Greetings from Clemson!
As you are aware, on Friday, March 8, it was announced that Itoro Coleman had been relieved of her duties as the Head Women's Basketball Coach for Clemson University. I want to thank Coach Coleman for her hard work and dedication as both a coach and as a player. She represented Clemson University with dignity and class. We will immediately begin a national search for her replacement.
With basketball season wrapping up, I thought it would be appropriate to discuss the current state of our facilities. When I arrived, I wanted to take time to better understand the proposed practice facility at Littlejohn Coliseum, as that facility would not include any upgrade to the fan experience. While it is crucial for us to have the practice facilities necessary to help our student-athletes be successful, we must also look at our athletic venue to ensure both players and fans have a great experience.
As a result, we have engaged two architectural firms for an in-depth study of Littlejohn Coliseum. One is looking at the idea of building a new facility, and what would become of Littlejohn, should we go in that direction, as Littlejohn is still a serviceable building and an asset to campus. The other firm is studying a renovation to the coliseum and how that would work in terms of various amenities and improved functionality.
We anticipate these studies will be done during the month of March. From that point, we will take a look at the results, talk to various campus constituencies and decide on the best path to move forward. It is too early to tell which direction to go because we don't have all of the data to make a decision. Whatever we decide to do, we will do with the best interest of Clemson University and Clemson Athletics in mind.
Littlejohn was built in 1968 at a cost of $8 million and over a span of its 45 years of existence, about $31 million was spent upgrading its structure, appearance and the fan experience. That has been good investment. Currently, the cost of construction is lower than it has been since the mid-2000s, and the cost of money is less expensive as well. But these market factors are changing. We plan to move quickly, but deliberately with this decision.
Another topic I wanted to touch on this week was the recent release of our 2013 football schedule. We are excited to renew one of our famous rivalries from the past with the University of Georgia. ABC will televise the game nationally on primetime and we anticipate a tremendous atmosphere in Memorial Stadium to kick off our season on August 31! Our home schedule also includes an Oct. 19 matchup against defending ACC Champion Florida State, as well as our first Thursday night home game since 2002, on Nov. 14 versus Georgia Tech.
We made a slight increase in our season ticket package to $330 for seven home games; however, that is a $40 discount off the total retail cost of those games. IPTAY members and season ticket-holders will be notified by email this week regarding purchase options. The order deadline will be Monday, May 6. In addition, we are offering a special kickoff package that includes tickets to the Georgia and South Carolina State games for $85.
The Tiger football team just opened spring practice last week, and we hope to see a terrific crowd on hand on Saturday, April 13 as we hold our annual Orange and White game.
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