To his credit, Brad Bates introduced a new concept for Boston College home football games. This fall, BC will have three Hospitality Venues where fans can eat, drink and watch other games prior to our kickoff. It is like the Plex pregame only in more spaces and with a bigger emphasis on food and drinks. The price will be vary by location and range from $150 to $180 for the season. This is a nice effort, but is it enough?
The good news about all of this is Bates championing new ideas and new approaches. These venues might not catch on, but at least he is trying something. I also like the varied locations. Having options in different parts of campus enables more people to attend and spreads the pregame crowds out a bit. They currently tend to congregate on the tradition areas on Lower Campus (Mods, Shea, Garages,etc). I also think the pricing is fair. $30 a head (plus drinks) is close to what you would pay for a share of a parking spot and food at a full tailgate.
But the challenge with the idea and my fear as to whether or not it will catch on is demand. Currently a large portion of our season ticket holders want better tailgating and have tailgating options. Because this is a season pass concept, this is competing with those tailgating experiences. I am not on campus much for gamedays but I've never gotten the sense that the Plex pregame was so popular that it needed three similar set ups. The other aspect that might pose a challenge is the season pass concept. This sort of venue seems ideal for the casual fan or once a year fan who doesn't have a regular tailgate. I imagine they can adjust and offer one-time passes if that demand arises.
I don't know if this idea will catch on but I applaud the approach and effort. BC needs to try something new and Bates approach seems to be one of listening and adjusting. With this approach, we will eventually fix gamedays.