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   Welcome to TSLMail #94 - Friday, August 29, 2003    
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   Tech Sports News

Worsham Field Update
by Will Stewart,

The Worsham Field Turf:
Looking Good
(click to enlarge)

In TSLMail #87 back in July, we ran some pictures of the Lane Stadium field that looked, uh, rough.

Since then, new sod has been installed on the field (also detailed in TSLMail #87, and with the season opener two days away, the sod, which we can now start calling "turf," I guess, looks great and has even held up well during the fall scrimmages. Click the picture to the right to see how the turf looks.

The real test for the new turf will come later this season, as the weather turns colder. The field looked great last year at the beginning of the season, but by the WVU game, Tech officials were painting it green so it didn't look terrible on TV. Hopefully, the crew got it right this time, and the field will be solid all the way through Tech's Nov. 22nd date with Boston College.

West Side Expansion Approved

Speaking of Lane Stadium, the expansion of the west side was approved by VT's Board of Visitors this week. If you haven't had a chance to digest the numbers and facts, here are the highlights:

  • The new west side structure will stretch from end zone to end zone and will feature Hokie stone, VT's gothic architecture style, and a two-tower structure.

  • Capacity is increased to 66,233.

  • Project cost: $52.5 million.

  • Funding: $10 million "naming rights" donation; $15 million in Hokie Club donations; remaining $27.5 million serviced as debt.

  • Phase 1 of construction: Foundation and utilities; start Dec. 1, 2003; complete by end of Feb. 2004.

  • Phase 2 of construction: Towers, suites, etc.; start March 1, 2004; complete by 2005 football season (current press box tower will be imploded after the 2004 season).

  • 23 luxury suites added: 12 with 22 seats each for $65,000 a year; 6 with 19 seats each for $55,000 a year; 4 "tower suites" with 35 seats each for $100,000 a year; 1 suite with 29 seats for $100,000 a year.

  • 782 indoor club seats with $2,000 per year surcharge.

  • 1,600 outdoor club seats with $1,500 per year surcharge.

That's a maximum revenue potential of $5,574,000 per year. VT officially expects to sell 70% of the suites and premium seats, for $3.9 million of revenue per year, which will be used to service the $27.5 million debt.

This year's athletic budget, according to a recent Daily Progress article, will be almost $34 million. If VT is able to maximize premium seating revenue and continue to grow Hokie Club revenues, Virginia Tech athletics could have $40 million of athletic revenue within the next few years, especially with the advent of higher ACC revenue sharing figures.

Compare that $40 million with the $16.2 million in revenue VT took in during the 1996-97 academic year (according to the Chronicle of Higher Education). Assuming VT hits $40 million by 2006-07, that's a jump of 146% in just ten years.

I wish my salary grew like that.

We have not had the time yet to incorporate the new information into our Lane Stadium Expansion Page, but we hope to soon. Until then, here are a couple of great links for more information and pictures of a model of the expanded stadium:

Composite Football Schedule Added to TSL

Thanks to message board posters johnnyd10 and F4EHokie, we now have a great composite schedule link in the left-hand border of our Football Page -- click here to see it:

TSL Welcomes New Sponsors is pleased to welcome new sponsors Crown Automotive and Budweiser, whose button ads appear at the top of TSLMail, along with long-time sponsor Advance Auto Parts. We have just inked deals with these great companies, and we'll have more details about their sponsorships in the coming days and weeks, including an incredible trivia contest with Crown.

Crown and Budweiser join our great list of sponsors (see our Sponsors Page) that make our web site possible, including Hilldrup Moving and Storage, whose ad appears in our Sponsor Spotlight section in this edition of TSLMail.

This Week in Recruiting

by Chris Horne

Lakewood (NJ) tailback Dwayne Jones has fans talking with his 6-1, 230 pound stature coupled with his 4.4 speed in the 40. Jones lists Virginia, Ohio State, Virginia Tech, and Syracuse as his top four. Syracuse, along with BC, Nebraska, and Rutgers have extended official offers. Jones may visit Virginia Tech this weekend.

One of the stateís best, Robinson (Fairfax) LB/DE Olu Hall, is open to anyone, but likes Virginia Tech and Virginia at this point. Hall is a versatile player who is athletic enough to play linebacker but plays defensive end very well.

