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 stadium 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.
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 trainwrecks 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….”.