January 14, 2016
The start of a new year, and the anticipation of the academic year’s second semester, gives us the opportunity to look back at the past several months of 2015. Along with the normal business of college athletics, we began several business initiatives and made facility improvements over the summer and fall.
Siena basketball has been a fixture in downtown Albany since the 1950’s when we played games in the Washington Avenue Armory. In the mid-90’s that relationship began anew in the Knickerbocker Arena. This summer, Siena and the Times Union Center agreed to continue that relationship through the 2019-2020 season. It’s an exciting time to be at the TUC. Albany County’s investment to enclose the atrium will open up all sorts of entertainment possibilities to our fans, and be an enticement to other events like the MAAC and NCAA basketball tournaments.
The department also entered into agreements with two companies that excel in providing sponsorship and ticket sales support. Van Wagner Sports and Entertainment was retained to manage the department’s multi-media and corporate sponsorship rights. VWSE will maintain our partnership-first approach to corporate sponsorships and look to grow opportunities locally, regionally and nationally.
The Aspire group was brought on board to assist in the department’s Fan Relations Management Center. Working with current Siena staff, Aspire will provide additional sales personnel to assist in enhancing our customer service and expand our ticket sales to keep Siena basketball among the top drawing programs in the Northeast.
Some significant facility enhancements have taken place as well. Thanks to the generosity of donors, the baseball field underwent a $500,000-plus enhancement. Elevated stadium seating with a mix of chair back and bleacher seats with a press box, a new backstop using netting technology, an outfield irrigation system, and dugout repairs were all part of the transformative project. The area behind home plate was enhanced with over 15,000 square feet of artificial turf that solved drainage problems and provided branding opportunities with a permanent Siena logo stitched into the turf.
The College invested $1-million into the Alumni Recreation Center with the replacement of the wood floor and the installation of new seating. That is the first step of a multi-phased plan to invest over $13-million dollars of work in the ARC. Four locker room projects are underway as well: men’s basketball’s locker room received new lockers and carpet, men’s lacrosse is undergoing a complete renovation from lockers, to flooring, to furniture and doors. Baseball and women’s soccer are receiving new lockers and flooring. All of these projects are made possible because of donors and their belief in Siena’s student athletes. More details on those projects will come in the next update.
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