Archive for Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Home-field advantage for KU

Ford CEO says Detroit arena ready for Jayhawks

The Kansas Jayhawks' road to the Final Four drives through Ford Field, in Detroit, which will have nearly 73,000 seats open for fans looking to watch Friday night's game against Villanova. Among those planning to attend is Alan Mulally, president and chief executive officer of Ford Motor Co., a company that reportedly paid $40 million over 20 years for naming rights. Mulally, a KU graduate who grew up in Lawrence, expects his Jayhawks to get a "very, very warm reception" in Detroit. "It's all coming together," he said.

The Kansas Jayhawks' road to the Final Four drives through Ford Field, in Detroit, which will have nearly 73,000 seats open for fans looking to watch Friday night's game against Villanova. Among those planning to attend is Alan Mulally, president and chief executive officer of Ford Motor Co., a company that reportedly paid $40 million over 20 years for naming rights. Mulally, a KU graduate who grew up in Lawrence, expects his Jayhawks to get a "very, very warm reception" in Detroit. "It's all coming together," he said.

March 25, 2008

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The Kansas Jayhawks' road to the Final Four drives through Ford Field, in Detroit, which will have nearly 73,000 seats open for fans looking to watch Friday night's game against Villanova. Among those planning to attend is Alan Mulally, president and chief executive officer of Ford Motor Co., a company that reportedly paid $40 million over 20 years for naming rights. Mulally, a KU graduate who grew up in Lawrence, expects his Jayhawks to get a "very, very warm reception" in Detroit. "It's all coming together," he said.

The Kansas Jayhawks' road to the Final Four drives through Ford Field, in Detroit, which will have nearly 73,000 seats open for fans looking to watch Friday night's game against Villanova. Among those planning to attend is Alan Mulally, president and chief executive officer of Ford Motor Co., a company that reportedly paid $40 million over 20 years for naming rights. Mulally, a KU graduate who grew up in Lawrence, expects his Jayhawks to get a "very, very warm reception" in Detroit. "It's all coming together," he said.

Good seats are still available for Friday night's KU basketball game in Detroit, to be part of what could be the largest crowd ever for an NCAA Tournament game.

So says Alan Mulally, who knows a thing or two about the venue.

"I haven't checked out the seats, but wherever you'd be inside Ford Field, they'll be great seats," Mulally said. "It's a faaaabulous facility."

Mulally, a KU graduate, is fielding plenty of inquiries this week as the Jayhawks prepare to play for a spot in the Final Four, and it's no wonder.

As president and chief executive officer of Ford Motor Co., Mulally figures to score some pretty good tickets for the stadium that bears the company name. He and his wife, Nicki - they met as students at KU - plan to attend, along with a couple of their kids.

And with literally dozens of inquiries coming in from friends, family, co-workers and others, Mulally figures KU should be well represented for Friday night's game and, if KU is fortunate enough to win, Sunday for the Midwest regional final.

"Everybody is contacting me to get the inside scoop on the KU Jayhawks : because everybody knows my relationship with KU," said Mulally, who received aeronautical and astronautical engineering degrees on Mount Oread and serves on the School of Engineering Advisory Board. "They all want to know what a Jayhawk is, and they all know how good these guys really are, so it's going to be a lot of fun."

Mulally clearly is enjoying the opportunity to talk up his two teams: KU's players and Ford's nearly 250,000 employees.

"What I like about them, about the Jayhawks, is the individual talent they have, but especially the way they play together as a team," Mulally said. "And you relate that to Ford, and we probably have the finest family of vehicles in the United States today. : So I'd say there's a lot of parallel: High performance, individual talent, tremendous teamwork, working together to deliver results."

Mulally knows he won't be able to deliver on all the ticket requests he's receiving - even in a stadium that opened the week with more than 17,000 of its 72,818 seats still available.

"I'm not on that side of the operation," he said. "This is completely between the NCAA and Ford Field. I'm just happy to have our name on the outside of the building and getting a chance to welcome everybody."

Comments

Write2Know 7 years, 1 month ago

What an awful place to watch a basketball game. You simply cannot put 73,000 seats around a basketball court without having people so far away from the court that they can't tell which players are on the court.

fabian_zimbabwe 7 years, 1 month ago

"I haven't checked out the seats, but wherever you'd be inside Ford Field, they'll be great seats," Mulally said.

Huh? While I had the good fortune to witness the Final Four at the Superdome in 2003, my friend and I had the great misfortune to be seated in the outer reaches...nearly impossible to see anything without binoculars (which the facility was all too happy to provide to spectators for a nice fee). I understand this guy feels obligated to tout his mega facility, but at least speak somewhere in the realms of reality when making comments. I doubt folks in the back rows would agree they're sitting in "great seats."

Evan Ridenour 7 years, 1 month ago

I am sure they are as great as the seats can possibly be when they are located half a mile from the court. :)

Confrontation 7 years, 1 month ago

Mulally should be so proud of his accomplishments, especially this one: one of the top 5 most-overpaid CEOs

http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Investing/CompanyFocus/TheMostOverpaidCEOsInAmerica.aspx

Aaron Gaddis 7 years, 1 month ago

Echoing Write2Know.....

"I haven't checked out the seats, but wherever you'd be inside Ford Field, they'll be great seats," Mulally said. "It's a faaaabulous facility."

Wow, those comments are downright laughable!

riverdrifter 7 years, 1 month ago

Don't blame Mulally. Blame the money-grubbing NCAA for putting these games in such places. I've sat in the nether-regions of the Superdome where the pigeons had oxygen packs and the game was in the next township over.
Yes, these are awful seats but I hope Jayhawker butts fill them up and give us big homestyle advantage. "The main thing is the main thing."

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