Quotes from ASU Administrators' Press Conference regarding the ASU-LSU Football Game
Sept. 5, 2005
Tempe, Ariz. - Tom CollinsSenior Associate Athletic Director
'Starting on Tuesday morning at nine o'clock, all of our season ticket holders will be able to log onto our website at www.thesundevils.com and purchase their season tickets in the exact same location as the rest of their season tickets. Ticket prices are $50 for the loge level and $30 for stadium tickets. Season ticket holders will have until Wednesday at noon to claim their season tickets. Starting at two o'clock on Wednesday, we will make all remaining tickets available for sale for anyone who wishes to purchase them. Again, you need to go online to www.thesundevils.com and we will have it available for tickets to be purchased online. It will be available 24 hours a day.
'We don't have a kickoff time yet, but we are still working on that with ESPN and as soon as we have it, we will pass it on. For the people coming to the game, everyone with a parking pass for the Northwestern game on September 17 can use that same pass to get into the parking lot this Saturday. You will use the Northwestern pass to park at the LSU game and you'll hold onto that pass to get into the Northwestern game.'
'Obviously, trying to turn this thing around is a monumental task. There will be a huge will call. We are asking our season ticket holders to come by on Thursday and Friday to pick up the tickets that they have purchased. We are asking everyone to be patient with us. We are trying to get extra staff on duty to accommodate this and we've also extended the ticket office hours from 9am to 8pm to take care of this massive effort. Suite holders will be contacted, as we are taking care of suites separately.
'Students who have season tickets will be admitted to the LSU game with their season tickets free of charge. When they come to pick up their seating wristbands, we are going to ask them at that time to make a donation. We are lining that up right now and working with LSU and the Red Cross to set that up.
'For people who purchased tickets at ASU to travel to LSU for the game, we are asking you to wait until next week to return those tickets to us. On Monday, you will be able to return the LSU tickets to our ticket office and we will process a refund for you. We are asking you not to bring those in this week because of the volume we are expecting to have this week.
On the status of Baton Rouge:'Baton Rouge, when you drive through it, it looks normal, They have been under a lot of stress and you can tell that they have been up for a long time. They are dealing with a major crisis at the university right now, and it became apparent to us the first time we drove through it that hotel rooms are a problem down there. They have evacuees in the hotels and relief workers in the hotel that was supposed to be our host hotel. They have people trying to put the power on right now that are working 18 hours a day.. Everything else in Baton Rouge looks normal. It's hard for me to judge because I was on the ground for about three or four hours, and these people are having to live through it right now.'
On how many are expected to visit from LSU:'We've been talking to LSU all day long trying to help them to bring their pep band out here. We've been working with America West to flip our charter so that they can bring their team out here. And we've been getting them hotel reservations lined up for them. These are the kind of details, along with ticket details, that we have been working on today.
'They will give us that answer tomorrow morning (on when their team is arriving in Tempe). They could be here on Thursday or Friday.'
On the scene around Tiger Stadium:'Again, our colleagues at LSU were experiencing something that we have never been through, and I can't even imagine what it's like. We walked through and looked at everything. I was concerned as an ASU administrator about bringing a football team in there. The people at LSU are working really hard and are not doing their normal jobs right now. They are helping their fellow state citizens, and it has been a monumental effort. We just want to help them through it and we have reached out as much as we can to do that.'
On the Fiesta Bowl's part in this event:'The Fiesta Bowl has stepped up to help secure lodgings for the LSU team and has offered to pay for all their meals while they are out here. They are going to take care of a lot of their expenses. As Christine (Wilkinson) alluded to, this football game has become an event where the whole community can get involved to help and raise money. Once we take care of the expenses, the proceeds of this will go back to help the hurricane victims.'
On feeling comfortable about bringing ASU to Baton Rouge:'It was clear to them by the end of our visit that we had some legitimate concerns. Again, the hotel issue was the major one. It was the first place we went when we got there. They had evacuees there and the governor has issued orders that neither evacuees or people working with the recovery effort can be displaced from their hotels. We didn't feel it was fair to all the people that were in there, the evacuees or all the people working to restore the power.'
On being televised by ESPN and the kickoff time of the game:'The game will be televised on ESPN. That was dealt with at a conference level between the SEC and the Pac-10. We made a request to move the game later at night to give us more time to get ready to stage the event. Our preference would be to play at seven o'clock like a normal game and get everybody ready for it. That was our request, but I don't know if it will be honored.'
