Making Kenan More Komfortable

Kenan Stadium
BobLee
April26/ 2017

Making Kenan More Komfortable

There will NOT be as much Aluminum on display “amid Kenan’s lofty pines” beginning this coming Fall. UNC Athletic officials announced this week that the aluminum bleachers in Sections 110-111 are being replaced with individual Kenan sectionsstadium seats. Approximately 1,600 seats are involved in this “test” of one possible solution to the declining in-stadium attendance issue that plagues UNCCH as well as most Power 5 football schools.

The two sections effected are in the NW corner on the Visitors side. The individual “folding seats w/ backrests” will afford 22” of “rear-end room” instead of the 18” or so of the bleacher rows. UNCCH officials noted that their 22” beats the 19” seats used in Duke’s recent upgrade of The Wally.  Is UNCCH attempting to lure away the handful of die-hards that show up at The Wally?

In by-gone eras before affordable giant flat-screen TVs made in-home viewing oh-so-much more attractive than “being there”, Schools used various “tricks” to amp up the official capacity of their stadiums presumably to “impress semi-literate 18 y/os”. One easy trick was to simply renumber each bleacher row cramming more seat space on each row. This practice was known as “enlargement by paint brush”. Fan comfort went to hell but who cared so long as recruits were impressed. That era is long gone.

Will these 1,600 22”-wide folding seats with seat backs in Sections 110-111 make a noticeable impact on Kenan Stadium’s declining in-stadium attendance issue? The sample is way too small to be significant but UNC officials will certainly tout that it was because that’s what all universities always do…. (Like how “they” claim that graduates with Af-Am Studies degrees actually get paying jobs in the real world other than NBA player.)

I applaud the concept and have suggested exactly this as one of several solutions to a pretty much unsolvable problem. I would have started with sections “between the 40s” and moved outward each season rather than corner end zones seats but no one asked for my opinion.

UNC has already provided the #1 incentive for “going to the game” whichi is to put a winning team with a high-scoring offense on the field for the past two seasons.  That, unfortunately, failed to “fill the aluminum” as fans of UNC’s hated rivals delight in pointing out.

There is very little that UNC can do to affect the site logistics hassles of an aging stadium surrounded by the ever-encroaching academic and administrative needs of the institution. Little other than to poke fun at the very very tailgate-friendly advantages of a fairgrounds location.

The announcement of the 1600 22”-wide seats also included a notice that UNC’s vaunted “Indoor Practice Facility” a/k/a “IPF” originally estimated to cost $25,000,000 is now at $35,000,000 and the first shovel-full of dirt has yet to be moved. Does this rising cost mean extra smoothie machines and assorted other ridiculum trying to Out-Dabo Dabo?  Alas, ain’t nobody in the ACC going to Out-Dabo Dabo when it comes to Recruiting Bling.

By comparison: $35,000,000 is almost twice as much as the $18,000,000 spent so far on legal costs and general cover-up / damage control of The Greatst Eligibility Scam in NCAA History. Both expensive elements – recruiting bling and scandal cover-up – are certain to keep rising…. and rising. What costs Bragging Rights? …. What costs indeed?

##

In a somewhat related area…. It looks like most, if not all, of Roy’s Boyz expected to return next year…. won’t be after all. Joel Berry, Theo Pinson and Freshman Tony Bradley are now officially / maybe adiosing to The NBA subject to hiring agents. Justin Jackson’s departure was a certainty. That leaves Luke Maye,  Seventh Woods, two biscuit boys, and the ghost of Neal Fingleton to defend the championship.

These roster departures along with top assistant C.B. McGrath going to UNC-W means even more pressure on “Three-Ring Roy”. PLUS there being four years of President Donald Trump for Roy to grind his teeth over. Might the peripatetic Hall Of Fame Coach be considering leaving the Dean Dome sidelines for a spot on The View or prehaps simply standing out on I-40 and throwing rocks at cars?

Am I the only one who keeps hearing that….
The NCAA and UNCCH ALMOST “had a deal” recently? UNC would give up the 2005 banner and the NCAA would go away…. But UNCCH backed out of “the deal” at the last minute preferring to “take our chances in court”.

