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Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Build it and.....

While we're on the subject of Virginia.....

Doug Doughty of The Roanoke Times writes UVa.'s fundraising efforts for the new John Paul Jones Arena while the basketball team is slumping:

"On the day that Virginia launched a mass-marketing campiagn for its new basketball arena, athletic director Craig Littlepage vowed that the Cavaliers' on-court product will improve."

Virginia's raised $94 million of the cash for the arena, which carries a total price tag of $129.8 million. It hopes to raise another $27 million through premium seating, where fans will make one-time gift of $25,000. AD Craig Littlepage said the school wasn't lagging in donations, yet could still be further ahead.

He doesn't think "the schedule and performance of the team had that much bearing" on fundraising.

On who will be coaching in the arena, scheduled to open in May 2006, Littlepage said:

"The season will tell the story. I don't think it's a stretch to say we haven't gotten to the point where we want to be, and it's my job, in part, to make sure that we are poised and on an upward movement as we go into the new arena. We will be there. I guarantee that."