RICHMOND, Va. – VCU Athletics has announced sweeping hospitality and concessions upgrades to the E.J. Wade Arena at the Stuart C. Siegel Center for the 2018-19 basketball season. These upgrades come as a response to a fan survey VCU Athletics sent to stakeholders this past spring.
A generous donation by long-time VCU Athletics benefactor Stuart C. Siegel made the upgrades possible and will improve the experience for all Ram Athletic Fund donor levels and fans attending VCU Men's Basketball games. The various upgrades will impact hospitality and concessions throughout the arena.
"VCU Athletics takes the experience of our fans very seriously," said Ed McLaughlin, VCU Vice President and Director of Athletics. "We surveyed our stakeholders to see what they want to see as part of our game-day hospitality. Thanks to Stuart's incredible generosity, we acted on what we heard from the fans. Our fans will see the improvements immediately."
Renovations to the northwest corner hospitality area of the arena, including VCU-branded graphics, a mounted television and additional available space, finished over the summer. This area is designated as the Platinum Dock. VCU Athletics will add a second full-service bar to enhance customer service in this area. Platinum Society members ($15,000 - $24,999) will have access to this area for halftime.
The Board of Visitors Room, which will service members of the Ram Athletic Fund Scholarship Society giving level ($25,000+), now will include halftime food provided by EAT Restaurant Partners and the Richmond Restaurant Group.
The Commonwealth Room will feature an additional full-service bar for pregame and halftime hospitality to reduce wait time and increase quality of service.
VCU Athletics worked with its concessions provider, Spectra, to improve the food quality for concessions stands throughout the arena.
VCU Athletics will introduce beer sales at all home men's basketball games. Spectra will administer all beer sales in accordance with Virginia ABC laws.
"We took a significant amount of time to make the decision to move forward on beer sales," McLaughlin said. "We took input from many, many areas and spent time discussing the operational opportunities and challenges. Since we don't have experience in the point-of-sales aspect of selling beer at men's basketball games, we will evaluate our operations throughout the season and tweak where we see fit."
Security personnel will implement strict enforcement of ID checks along with a limit on purchases. All Spectra and RMC Events employees will have training in responsible drinking management and intervention procedures. The arena maintains a no re-entry policy and a prohibition on outside alcoholic beverages at all VCU Athletic events.