WHOA – STOP THE PRESSES …. Joel Berry II has decided – this AM – to stay and NOT “pursue an NBA career”.  Blass his heart.

##

During March Madness, Jay Bilas was on TV 25/8. Only Marie Osmond Nutrisystem ads were more prevalent. Since even Jay can only drone on and on and on about the minute vagarities of college basketball so long, Jay mentioned his addiction to the Showtime series Billions. Jay and I share that addiction.

Billions is in its 3rd season on Showtime. It is Les Miserable On Wall Street with Bobby “Axe” Axelrod as Jean Valjean and Federal Attorney Chuck Rhodes as Inspector Javert. Chuck is obsessed in taking down Billionaire Bad Boy Bobby.

Billions

My knowledge of “hedge funds” and “insider trading” / stock market manipulation is maybe 20% of Roy Williams’ in-depth expertise re: “anything other than basketball & golf”. Ergo, I don’t know squat. But the characters of “Axe”, Chuck and their wives Lara and Wendy are quite compelling.

This season they even introduced cable TV’s first “It” – Taylor Mason – described as a “non-binary” – either a female becoming a male or vice versa. Who knows! “It” is a genius savant who has become Bobby’s go-to-non-binary investment strategist. Have I mentioned that Attorney Chuck is a total nebbish and deep into sexual domination by Wendy complete with leather catsuits, dog collars etc etc. Oh…. And Chuck is running for Governor of New York.

As with any Showtime / HBO series, Billions is NOT for Everyone. I’m not sure what that says about me and Jay Bilas. No clue if Marie Osmond watches Billions.

##

There was High Drama yesterday (Tues) on the comment section of our last column (Chihuahua & Randy). If you enjoy emotional trainwreckShanes you might check it out. As the smoke cleared, one of our most notorious comment contributors was “doing a Shane” if you recall the final scene of that classic Alan Ladd western. ….. except this time there was no distraught Brandon DeWilde sitting on the fence crying “Shane, Shane, come back Shane….”.

##

BobLee
  • C. Weaver Reply
    4 weeks ago

    When I saw the Title…I thought it about renaming the stadium. Considering the Jr was apple of the tree, and Sr was the on the colt-browning machine gun at the Wilmington Massacre mowing down blacks.
    …and considering a great deal of who fill that stadium are cultural marxists….

    • BobLee Reply
      4 weeks ago

      I’m not sure your presumption re: typical UNC fan is correct. When one reads of wacky nutjobs doing wacky nutjob crap at UNC, it usually means 20-30 rabid snowflakes performing before 20-30 members of the regional media. 97% of UNC students are coping with roommates with bad hygiene and assorted other post-adolescent issues. That same % may not apply to alumni but ZERO of my UNC alumni “friends” are of the “cultural marxists” ilk. It usually only takes a year or so to flush that crap from one’s system. UNC FB /BB fans may be oyal to “Tar Heel Sports” but NOT to the wacky nutjob stereotype. It’s called “hold your nose and be a UNC fan inspite of the political crap”. Being arrogant and self-righteous are not political afflictions.

  • Paul Coder Reply
    4 weeks ago

    At 6-10 and weighing about 310, I live in a world that is not designed for me. The chihuahua could sit on my lap and we could do a faux ventriloquist act.
    Ducking under doorways is second nature. Finding a car to drive comfortably or an airline seat to sit in are always concerns. I always hated those one-piece desks in school. Sometimes when I would try to get up, the whole thing would come with me. To boot, I am left-handed.
    But, I am not complaining. Aside from never having to be worried about being bullied, it has helped to give me a very interesting life.
    I have not attended many sporting events where I know that the seating issues will include not only butt room, but also leg room and sometimes even headroom.
    Over the years, I observed that some former players were sitting in the section just behind the home team bench at the RBC/PNC. Since there appears to be adequate space there, I looked into being able to sit there at some point. But, unlike the “made men” of the program, I could never seem to arrange it. I did leave the program decades ago as somewhat of a prodigal son, but I ascribe indifference and incompetence as probable reasons why it didn’t happen.
    As a former athlete, it seems like every athletic venue should have areas where former players who are King-Size or Wide Load could sit comfortably. But, that is not part of the bottom line as to profitability.

