Vitello’s diamond in the rough at Lindsey Nelson
Improvement of UT facilities considered key to retaining successful coach
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Word came Tuesday afternoon that all Tennessee games in this weekend’s NCAA Tournament Knoxville regional are sold out.
It should be a terrific atmosphere for an event that’s been a long time in coming. It’s been 16 years, 2005 is the last time the Baseball Vols hosted an NCAA Tournament Regional.. Tennessee would go on to the College World Series that year.
As for the Stadium itself, preparations continue and that includes making sure the stands and the concession area’s are as clean as they can possible and down the left field line there’s the addition of temporary bleachers, which will accommodate some 400 extra fans, “the great thing about the regional we have the opportunity to add more bleachers it’s still clear bag policy NCAA rules in place we need Vol Nation to bring that energy for us,” said UT Associate Director of Athletics for marketing and sales, Jimmy Delaney.
Vol nation has done a good job of that this season at a facility widely considered not to be ranked among the best in the SEC. Schools like Florida, LSU, Miss. State South Carolina , Alabama and even Kentucky have all seen improvements made to their Stadiums, something head coach Tony Vitello would also like to see accomplished says WVLT contributor and ESPN.com writer Chris Low, “I think it’s bigger than Tony Vitello. Kentucky spent $50 million on a new facility. A downtown stadium is not the answer. If you wanna keep Tony Vitello you better spend the money and show everybody you mean business”
It is believed the Tennessee administration is working right now to put together a package to at least double his salary which is at $600 thousand. It would make him among the highest paid coaches in the league. The other part of that package would be to take care of his staff and to see through improvements to the stadium, which would include permanent stands down the left field line, luxury suites, an outfield patio and more. Improvements which would obviously run into the millions of dollars.
Vitello and the Vols will enter this weekend’s Regional as the No.2 team in the nation. Tennessee is up two spots in the D1 Baseball rankings after going 3-2 at the SEC Tourney in Hoover.
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