How Gene DiFilippo is heating up Conte Forum for winter
|11.29.10 at 11:01 am ET|
When Gene DeFilippo led Boston College from the Big East to the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Eagles athletic director had the vision of showcasing some of the best men’s basketball in country to Boston sports fans.
In addition, BC already had the distinction of having one of the finest college hockey programs in the land, a point proven with three NCAA titles since 2001.
Much of the success would not be possible without the right on-campus facility, and the Eagles have that in Conte Forum, which converts its basketball floor to Kelley Rink for hockey. DeFilippo knew with the right facilities in place he could offer Boston sports fan an alternative to the successful but more costly option of the Celtics and Bruins at TD Garden.
Just this past weekend, the school advertised a “Thanksgiving Weekend Sale” of men’s basketball and hockey packages, with tickets starting at $5 and women’s hoops with tickets starting at $2. On top of that, BC throws in free parking, no small consideration in Boston.
While there isn’t the electricity and produced entertainment to compare with the Celtics or the Bruins at TD Garden, there’s certainly more elbow room. DeFilippo realizes this. He also realizes that families wanting to take younger kids to sporting events and expose them to the campus is an subtle but effective recruiting tool as the school is always looking to recruit students down the road. That was one of DeFilippo’s main charges when he was hired in 1997.
He has since restructured the athletics program while keeping an eye on the competition — namely Boston University’s 6,300-seat Agganis Arena that opened in 2005 right down Commonwealth Avenue.
DeFilippo knew that initiating an overhaul of BC’s athletics facilities would be crucial. So, he oversaw a project that included new football practice facilities, lighting, scoreboards and other improvements at Shea Field, renovations to Conte Forum, including a new sound system, floor and video boards, two new soccer fields on the Newton campus, new Field Turf for Alumni Stadium, and an air-inflated bubble to cover the stadium turf to provide an indoor practice facility for all sports during the winter months.
DeFilippo was instrumental in raising money to build the privately funded $27 million, 72,000-square-foot Yawkey Athletics Center, which houses the football program, the Office of Learning Resources for Student-Athletes, and a large function area for general university use, freeing up critically needed space in Conte Forum for women’s athletics and other Olympic sports teams.
After football moved into the Yawkey Center, BC undertook a multi-million dollar renovation Conte Forum to provide additional locker room and office space for many of BC’s 31 varsity sports.
This winter, Conte Forum will host 17 men’s basketball games, 14 men’s hockey games, 14 women’s basketball contests and 14 women’s hockey games. That’s 59 sporting events from November through March.
Now, WEEI and WEEI.com — through New England Perks — are offering fans three different programs to get a taste of BC sports this winter as the Eagles athletic department picks up its marketing pace for the winter. Here are the special deals:
This is your chance to be part of the 2010-11 BC men’s basketball season as new coach Steve Donahue and his players hope for some madness in March. Get your tickets for only $10 as the Eagles take on Providence College on Dec. 8. Bring your family and friends to see the Eagles take on ACC and Big East rivals. Buy your $10 tickets now and bring them to the BC ticket office at Conte Forum before or on the day of the game. Your ticket will be instantly delivered to your e-mail; just print and go!
Get your BC men’s hockey tickets against Providence College on Jan. 7, 2011. Legendary coach Jerry York and the defending NCAA national champions will make another run to bring another championship to Boston. Witness the Eagles take on the rest of Hockey East during this exciting hockey season.
This is your chance to bring your family and friends to see the Eagles build their road to glory for only $10! Purchase your tickets and redeem them at Conte Forum’s ticket office before or on the day of the game.
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