    • BobLee Reply
      4 weeks ago

      PC, I’d say you have rationalized the realities of your physical circumstances amazingly well. As to programs being responsive to alumni players of by-gone eras, that can come down to a designated individual in the booster club assigned specifically as a contact… and how much influence that person has ….

    • NCSU68Grad Reply
      4 weeks ago

      Your comment about the little blue Smurfette in your lap conjured up frame from midget porn. Great line. Horrible visionary. I guess having a 16 1/2″ neck with 37″ arms ain’t that bad after all

    • Highstick Reply
      6 days ago

      Paul Coder…Wow…a name I have not thought about in a long time! I came back to State in the fall of 70 after Uncle Sam was through with me…

      While I’m not 6’10”, I understand the issue of “getting wider” over the years. I’ve given up season tickets elsewhere(SEC) this year because the women are taking up two seats now!

      • BobLee Reply
        6 days ago

        Someday Coder will tell us stories about Nick Trifunovich and Ed Leftwich …. 🙂

  • UNC blue Reply
    1 month ago

    Addicted to “Billions”? I’m addicted to Marie Osmond’s commercials.

    • BobLee Reply
      4 weeks ago

      Be assured you are NOT alone in THAT addiction. Those commercials are so “steamy” I bet they are banned at BYU if not all of Utah. Ol’ Brigham Young himself would need a cold shower.

  • ultraviolet Reply
    1 month ago

    “UNCCH officials noted that their 22” beats the 19” seats used in Duke’s recent upgrade of The Wally.” That one’s pretty simple. Duke fans don’t have collective fannies as big as those at UNC. Just kidding before I get an Antifa rally in front of my house/condo/apartment/cave (being deliberately vague just in case).

    I do vividly remember at ECU before Terry Holland had the chairback seats added in vast swaths of Doubtful-Feckless that one individual that sat on the end of our row had a double wide presence. It started a cascade for the whole row that ended up with me in mid row having to ask someone to reveal the seat number underneath them. Quite often we ended up 2 or 3 seats down. Some games that didn’t matter. Some it wound up with ushers getting called. No way that end of row dude fit in one of the new seats. Good too as he was downright rude about moving a muscle to let people past for concession or potty breaks. Fortunately I’ve grown up some and no longer have any such worries.

    Once Roy got his 3rd ring no way anyone was gonna give up that bragging position. It gives the university 1 more than K in official banners, though the Helms foundation is as legit as Obama’s Nobel Peace prize thus giving them some buffer room to forfeit one or some. Always important to have that in your back pocket.

    I was a bit disappointed to not see Jay Bilas name in the major news about ESPN from recent days. He is in his own way as annoying as Dukie Vitale without the pizazz.

    Thanks for providing a refuge of sanity in this feckless world and best wishes for continued recovery of your vision. I’m not even sure what feckless means, but it’s fun to use sound alikes.

    • BobLee Reply
      1 month ago

      Lots of valuable insights in all that, ultra. The issue of double-wides on stadium bleachers is one we can all identify with. Wonder how ushers are taught to deal with that isue ?? Which fan base has the most double-wides would make an interesting doctoral thesis.
      .
      Neither Bilas nor Jay Willims “bother me”. I outgrew Dickie V about 15 years ago as he became a caricature of himself. Comparing the Helms Thingy to Obama’s Nobel …. KUDOS on that one. !~

  • JD Reply
    1 month ago

    I watched about half of the first season of Billions but the financial lingo got to me. Much like the UNC academic department has Bobby Axlerod even committed a crime or is it all in Chuck’s head?

    • BobLee Reply
      1 month ago

      Depends on your opinion of insider trading. Axe Capital definitely thrives on that to make bazillions.
      Chuck is also obsessed because of Wendy’s involvement with Axe Capital. Chuck has never felt he deserved a hottie like Wendy so he s very jealous.

  • Former96Heel Reply
    1 month ago

    On a side note, isn’t it obvious, the similarities between ESPN laying off on-air talent, and the slow bleed of the newspapers over the last decade+ of their writers? It shows how long it has been since I actually watched ESPN, that I only recognized Len Elmore, Jerry Punch and one NFL team reporter.

