Wednesday, June 28, 2000

Xavier fans take the grand tour

Season-ticket holders peek into Cintas Center

By Michael Perry
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        They called friends on cell phones from the arena and said: “Guess where I am.” They looked wide-eyed at the court, the lights, the noticeably “Xavier” blue seats.

        XU season-ticket holders were invited to informal open houses Saturday, Monday and Tuesday to get a first glimpse of the new Cintas Center and pick out where they might like to sit.

        “I've seen pictures in the newspaper,” said Terry Donovan, a 1977 XU graduate. “What you can't get is the sense of how close you are. You have to be in here to see that. It looked good in the pictures; in person, it's even better.

        “It's great to see the school colors on the seats. It just really feels like being home.”

        Construction is ongoing, and there was still dust on most seats. White tape outlined where the court will be.

        Herb Pick, a 1952 graduate, lives in Atlanta. He shares season tickets with his son and drove in to see the Musketeers' new home.

        “I couldn't pass it up,” he said of the sneak preview. “I think it's the best thing to happen to Xavier in 50 years.”

        Andy Barry, director for premi um seating and ticketing, said the arena will seat about 10,200 and that 5,000 club and premium season tickets already have been sold.

        General season tickets are expected to go on sale in late July or early August.

        About 2,500 fans came to see the Cintas Center in the first two open houses, Barry said Tuesday.

        Frank Milostan, a 1953 graduate and former XU football player who competed on the Musketeers' Salad Bowl team, has been a season-ticket holder for 33 years. He was struck by the closeness of the seats to the court and how “there's not going to be a bad seat in the house.”


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