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University Of Virginia Works To Repair Damage To Seats In Scott Stadium; Offers Apology To Ticket Holders

September 13, 2004 -- University of Virginia officials are working to repair damage to more than 3,200 seats in Scott Stadium that came loose during Saturday’s football game against the University of North Carolina.

At the start of the second quarter, University officials were notified that bolts holding seats into the concrete in the west side upper deck of Scott Stadium had failed.

Stadium personnel and University officials, including Athletics Director Craig K. Littlepage, went to the area to assess the situation and to take the necessary next steps for the safety of the people sitting in the sections where problems occurred.

Littlepage and stadium staff worked to move as many people as possible to other seating, but because of the sellout crowd, there were few options. Some left the game when no seats could be found. No injuries were reported.

"This is a serious situation and one of great concern. The safety of every person attending a game in the stadium is a priority of the University," said Leonard W. Sandridge, executive vice president and chief operating officer. "We met with contractors first thing Sunday to evaluate the damage and to estimate the time it will take to make the repairs and to get this right."

While Sandridge said he wanted the job taken care of quickly, he was more interested in seeing it done properly in order to ensure the security and confidence of those attending games.

"Our fans were quick to alert us to the problem and were understanding of the situation," Sandridge said. "We're grateful for their help, and plan to show our appreciation to them.”

Each ticket holder in sections 530 through 536 will be offered an option of receiving a $40 gift certificate for each ticket in the affected sections redeemable at stadium merchandise booths through the 2004 season or, if preferred, receiving a $35 refund for each ticket held in the affected sections, Littlepage said.

Today, Littlepage will e-mail letters to ticket holders outlining the details of what happened, alerting them to the time frame for repairs, and thanking them for their patience. In addition, a hard copy of the letter and the certificate will be mailed later in the week.

“From what I saw and heard while touring the upper deck in the second half, our fans were very patient and extremely supportive in spite of the circumstances,” Littlepage said.

Building contractors were on site Sunday morning and repair work is due to begin at noon today. Weather permitting, the seats are expected to be repaired by Saturday's game against Akron.

This summer, all seats in the west side upper deck -- part of a 1970’s stadium addition -- were taken out in order to patch and reseal the concrete surface. The seats were then reinstalled using bolts and epoxy, as specified by the project engineer. Preliminary inspections indicate that the epoxy failed to hold.

Contact: Carol Wood, (434) 924-1400

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Contact the Office of University Relations at (434) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (434) 924-7550.

SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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Last Modified: Wednesday, 02-Nov-2005 10:41:47 EST
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