    • BobLee Reply
      1 month ago

      No Surprise… I will be doing a column later this week on – Bad Day In Bristol. There are 4-5 socio-cultural components in the Descent of ESPN. Yes, their issues are similar to “newspapers” and all media as regards adjusting to the techno-revolution and its impact on how we as a society get and digest our news. And, of course, there is the “declare your bias and deal with the consequences” element.
      .
      Danny Kannel(?) and Trent Dilfer were the “biggest names” along with Elmore and a few others.

  • RHT.94 Reply
    1 month ago

    BL: How much of a factor has TGU been in creating the current “aluminum issue” in Kenan Stadium?

    • BobLee Reply
      1 month ago

      It certainly hasn’t helped Kenan attendance but I suspect it is only a minor contributor to the problem. UNC’s Football Fan Base has never been consistently loyal except for a relatvely small % of rabid diehards we can all “The Sleeping Giant Believers”. I bet if all the Power Five schools were ranked on some combo of factors of football success over the past 50 years, UNC woud rank considerably higher than even loyal TruBlues would guess, but tge perception exists tat UNC has been medicre at best. Contrat with UNC BB being firmly among the Top Five Elie programs over those 50 years.
      .
      Wth the high powered offenses of the past several years, still not creating a demand for tickets, I can’t see it ever happening. That is why I would cut back to a 45,000 seat stadium and work to find and keep those 45,000 loyalists. But egos and desire for Bragging Rights will alwas trump common sense.

  • MAPACKFAN Reply
    1 month ago

    Of course the reason they CAN’T start in the middle is that all of those seats are “permanent” seat holders. Meaning they are long time Rams club buyers who would scream bloody murder if they got moved to the adjacent section because of the loss of seats. Got to start in the corners where nobody cares.

    • BobLee Reply
      1 month ago

      That is partially true. TRC did a full fruitbasket turnover of Kenan season ticket holders about ten years ago… thoroughly pissing off hundreds of 2-3rd generation ticket holders. Most major schools have gone thru similar exorcisms with the same casualty rates. They all claim once the smoke and anger clears up they are more profitable. There are always an Elite Group of Untouchables in any such organization but it invariably gets to some who thought they were “untouchable”.
      .
      Anyhoo… word is The Rams Club is planning another such flushing and reorganization of Kenan seating in the next year or so. Glad it is not my job to conduct such a process.
      .
      I think this only applies to Kenan. The Holy of Holies (Dean’s Dome) is exempt from such exercises.

  • Ed.UNC79 Reply
    1 month ago

    If Bubba did ask, what suggestions woud you offer for the current Kenan situation?

    • BobLee Reply
      1 month ago

      Reduce the sellable capacity of Kenan to no more than 45,000. Scarcity creates Demand. As long as everyone knows there will be plenty of face value or below tickets available outside the stadium everyone waits for game tme weather to decide to go.
      .
      Make season tickets AT LEAST 25% cheaper than purchasing individual game tickets.
      .
      Shut down the sections in the far corners of the upper level using tarps like they do for bwl games. Put big UNC logos on the tarps. That way the seats are available for a rare High Demand game. Then…. reduce the seats per row by 8-10 i.e. Reduction by Paint Brush providing more space per seat. THe individual seats are nice but just MORE ROOM between each seat # makes a big difference in fan comfort. …. Reduce concession prices by 25% across the board.
      .
      Two of the biggest issues have no practical solution – parking and TV time outs. A 3rd issue – inconvenient kick-off times is also tied to the TV deal.

      • Doug Reply
        1 month ago

        Agree Re: Concession prices. I can’t independently verify it but someone said that bottled water was selling for $8.00 at the ECU spring game this past Saturday.

        • BobLee Reply
          1 month ago

          That seems excessive. Of course so does $4.00. Anyone rabid enough to bother attending a Spring Game is likely out-of-his-mind anyway and won’t notice.

  • Nancy.in.WakeForest Reply
    1 month ago

    Serious Question BL. Why,in your opinion is Carter-Finley NOT having the attendance issues (yet) that most stadiums are having?

