly improved Pit is unveiled. This season, however, the men and women will play in the building while the renovation continues.
Cass said the project is on schedule and on budget, and he is confident it will be completed by November 2010.
He said work will continue throughout the season, behind dust walls, in the lobby, concession stands, restrooms, Lobo Store, ticket office, suites, club level, lettermen’s lounge, McDavid lounge, locker rooms, weight room and training room, and commissary.
The biggest challenges fans face during the coming months will be parking, entering the game, how to use restrooms and where to eat.
For those of you who smoke, you might want to get a head start on that New Year’s resolution.
The Journal will publish a detailed map of parking prior to the exhibition season openers (Nov. 3 for men, Nov. 9 for the women). Parking charges for basketball will be the same as football: $5 per vehicle, but free for vehicles with four or more people inside.
The lots closest to the Pit remain donor parking. There is handicap parking next to the structure’s west side.
Other donor areas include: the Mesa and Highland lots, just west of the handicap area; the Pueblo and Vista lots to the north, and the Sierra lot to the southeast.
There are many paid-parking lots available, stretching all the way east of the football stadium and north to CNM.
Altogether, UNM events manager Mike Haggerty said about 600 fewer spaces are available this season, “but there will be as many handicapped spaces as before (about 250).”
Cass says the Pit’s capacity — including standing room — will be 15,102, or about 3,000 less than the old arena. The 15,102 is still the third largest in the Mountain West Conference, behind Brigham Young and UNLV.
Once completed, the Pit will have a capacity of 17,100.
Entryways and exits, which will have fencing around them, are predominantly on the east and west sides. A student entrance is on the north side. There are approximately 10 entry access points, about the same as previously in the Pit. Fans will present their tickets at the start of the entryway, then walk 30 paces through a fenced area into the arena.
There will be no entry or exit on the south side, where construction continues in order to join together the Davalos Center and the Pit.
Cass says the Pit will be opened 90 minutes prior to each game — an extra half hour from the past — allowing fans to navigate around the new surroundings.
“We are investing heavily in signage,” Cass says. “It will be extremely well done — maybe, in some ways, to a better degree because the arena will be sort of cleared out. Signage will lead fans to entryways, concession stands, restrooms, seating, booths, etc.”
Restrooms and Concessions
There are no restrooms inside the Pit this season. Large portable restrooms — which will be tented, heated and lit — will be located in a fenced-in areas outside the building on the outside of both the east and west exits.
Large concession stands will also be located in the same fenced-in areas outside the Pit’s east and west exits. Those stands will be tented, heated and lit, as well.
Because the areas are fenced in, it is not considered leaving the arena, so fans are allowed back in the Pit doors.
If fans want to remain in the building for a bite to eat, Cass says there will be four portable concession stands — as well as “hawkers” — on the concourse. The hawkers, with items like hot dogs, popcorn and soft drinks, must remain on the concourse and are not allowed in the stands.
None. Smoking will not be allowed anywhere. There is no designated smoking area — not outside in the fenced-in areas, not in the parking lot. That is consistent with the university’s no-smoking campus policies.
There is also a no re-entry policy. Thus, if fans leave for smoke, they must leave — period.
And between the extra walking and the clean air, who knows?
Maybe more than just the Pit will be leaner and cleaner come next season
Port a Potties Woo Hoo, I mean I guess it's not that bad! Cause the University is paying for the bathrooms!
Should be interesting
If they're so damned worried about "health", how about subbing tofu burgers for Lobo Dogs? And why not just rip out the seats so we can all stand during the games -- that would be healthier? That would also allow us to run a lap around the court during times-out? They can take their holier-than-thou patronization and shove it where the sun don't shine...
“If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed. If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed.” -- Mark Twain
Do I smell a smoker? ;-) j/k
And I would love some more food types.
And I do worry about cleanliness with the absense of running water it sounds like.
It will not be the most comfortable of settings for sure. but hey, there will be some basketball, so count me in!
Go Lobos! Go Erskine & Shump! Go Lucas! Go Cam!
Next thing we know is that the University is going to require Drug Testing. Pee in a little cup and have some fun lol. I bought extra apple juice in case lol!
There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)