A surgical $106 million renovation to the 90-year old structure is doing away with those approximately 2,200 modestly priced nine rows of seats on the U1 and U2 levels tucked between the west side’s upper and lower bowls. These were quality seats, covered from the elements and chair-backed unlike the majority bench seating in the 101,821-capacity stadium.
That space will now be occupied by the Champions Club, one of the several new premium options replacing more traditional seats in the U1 and U2 levels of the stadium’s west side. Starting next fall, those in Section P will have cushioned seats, access to an indoor, temperature-controlled club and an all-inclusive buffet.
That doesn’t come cheaply, and that’s where the issue for families like the Burnettes come into play. Each seat now requires a $10,000 one-time donation and an additional $3,500 contribution every season. That doesn’t include the price of the actual tickets, which were $495 apiece last year for the top tier seats.
Burnette in 2019 paid $940 a ticket including a $480 donation for each of his four seats minus the amenities.
That same seat next year is $13,995 in the Champions Club if the initial donation is paid up front or $5,995 if spread into five equal portions. It comes with a 10-year commitment meaning each seat will cost $49,950 and only if the $495 season ticket prices never rise.
And this quote is a perfect of example of someone trying to sound sympathetic without actually being sympathetic.
Alabama athletics director Greg Byrne said the school intends “to be transparent and you also want to be empathetic” to those impacted by the changes.
“One of the things that we had to balance here is we don’t take any satisfaction in moving anybody out of their seats. Zero,” Byrne said in an interview with AL.com. “And we want to be very sensitive to all of our season ticket holders and all of the stadium. At the same time too, we have to balance that with what do we do to move the program forward? One of the worst things we could do as a program is while we’re having historical success to not look at where our long-term strategies are for our department.”
Those long-term strategies ain’t gonna pay for themselves, Mr. Burnette.
I assume this is something else from Tuscaloosa we can look forward to being imported to Athens soon. You can’t stop progress, fellow wallets.
(h/t SSB Charley)