    • BobLee Reply
      1 month ago

      Two quick primary reasons… So many fans within a 45-minute drive of the stadium. The ease of accessibility to parking and tailgating.
      .
      There are many secondary factors but those two are permanent advantages.

      • Dudley More Reply
        4 weeks ago

        As a State fan, and 35 year holder of four season tickets, I’ll add a two other reasons. 1) State fans aren’t very smart, and despite all evidence to the contrary, we start every year thinking the prognosticators are wrong, and we are going to be better than predicted. And 2) State fans are loyal to a fault, which, now that I think about it, relates directly to my reason number 1.

        • BobLee Reply
          4 weeks ago

          I bet there are more “State-type fans” across America than you realize. “Traditional powers” tend to win more often for various reasons, leaving the majority of fanbases with “the hope that springs eternal….”.

    • myowngrandpaw Reply
      1 month ago

      I sold football programs in the late 60’s. Parking was anywhere you could fit a car and not block a fire hydrant, traffic, or emergency vehicles. Then everyone would WALK thru the campus to the games.
      It was quite an atmosphere. The UNC campus is always beautiful in the fall.

      Now they BAN parking almost EVERYWHERE. At UNC a few hundred cars park near the stadium and the rest are BUSSED in for a FEE and bypass the campus atmosphere altogether. OR pay for parking in the HOSPITAL parking deck.

      They do require college students to REMOVE their cars from the parking lot the students PAID for near their dorms. If they are not removed, they are TOWED at the student’s expense.

      BL can probably add a lot to the experience of attending games in the 60’s.

      It is almost as though UNC fans love their football, but DREAD the football Saturday in Chapel Hill because the logistics kill the mood! So why not watch it on TV and save all that money and stress!

      • BobLee Reply
        1 month ago

        The last three years I attended games in Kenan I parked at The Friday Center and took the shuttle. It was cheap ($5 R/T) and hassle-free. Let me off at Woollen Gym. Town & Gown issues doomed the old concept of near campus parking.
        .
        For me all the techno advantages of Football on TV cannot be matched by the “be there” experience but I appreciate that many still feel exactly the opposite. “Support dear old Alm Mater” by enduring all the hassles and extra expense was NEVER a consideration for me… but it us for others.

  • myowngrandpaw Reply
    1 month ago

    Has license seating ever been entertained at Kenan?
    If you don’t buy tickets and retain the yearly gift amount the seats are revoked and given to someone else.
    So it is a form of blackmail.

    With all the big donors at UNC, I would think there would be little problem getting enough license seating to guarantee a sellout every game.

    • BobLee Reply
      1 month ago

      The earliest version of “seat licenses” was how Skipper Bowles financed The Dean Dome back in the mid 80s. Rights in Perpetuity so long as you kept up your annual giving $$$. IMO the days of that sort of fan demand has passed.

      • Former96Heel Reply
        1 month ago

        IMO, the fat cat permanent seat thing worked to finance a new building, but it created the famous Wine and Cheese atmosphere. I think it took almost a generation to pass before actual cheering fans were allowed downstairs.
        .
        The older I get, the more stunned I am in the depths of the pockets at all big time programs. How deep is the rolodex to pay out an extra $10M for an indoor practice facility? Or is there a small cadre willing to forgo a nephew’s inheritance to pay for a legal bill for TGU? It’s not by any means a Chapel Hill phenomenon. Or is it all a business expense for a thousand doctor’s or lawyer’s practices?
        .
        Did BK imply he did not know folks commented about him? That is about as believable as thinking ORW doesn’t know people are on to his Goober/Gomer impersonation. He will send a dispatch from Kennel Beach before Memorial Day….at least I hope so. He confirmed to me that UNC wasn’t alone in Kool-Aid overdose victims.

        • BobLee Reply
          1 month ago

          My sources tell me the current UNC Deep Pockets are “a handful of hedge funders” wth VERY VERY DEEP pockets. It is certainly not a rank&file campaign of $100 donors. A dozen or so Deep Deep Pockets can handle $20Mill easily enough. “A lot of money” is a relative term these days. At their level it can become a p*ssing contest for who can throw the most $$$ down a rabbit hole and not “feel it”.
          .
          BK has never been comfortable with anyone challenging his dogmatic opinions be they about NCSU or politics or anything. He thinks his word is always THE FINAL WORD on anyting. When he posted daily on State monkey boards he got savaged by their monkey mob. Here is MUCH more civil of course but he still can’t “take it”. That plus he takes himself very very seriously. If BK really does stay away I may create an imaginary BK 2.0 just so we can have fun with it.
          .
          A very smart friend of mine has “quit Facebook” at least six tumes but can’t stay away.