On the feelings of LSU regarding moving the game:'They clearly understood our questions and reservations about coming down there. The hotel thing was an issue that we were trying to resolve while we were there. They are going through a fluid situation down there where things are changing in their neck of the woods every day. Things appear to be getting better, and we hope they are doing better. Those folks are under a lot of stress and they are doing things outside of their normal jobs right now, especially our colleagues in the LSU athletic department. They are taking care of some things like losing their baskertball venue and their track venue for the whole semester. AS well, they have 2000 more students showing up for classes tomorrow. They have a monumental task down there.'
On the expected amount of money to be raised by the game:'It would be our hope to net somewhere in excess of one million dollars to give to the relief fund. We do have to help LSU to get out here now for the game and we consider that part of the costs, but we are hoping to fill the stadium and get that kind of money for the fund.'
On the status of the 2008 game in Tempe:'The game will be played as scheduled in Tempe. We are already in talks with LSU about adding another game following the 2008 season in which we would go to LSU. That will be an additional game without a return trip.'
On details about Saturday's game:'This will be considered a neutral site. LSU will be the home team. Again, we are taking their game so it will be SEC officials. But this will be an asterisk game. They will come out here again in 2008 and sometime in the future we will return a game to them out in Baton Rouge. This game is not considered a part of the hone-and-home series. It is a separate game.'
Christine Wilkinson:Vice President and Secretary of Arizona State University
'Arizona State University, through the leadership of President Michael Crow, has offered from the onset any possible assistance we can provide to the victims of the hurricane disaster. From assisting those who have been displaced from New Orleans universities to assisting with housing people who needed to be evacuated and now to host the ASU-LSU game. As Chancellor Sean O'Keefe mentioned earlier, he called Michael Crow earlier this afternoon and the president immediately offered to host the game.
'We will do it with two things in mind: to provide ASU fans with a great football game against a tough opponent and to provide a major fundraiser, along with LSU, to assist the victims of the hurricane disaster. We feel it is most important that, beyond any staging costs, that every bit of the money raised at this event will go towards the relief effort, along with additional fundraising that we will be doing throughout the business community and the community in general. Vice President for Athletics Lisa Love and her staff are ready to lead both of those efforts. We seek everyone's help and we need your help. Come to the game and bring your family and friends and it will be a great game and a super fundraiser.'
On what the advance party saw: 'From a university stand point having Tom Kleinlein and the others see what was visible, we certainly want to help LSU in any way possible They felt strongly about hosting it. Its is a very complicated situation right now. The Chancellor stated how much they are needed in a relief stand point. They can focus on that and keep the university going.'
On students coming to Arizona State University from New Orleans' universities:'We have offered to admit students from the New Orleans area and other areas impacted to contact our registrar's office. Our registrar's office has received over 1,000 phone calls to find out what was possible from an academic point of view. Within the first day, we had three students enrolled and 20 within the week. The most recent interaction has been between the Architecture and Design school, not only to transfer students, but also their faculty for the entire semester, which will be fairly major. That has happened just this afternoon.'
On the Red Cross effort:'Being on the National Board of Governors for the Red Cross, I have been receiving daily briefs and working with federal agencies to see what matters need the greatest attention. In Baton Rouge, they are looking at what areas are greatly impacted and what needs to be done, but when they are done with one area, another impacted area comes up. It is a monumental impact.'
On expectations of the relief effort:'We hope to fill the stadium to capacity. Everyone's heart is in the right place.'
Mike ChismarAssociate Athletic Director for Operations and Facilities
'With regards to hosting the game, we are looking forward to it. We host an awful lot of events each and every year. In 2003, we had 24 hours notice to turn around a Monday Night NFL football game and we did that without a hitch. We are going to move forward to get in touch with over 1,200 people who work at the games to make sure that they will be at their posts for Saturday's game, but we will get it done and we're looking forward to it.'
On the hotel rooms for the team in Baton Rouge:'We had 123 reserved for this trip because we were planning on bringing some extra personnel.'
On what is required from a game operations standpoint for this event:'We have to put on a game in six days that was not scheduled. We have to get a hold of all of our security personnel and all of the people who do everything from sidelines to running the scoreboards to the more than 300 people who man the concession stands. There is a huge amount of people that come together to put on a football game here. '
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