I’m still not sure what Bob Huggins was getting at near the end of that press conference Saturday. It really wasn’t articulated with the time and depth it deserved, but, to be fair, it wasn’t consumed appropriately either at the end of the 50 minutes.

But there he was, sitting in the $24 million problem-solver known as the practice facility. And not only that, but the press conference was in a room specifically designated for press conferences. This is different from when the postgame media stuff happens in the concession and lounge areas behind the club seating at the Coliseum.

Huggins was nevertheless espousing the need to refurbish the Coliseum. “…the reality is the Coliseum is 44 years old and it’s never really had a makeover.”

That’s not really true. There have been little things to maintain the building and slightly bigger things like redoing the Jerry West Lounge and adding trophy cases in the concourse and the like. And there have been much bigger things like those club areas and a media room and fixed up locker rooms. Then there’s the really big thing hanging over the court now after years without a reasonable scoreboard and video board.

But a full scale makeover with scissors and hair dye and a facial mask and eucalyptus leaves and mascara and blush and lip stick and the like, no, that hasn’t happened. That appears to be on the way, though, as part of the $106 million mastah plan for WVU’s athletic facilities.

Now, since this gathering Saturday was about transfers and turnover, and since Huggins said facilities and social media were involved, I have to wonder. I can’t see how suites and better bathrooms mean nearly as much to recruits as the practice facility, but, whatever. Huggins does.

Huggins believes kids see photos of other places on Twitter and start to wonder if they have it as good as good as they could somewhere else.

He really wants suites and he doesn’t like “two urinals and a trough” in the bathroom. I think he thinks the lines at the restrooms and the concession stands and the crowds in the concourse and the mess in the parking lots discourage attendance and that fixes will increase attendance and offer a more appealing atmosphere to recruits.

I think. Again, we all could have done a better job near the end there.

But basketball isn’t in the first wave of projects for the 106 mill, so Huggins was probably endorsing the idea as much as he was hoping to expedite it. The reality? No one knows yet what’s going to happen with the Coliseum, never mind when. “The short answer,” athletic director Oliver Luck said, “is we don’t know.” Box seats — not suites, but not wholly dissimilar, either — are possibilities, but the key word today is vomitories.

Luck said larger ideas are being considered, too. The hallways (vomitories) that lead from the concourse to the inner bowl of the Coliseum don’t all line up with the aisles that take patrons to their seats. Crowds of people are funneled into a narrow walkway and then have to walk left or right to get to the appropriate aisle.

“If you designed that building today, you’d design the aisles so they’d line up with the vomitories,” Luck said. “If you did that, then you wouldn’t need that smaller inner ring to move around. So what do you do with that inner ring? Would you build boxes without having to knock walls down? You could put in these boxes — I’m not sure they’re suites — in that inner concourse. Those are good seats. You can sell those and make some decent money.”

Doing so would mean reconfiguring the lower seating bowl and essentially rotating a new design so the aisles meet the vomitories. That, though, would require all new seats because no one makes the current ones.

“Those are all decisions we haven’t made yet,” Luck said. “We need professionals to guide us and tell us what it costs and all those sorts of things.

11 Responses to “Vomitories!”

  1. SheikYbuti says:

    Apparently these arena features are called vomitories because they are the mechanisms through which the spectators are expelled from the seating bowl following the event. So the next time we blow a close game at the Coliseum and someone comments on the sedate, comfortable lower-bowl donor patrons in attendance by exclaiming, “That crowd really blew chunks!,” you’ll be able to nod your head in sage agreement.

  2. glibglub says:

    Although it was not written by someone in the althletics dept., it pleases me to think of “hallways (vomitories)” as the flip side of the “stuff (anything)” coin, if you will.

  3. anxiouseer97 says:

    I find this attention on facilities following the flare up regarding transfers to be somewhat disengenous. I know the Administration is not making a causal connection, but for Huggins to bring it up during his press conference does not sit well with me.

  4. Mack says:

    The “master plan” press conference made no sense at all to me. As best I can tell, they said, “We have $100 million. We’re going to spend it on athletics. Here are some possibilities as to how one might spend $100 million, but we have not decided how we are going to do it yet.”

    So, in essence, there is $100 million for all of the coaches to fight over. Huggins’ job, in part, is to fight for every dime of that money that he can get into the basketball program. He’s right. The Coliseum does need major renovations. I’ve been to several other arenas in the last few years… NBA arenas and updated college arenas are much more accessible for fans than I remember the Coliseum. (Full disclosure: I haven’t been to the Coliseum since approximately 2005-6, but it doesn’t sound like any of the things I’m thinking about have been updated).

    The concourse area needs to be bigger. The crowds through there are insane. There need to be many more bathrooms. The lines to get into the games should be indoors rather than outdoors. It all needs to be dressed up better.

    As I mentioned earlier, I was in Rupp Arena recently. I would describe Rupp Arena as updated, but not over-the-top. Nothing about the arena itself is unattainable… but the arena has a shopping mall and convention center attached to it. This is an amazing idea. I know that a convention center isn’t needed in Morgantown, but if you can combine something like a shopping mall, it is great for a fan because it gives an additional reason to add more parking (i.e., parking garages), has a food court, WVU clothing/souvenir stores, and gives a place to hang out in before and after the game because people don’t generally tailgate basketball games. Put some classrooms on the top and/or bottom floors like Notre Dame is doing with its football stadium, and you can make this happen.

    Hertzel mentioned moving all of the other fields away from the Coliseum and putting them with the new baseball stadium. I think this is definitely the way to go, but the more money WVU spends on all of that stuff now, the less likely it will ever start over.

  5. SheikYbuti says:

    I imagine that it would take much, much more than $100 million to get MPS (with its dysfunctional indoor practice facility and limited parking) and the Coliseum (with the track, Shell Building, Natatorium, Dick Dlesk, Hawley Field, tennis courts, etc.) to the degree of accessibility and utility that we would all like to see. Adding another zero ought to just about do it.

  6. smeer says:

    i like all your ideas mack – an indoor market place with eateries does allow for staggered entrance and departures since folk hve a place to hang out in winter conditions.

    question – how are all the other retail space/eateries doing, because such a venue would have to be able to sustain beyond a certain number of home basketball games

  7. JC says:

    I thought from the title that this topic had something to do with the treadmills…..

  8. Foul Shot says:

    When we went to the Final 4 there were no discussions of updating the Coliseum.
    So, that would have been no updates in 40 years.
    When the football team was going bad at the end of the 90’s, the facilities were an issue and Asbestos Ed was a popular term.
    The play of the team the last two years has made me “vomitorious.”

  9. hoot says:

    Personally, I think “Master Plan Vomitories” would make a great name for a rock band. (hat tip to my man Dave Barry)

  10. JP says:

    Vomitories! Check out the big brain on OL!

  11. SheikYbuti says:

    “Master Plan Vomitories” beats the heck out of “Rock Bottom Remainders.”