Westfield (Chantilly, VA) WR Eddie Royal remains wide open. He will not visit any schools this weekend, but mentioned he will trip to Blacksburg for the November 1st contest versus Miami (FL). Virginia has not offered and may be dropped from his list if they do not do so soon.

Another player who will check out the Hokies contest versus Miami (FL) is Westlake (MD) speedster Jared Fagan. Virginia Tech is the clear leader for Fagan, who is being recruited as an athlete by most schools. Virginia Tech likes him as an athlete as well, and has offered him a scholarship. Boston College has also offered.

Jack Britt (NC) star George Bell, who would have been one of the top running backs in the nation if it were not for a devastating knee injury his junior year, has scheduled a visit to Michigan for September 6. Virginia was scheduled for September 27th, however that will need to be rescheduled. NC State leads with Virginia Tech close behind.

Virginia Tech lost out to Pitt for Lynchburg Christian tailback Rashad Jennings. Jennings chose the Panthers over the Hokies in order to follow his dream of playing tailback in college. Virginia Tech liked him as a linebacker.

My new Top 30 will be released Friday. There will be quite a shake up in the rankings, as I was able to view and study more and more film following my first release. Also, I will post film on Culpeper S Kent Hicks, who will be rated in the top five in the state.

For updates and information on all these players and more, subscribe to TechSideline Pass. Information on how to subscribe follows.

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-- Will Stewart Updates From the Past Week

Wide Right: These Last Few Agonizing Days
by Jeff Cockey, 8/29/03, 9:30 pm
Tuesday night, I sat in front of the television with 120+ channels of superior programming available for my viewing pleasure. I flipped on the TV and sat myself down for a few hours of an uninterrupted zombie-like state. I promptly channel surfed my way to the FOX network, because thatís the way we do it in the OC.
in TSL Pass

Beerman's Picks
by Ben Shapiro, 8/28/03, 11:05 pm
Last week: Things got started much as expected. San Jose State shut out a I-AA squad, and Kansas State rolled all over the CalBears. That defense though. Eeesh. They're going to need to work on that. :)
in Voice of the Fan

UCF Preview
by Jeff Ouellet, 8/28/03, 12:15 am
Finally, the much anticipated 2003 football season is here! In August, hope springs anew for any college football fan, but this season in Blacksburg is a little bit different. National gurus are giving the Hokies unprecedented publicity, both as a team and with respect to individual awards, people close to the program have expressed incredible optimism, and even the casual fan can see that this is the deepest team VT has ever had as the Hokies have two quality players at almost every position.
in Football

Heroes and Goats
by Matt McKinley, 8/27/03, 4:45 pm
Itís been a long summer. A long, hot summer. Vacations, barbeques, and whatnot. Itís nice, in its own way. Sooner or later, however, the summer comes to an end. The days start to grow shorter. The air catches a bit of a chill. And thoughts turn to Blacksburg. Sounds of helmets crashing ... smells of grass crushed by cleats ... I can hear and smell it already. And with those thoughts comes my mantra ...
in Voice of the Fan

Hokie Hotline Notes
by Wayne Clevenger, 8/26/03, 3:00 pm
Tonight's guests at Beamer's Restaurant in Christiansburg were defensive coordinator Bud Foster, Athletic Director Jim Weaver, and head football coach Frank Beamer.
in Hokie Hotline Notes

2003 Football Preview: Special Teams
by Will Stewart,, 8/26/03, 11:40 am
We wrap up our position-by-position preview of the 2003 season with an area of the team that has become surprisingly shaky in recent years: special teams. And as game 1 against UCF approaches, there are still some big question marks among Virginia Tech's famed special teams units.
in TSL Pass

OOC Scheduling, JMU, and the Baylor Mess
by Jim Alderson, 8/24/03, 11:35 pm
A few thoughts and observations as August comes to a close.
in TSL Pass

2003 Big East Defensive Unit Rankings
by Jeff Ouellet, 8/22/03, 11:50 am
Moving on from last article's rankings of the Big East offensive units, here is my opinion of how the Big East defenses break down, position by position, going into the 2003 season.
in TSL Pass

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