Frost Arena gets new student section


Student seating at Frost Arena will be far different this year.

The SDSU athletic department spent the summer installing a few new sets of bleachers. Perhaps most notably are the sets directly behind each baseline. The department hopes the bleachers will house a new and improved student section.

The move was announced at the last Students’ Association meeting of the 2012 spring semester. According to Athletic Director Justin Sell, it was made primarily for two reasons. The first, he said, was to help enhance the game day atmosphere, and the second was to free up more prime seating for season ticket holders.

“We have to find ways to grow,” Sell said.

Increasing season ticket sales could serve as a way for the athletics program, which already receives more than $2.4 million of general activity fee (GAF) funds per year, to grow without asking for higher student fees. New seats with backs and armrests were put into the lower deck bleachers, in a further effort to enhance season ticket holder seating.

“My goal is not to ask students to pay for more,” Sell said.

The new seating arrangements and seats have already paid off. Assistant Athletic Director for Tickets Christi Williams said that the lower bowl season tickets for both men’s and women’s basketball have already sold out.

“We’re up over 200 from last year,” Williams said.

The athletic department cited game day atmosphere as the most important reason for the move. Students will be seated at both ends of the arena with the pep band placed in the southeast corner closest to the opposing bench.

“We wanted the opposing team to be shooting into a whole wall of students,” Williams said.

The new seating arrangements are designed for maximum distraction for the opposing team and mirrors many other Division I student sections. Among those are both the University of South Dakota and North Dakota State.

Another hope, according to new Assistant Athletic Director for Marketing Eric Hrubes, is to better organize student cheering.

“We’re looking to implement a student section leader group,” Hrubes said, putting a new emphasis on the 2-year-old “Rabbit Den” section for basketball.

Hrubes also said there are a number of other programs he will be working on to help enhance the game day atmosphere and attendance. Both Hrubes and Williams said that student opinions and ideas are going to be considered as well.

“It’s their student section,” Hrubes said.

The athletic department spent around $275,000 on the new bleachers and seats. Installation is ongoing but expected to be complete by the first home volleyball game.