Morning Fix: The Little Aquarium That Could

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Tags: APD, Albuquerque, Pit

Comment by Adelita on October 15, 2010 at 6:29am
Wow, I remember going with my dad to Fremonts in Coronado Center. He loved to cook and would always find "exotic" food there. He would always buy my sister and I those little tins of raspberry candies there. Hope they can figure out a way to survive!
Comment by Ben Moffett on October 15, 2010 at 9:29am
$60,000,000 dollars for the New Pit, a merely 58.5 million more than the Old Pit and, depending on who you talk to, only a couple thousand seats fewer than the original structure that hosted the 1983 NCAA championship game because it had enough seats. The cost of the Old Pit, slightly less than $1.5 million, would cover the salary of a head coach today. The great thing about the New Pit is the special suites, where the prosperati can get away from the hoi polloi, drink beer and watch the game on TV -- can't see the floor too well from altitude. No harm, no foul on the luxury. The hoi polloi can listen on the radio if they can't afford a ticket, and if they can, they can look up past the bleachers into the suites (if one - way glass isn't installed) and point out celebs to their friends -- local company presidents, high school recruits (Is THAT the kid from La Cueva?), members of the NM House Finance Committee, ex-Lobos who reached the NBA. Yes, the New Pit has a lot of potential.
Comment by ramon t on October 15, 2010 at 10:10am
Ben, lots of normal folks get to use the suites. Many companies purchase them and then distribute them to their employees as thank you's and little perks of employment. I am a peon at my company and have had the pleasure of using the suites at both Isotopes Park and the Santa Ana Star Center on many occasions.
Comment by Dan Ehrig on October 15, 2010 at 10:42am
Hopefully these luxury boxes will let real fans get close to the floor again. Around 1994 AD Davalos moved the student section from the first 30 or so rows on the west side to the north side and put luxury seats for big spenders in their place. The new fatcat rows were much deeper and as a result the number of people in that space is about half what it used to be. Additionally the wealthy folk who take those seats are much quieter than the students were and rarely even get out of their seats. The Pit isn't nearly as loud as it was before this.

Unfortunately I suspect that the privileged will retain their prime seating on the west side in addition to getting the entire mezzanine to themselves and the Pit will become even quieter.

The Lobos still have a home-court advantage at The Pit but it isn't nearly as huge as it used to be. The days of unranked Lobo squads knocking off the #1 team in the country as a result of crowd noise (as it did to both Oklahoma and Arizona in the late 80s/early 90s) are over. Its all about revenue maximizing these days.

As Johnny Mango pointed out though, I imagine it will be a long time (if ever) before these new luxury boxes pay for themselves. This renovation is more government welfare to the wealthy and well-connected than anything else. At least some blue collar workers have gotten some paychecks out of it.
Comment by Ben Moffett on October 15, 2010 at 12:31pm
I appreciate your well thought out views, Ramon and Dan. I suspect it won't be as easy to get a Lobo suite as an Isotope suite, however, given the relative popularity. The Topes get paid upfront from the companies and their fence ads and get paid again by people with free tickets who get thirsty and hungry during a four hour game and are captive to overpriced food and drink.

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