  • AO.GSBO Reply
    1 month ago

    WHat % of the NC general public can fit into a 22″ wide seat? It was always fun to watch this at Panther games. With a 16 oz. beer in one hand and a glob of nachos in the other, it was hilarious to see them try to sqeeze half an ass into one of those seats.

    • BobLee Reply
      1 month ago

      As husband of The Worlds Most Adorable Elf you are hardly an authority on Big Butts. 🙂

  • MaHa Reply
    1 month ago

    There is no way on God’s green earth that this is Kennels last comment. If both his hands were cut off he would type with his toes. People with egos like his never go away they think the rest of us can’t live without them. MAHA.

    • BobLee Reply
      1 month ago

      It is totally up to him MaHa. He has in no way been banned, suspended or stifled. BK is an Official Hoot and you know how much I do enjoy Hoots.

  • NCSU68Grad Reply
    1 month ago

    Please suggest to Bubba that he “re-use” rather than recycle (smelter) the Aluminum Bleachers. They could be erected in various places for the Votive Candle Vigils….or perhaps for late night viewing of the vandals doing vile (Pornographic) things to Silent Sam. Not being a real student of the UNC campus layout….there MUST be other areas where students would want to congregate and have comfortable sitting arrangements.

    What WONDERFUL opportunity for the Rams Club to set up a “Free Speech Zone”. They could also subdivide it in on specifically designed to protect the students and athletes and fans from HATE SPEECH….you know the Dan Kane Kind.

    Net is FULL of dark thoughts today. Supposedly the day that ESPN will lower the proverbial boom (sans microphone) on their staff. WHO will be cut? Will there be discrimination suits afterwards? Did see a blurb that our own Kelly Wright (formerly of WRAL Fame) done got a shyster and is suing FOX. I guess since he did not get a slot in the “O’Reilley” line-up shuffle, he done be miffed and wants his piece of the pie.

    Hope the above does not fan the raging flames of discontent that vent vital despite an 8″ deluge yesterday. Seems like folks are a bit testy in that President Trump is not appearing before Congress on Impeachment Charges within the 100 days as predicted by the High IQ spokespersons for the DNC….Where is Mrs. (or is it Ms.?) Waters? Switched to decaf before I responded….

    • BobLee Reply
      1 month ago

      The non-binary on Billions would be a nice fit “over yonder”. Creative uses of old aluminum bleachers sounds like a perfect project for Chihuahua. … These be interesting times for sure.
      .
      At any upcoming WPC functions you’d best keep your head on a swivel. You-know-who is on-the-hunt.

  • Chet.Garner Reply
    1 month ago

    That non-binary “It” on Billions redefines VERY VERY STRANGE! Imagine that standing next to you at a urinal ??? Count me in with you and Jay as a Billions fan.

    • BobLee Reply
      1 month ago

      The IT notwithstanding… Wendy and Lara dominate the screen when they are on. Bobby was in Homeland. Again, NOT a show for everyone.

  • Doug Reply
    1 month ago

    Like Crest toothpaste ads in the 50’s & 60’s, UNC can now legally claim that Kenan has 2.666% less aluminum. 😎 Apparently there’s no truth to the rumor that Carter-Finley will be adding 30 inch wide wolf thingy seat backs in response.

    Your notorious fan should have some blood work done to check for Dihydrogen Monoxide poisoning. It’s possible that he has been over-exposed to it. He might want to Google it just in case.

    • BobLee Reply
      1 month ago

      That $35,000,000 IPF might send WPC Exec Purcell back to the phones for more $$$ to upgrade NCSU’s Hindenburg Hangar.
      .
      Life without Bre’r K ??? We always knew it was a possibility. We must soldier on ….. sigh, sob, sniff.

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