April 18, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - In response to feedback from Mackey Arena premium seat holders, those seats will be reconfigured during this offseason.
The space between seats will increase from 33 inches to 36 inches to account for more leg room and greater comfort. The increased space will result in a net loss of 54 seats. For the 2011-12 season, there were 78 unsold season premium seats for men's games and 113 for women's games.
"We heard from our customers that the seats were uncomfortable, and we want to make sure our premium seating is as pleasant as possible," athletics director Morgan Burke said. "We listened, and will make the necessary accommodations."
Also, the second tunnel planned for the southeast end of Mackey will not be constructed. Plans called for the tunnel to be carved out this offseason. It originally was included to allow for easier access to the playing floor from the new shipping and receiving, storage and marshaling space and to provide separate access points to Keady Court for Purdue and the visiting team.
Upon further consideration, it was determined those benefits were not necessary and did not offset the lost seats and ticket revenue. Some 78 seats will be saved that could net upwards of $60,000 annually.
The cost of the second tunnel would have been $105,000 for demolition and reconstruction. Those funds, along with other project savings, will be used to pay for the premium seating reconfiguration, a scoreboard for the southeast end of Mackey and to remodel the visiting team locker rooms. The overall Mackey Complex project will remain within the original budget approved by the University Board of Trustees.
"After considerable discussion, we determined the need for a second tunnel was not great enough to offset the loss of some very good seats and the accompanying income," Burke said. "The location of our teams' new locker rooms and the visiting teams', combined with the larger space adjacent to the existing tunnel, alleviate any pressure we thought might exist. Furthermore, not chopping out another section of the arena will keep Mackey more aesthetically pleasing."