MAG new football stadium
STEVE JAHNKE / THE SOUTHERN Work continues to progress on the new football stadium that is part of the Saluki Way Project. The stadium will be complete in time for the Salukis' 2010 regular season home opener Sept. 2 against Quincy University.

Football season is fast approaching and with it will come the opening of a gleaming new stadium, the centerpiece of the multi-million dollar Saluki Way renovation on the Southern Illinois University Carbondale campus.

While there will be plenty of seats in the 15,000-capacity Saluki Stadium, only a select few will get to experience SIU football from a vantage point that cannot be beat — the suite level located in the press box on the west side of the structure.

The new stadium’s 12 suites will be at the top of the seating pyramid and home to some of the best amenities in the Missouri Valley Football Conference.

Exclusive elevators will whisk suite holders and their guests to suites with theater seating for 16 or 20, flat-screen TVs with closed-circuit and cable access, and in-suite catering and beverage service.

Transom windows will allow suite holders to hear the roar of the crowd and feel the bite of a crisp, late-fall Southern Illinois Saturday afternoon. Or, they can close the windows and experience cool climate control while listening to legendary broadcaster Mike Reis call the action during a steamy early-season game.

“It’s just a great opportunity to entertain guests and watch Saluki football,” said Chet Savage, SIUC’s associate athletic director and the point man on suite sales.

The Salukis have been one of the top teams in the Football Championship Subdivision for the last several years, and the opening of their new digs should add to an already exciting and entertaining game-day experience.

Suite holders will have access to the 2,500-square-foot VIP Club Room, priority parking and private restrooms on the suite concourse. Sixteen-seat suites are 300 square feet, and 20-seat suites are 385 square feet. The 20-seat suites are sold out, but there are three 16-seat rooms available. Each suite comes with a refrigerator and bar area with sink.

While a $16,000 price tag for a season could price some potential individual buyers out of the market for a suite, Savage said there could be opportunities to form groups with like-minded friends to split the cost by purchasing fractions of a suite.

“If individuals have an interest in exploring the possibility of purchasing a full suite or partnering … they could just give me a call,” Savage said.

Savage can be reached at 618-453-7238 or by e-mailing savagec@siu.edu.

Stadium construction is slated for completion in August. The Salukis open their 2010 season Sept. 2 with Quincy University at home, and Savage said he would work hard to fill each suite.

“It is our goal to have the suites committed by the beginning of the season,” he said. “We’re confident that we’ll get commitment for those, but you just never know. It’s one of those things where, you’ve got to sell them.”


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