The heat is on
The heat is on
By Brennan David
First year head coach Les Miles might have spent the last six months preparing for the opening day of the 2005 college football season, but Yates Construction and the LSU Athletic Department has spent the last year and a half.
With just a little over two weeks until kickoff, LSU officials still believe the majority of the new west upper deck in Tiger Stadium will be inhabitable on Sept. 3 when the Tigers play host to the North Texas Mean Green here in Death Valley.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“Because of the construction in the west upper deck, the northern most part of the west upper deck that we are looking at right now will not be habitable for the first game or the second game,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬? said Senior Associate Athletic Director Dan Radakovich. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“Both North Texas and Arizona State did not take their full allotment of visitor tickets of about 7,000. So we are able to take those folks in the box seats of the northern most section of the west upper deck and relocate them for those two games.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬?
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“They are doing as much as they can in finished areas so that they can be ready. The seats in the upper deck go in really quickly because they are just bench seating, so the contractors believe they are on course to have 1,500 to 2,000 seats in the northern section not available for the first two games but will be ready for the remainder of the season.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬?
If events fall as planned, these 1,500 to 2,000 ticket holders will be relocated to the southern end zone where visitor seats have traditionally been located. Because of the uncertainty of the number of seats available, the athletic department has taken every precaution to protect the fans from empty seats or even no seats.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“Going forward with moving those folks, those people will see information when their season tickets come in,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬? said Radakovich. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“WeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ve not sold any additional tickets yet, so in about a week we will go out with a five game season ticket package while having single game tickets available. We are doing this to allow the contractor to get the very most done before deciding.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬?
After the conclusion of the Arizona State game, the Tigers will enjoy their first open date of the season on Sept. 17 giving the contractor an extra week until the stadium is scheduled to be completely inhabitable when LSU hosts the Tennessee Volunteers on Sept. 24.
As the season progresses, work will continue with some of the finishing touches almost into the spring. When the construction crews finally leave after two years of occupancy, the parking lot in front of the stadium will be resurfaced with completion due some time into the summer.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“We are going to have to live in the stadium for a season and it is a blessing to completely finish because then you are able to see how the flow works and see the adjustments that are needed to be made before the paint is dry,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬? said Radakovich. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“You just hate to put something together and then just have to tear it apart because it does not function correctly.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬?
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“I donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t think we will be finished with everything in the stadium until after the season. Sometime around next summer you will be able to look up and say, oh, this is what is supposed to look like.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬?
Other construction updates from across campus include MikeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s new cage which is expected to be completed soon with Mike scheduled to return on Monday, Aug. 29. The PMAC is also moving ahead of schedule, which is not unusual because all the work was done under cover out of the way of the rain and elements.
The PMAC will have all new seats, painted ceilings and all new banners to dress up the facility, while also installing a new sound system. The upgrades were conducted to improve the facilities atmosphere.
Running a close race to the finish line for finial products will be the new football operations center located on Skip Bertman Dr. The center is nearing completion and will be finished in time for the Tigers first week of game preparation against North Texas.
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Originally Published: Issue 301 - August 17, 2005
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