UAA, in the face of sharply declining attendance, today announced its decision to close off most of the balconies at Sullivan Arena for games this season.
One seven-row section of the North balcony will be available, first to season ticket-holders, and also to people buying single-game tickets, so long as the designated seats are available.
The upshot of this is UAA is trying to build a better atmosphere. Let's be frank -- most games the last couple seasons have been so sparsely attended that the joint had all the jump of a morgue.
More on this development later at adn.com and in Friday's dead-trees edition of the ADN.
For now, here's the press release from UAA, in full:
In an effort to enhance the experience for fans and student-athletes, University of Alaska Anchorage Athletics has reconfigured its seating for the 2013-14 UAA Hockey season by closing the balcony at Sullivan Arena.
What was formerly sold as general-admission (upper balcony), single-game tickets for the 2013-14 season now will be sold as lower-mezzanine (yellow seats) reserved seating, while maintaining the previous GA price level. The former GA seating area in the Sullivan Arena upper balcony will now be closed, unless attendance should exceed lower-bowl capacity. This was priority No. 1 for our program,” said new UAA head coach Matt Thomas. “It was important to create an atmosphere that not only enhances the fan perspective but creates a more energetic environment for the players to compete in.
In order to accommodate those renewed season-ticket holders who showed a preference for balcony-level seating, a small section on the north side, center-ice balcony was made available. Additional seats in this this section will be available for single-game purchases at the mezzanine/lower-balcony price level. Individual game ticket prices have not increased from last season.
All Seawolf Hockey single-game tickets ($13.25 lower mezzanine/$18.50 upper mezzanine) are currently on sale at the Sullivan Arena box office, online at Ticketmaster.com, or charge-by-phone at 800-745-3000.
Group sales are available for groups of 10 or more by contacting the UAA ticket office at 907-786-1562.
UAA students taking six or more credits on the Anchorage campus receive one free ticket per game. The Seawolves open the regular season at Sullivan Arena onwhen they host the Kendall Hockey Classic.''