Fans coming to the Kohl Center for men's and women's basketball games this year may notice a few additions to the seating configurations in the facility. Beginning Saturday night, when the Badger men face Augustana in the team's first exhibition game of the 2008-09 season, there will be some additional seats added to the building's seating manifest.
For starters, there will be 16 new courtside seats---eight on each end line. In addition, there will be two new areas of seating on the north end corners of the floor, where a small extension of the floor risers has allowed us add approximately 12 seats in each corner.
Badger fans seated upstairs may notice that we have returned approximately 90 seats in the 300 level into the seating manifest as well. For the past several years, the one row of seating immediately above the 300 level portals was not in the seating manifest and left unsold because customers in the seats directly behind the railing had to lean forward to see over those railings. As a result, the patrons in the rows behind them had difficulty seeing the court. But last spring, we learned that building codes had changed and we were able to lower the railings, thus reduce and hopefully eliminate the need for those fans to lean forward and block the views of those behind them.
In recent days, we've put some of the new seats on sale for single games in the upcoming non-conference schedule. We'll evaluate the feedback we receive from our customers and if the sight lines prove to be satisfactory as we anticipate, we'll continue to offer them for sale for the conference season as well. In the meantime, we'll be working on a new announced capacity number at the Kohl Center, which means it's likely that the men's basketball attendance numbers will increase ever so slightly in the months ahead.