Additional changes in the Packard Stadium renovation project and a report on athletic finances at Arizona State will be heard during the Arizona Board of Regents meeting on Friday afternoon in Tucson.
Because of the football team's 4-7 season, ASU will report to the board that the department debt has been reduced only $100,000 to $1.6 million.
Tom Collins, senior associate athletic director, said ASU was ahead of its projections in ticket sales for the Northern Arizona and Utah State games but only broke even or lost money on the remainder of the home schedule. ASU's average attendance this year is 53,998, which is an increase from 45,837 last year. ASU reduced prices on the majority of its tickets last February.
Still, the Arizona game will determine if tickets sales reach budget.
ASU projected that it would sell 61,214 tickets for UA, a figure Collins called conservative. When the Devils hosted the Wildcats in 2001, the school sold 55,831 tickets.
"We didn't think that was an outrageous goal. We're lagging behind right now," said Collins, estimating that ASU is $700,000 below its ticket projections for the game. "As you can imagine, with the way we've played and the turmoil at Arizona, it hasn't been the hottest selling ticket."
Collins said ASU and UA are cooperating to move more tickets. "We want everyone to come out and support the two teams the day after Thanksgiving," he said.
Athletic director Gene Smith said ASU received unanticipated revenue when the San Diego Chargers-Miami Dolphins "Monday Night Football” game was moved to Sun Devil Stadium because of fires in the San Diego area. The university collected more than $200,000 from concessions.
ASU collected an additional $40,000 from the ABC broadcast of last week's game at Washington State. ASU is keeping its fingers crossed USC plays for the national championship and Washington State goes to the Rose Bowl, which would provide each Pac-10 school a second Bowl Championship Series check.
Still, football didn't provide the revenue to reduce the debt. Smith had told the board he would retire the debt at the end of the current fiscal year.
ASU now hopes men's basketball exceeds expectations. The school is buoyed by the sale of nearly 4,000 season tickets to students, an increase of nearly 2,500. Season tickets sales for students in football increased 1,278 to 6,778. ASU is encouraged that the majority of students who bought the football and basketball season tickets are freshmen.
"We're at an interesting crossroads," Collins said. "We need to try to sell the basketball season. We're going after groups, we're trying to change the pricing model in Wells Fargo Arena to sell more tickets. We're trying to cut expenses and not hurt our programs."
Construction of a clubhouse for ASU's baseball facility was delayed again while a new contractor was found and revisions made.
The board is being asked to approve the renovations, which will raise the cost of the project by $200,000 to $3.05 million.
The $200,000, which was raised through private donation, will pay for elevator
equipment for disabled seating, a canopy for the batting facility, and rubberized flooring in the clubhouse.
"When we had those delays, we put it back on the street for bid and it came back higher than what we had money for," said Mike Chismar, associate athletic director for operations and facilities. "We put it for bid again with the added alternates and it came back enough that we could start the project."
ASU players were supposed to be using the new clubhouse in October 2002.
A trailer has been at Packard Stadium since early October with Regency Development Inc., the general contractor. Regency is the third contractor ASU has had for the project.
ASU hopes to have dirt turning "in 10 days," Chismar said, with the project to be completed in time to host an NCAA regional in late May.