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The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

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An enhanced experience

An+enhanced+experience

Bodensteiner makes changes to Hagan    

The St. Joe’s Director of Athletics Jill Bodensteiner J.D., recently made changes to the fan experience in Hagan Arena.

During men’s and women’s basketball games, anyone, including students, will be able to purchase alcoholic beverages. Alcohol will not be permitted in the student section and will only be on sale until the end of halftime.

Bodensteiner also made changes to seat pricing for season ticket holders, making the cost vary depending on the seat location. There will no longer be a mandatory seat donation, something that went away as a result of a recent tax bill.

According to Bodensteiner, the response has been positive. She hopes changes involving alcohol sales will attract more of an alumni presence at the games.

“This isn’t about revenue, this about different ways to create community,” Bodensteiner said.

John Lord, Ph.D., a visiting instructor of marketing and longtime men’s basketball season-ticket holder, said the addition of alcohol sales makes sense for the program.

“Alcohol is a large part of the campus experience at sporting events,” Lord said. “As long as it stays under control, it’s a good idea to enhance the experience during games.”

Joseph Lunardi, director of marketing and broadcast services for the Athletics department, said that selling alcohol is a natural extension of what St. Joe’s already does rather than a revolutionary initiative.

“It’s almost a sin of omission to not have alcohol and presume that your fans won’t be responsible,” Lunardi said. “We think our fans are and will be responsible.”

In contrast to her motivations for alcohol sales, Bodensteiner said the change in seat pricing is an effort to increase revenue.

“Across all sports in the country, ticket sales are on the decline,” Bodensteiner said. “It seems to be a win-win to have variable prices based on seat location. In most cases, the new price is reduced. The exception might be court-side.”

Those who want to sit in optimum seats know varied pricing is common in modern sports business, according to Lord.

“Most of the people who are really avid St. Joe’s fans don’t have a problem with spending a little more money, especially if it’s a good experience,” Lord said. “Since they’re changing the pricing structure, it does give people who aren’t willing or able to pay that much money access to the games.”

Lunardi said the way people view live sports is changing and fans are not inclined to commit themselves to 15 home games a season.

We believed that we needed lower price points particularly for families and kids,” Lunardi said. “We wanted to be progressive about meeting the marketplace.”

Along with the change to ticket sales and alcohol, Bodensteiner also made a variety of other changes to Hagan. A new wifi network was installed just for Hagan Arena as well as a new lighting system.

“There are a few elements that should strike students as new and improved,” Bodensteiner said. As the men’s and women’s basketball seasons approach, Lunardi said the biggest push will be for student-ticket sales.

“We’re trying to be more proactive with promotions,” Lunardi said. “We need to be more engaging with this generation and hopefully the men’s and women’s team performance will match that engagement so kids come back.”

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