LSU’s Joe Alleva talks Music City Bowl, upcoming development plans and more _lowres

LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva

LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva has plenty to deal with running a $109 million department and his role as a member of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee, but he’s also in Nashville at the Music City Bowl and spent a few minutes talking with The Advocate on Sunday afternoon:

How has the bowl trip been so far?

This is a great city, and the hospitality has been terrific. The weather hasn’t been too good, unfortunately. I’m very pleased with being here and the opponent. Talking to my staff, they’re very pleased with how things have worked out. Our players get excited about playing against certain opponents, so that’s a positive factor as well.

LSU sold its 8,000 tickets for the Music City Bowl. How do you feel about the new “Group of 6” bowl arrangement?

One of the things we did in the SEC was we decided to treat this group of six bowls all the same, lowered the number of tickets you have to buy and shortened the stay at the bowl. I think it’s better for everybody. It doesn’t put as much pressure on us to sell as many tickets. (LSU sold fewer tickets for last year’s Outback Bowl and had to absorb part of the cost of unsold seats.) And it gives our kids a chance to be home for Christmas.

What’s on your plate right now?

The new tennis facility should be finished in March, the gymnastics practice facility in September or October, then we’re going to break ground on the nutrition center in the spring, June at the latest. And I’m hoping (men’s basketball coach) Johnny Jones can win some games and we can start to pack the PMAC again, make it the exciting venue it can be.

How busy are you with the NCAA basketball selection committee?

It’s a constant thing. It’s like a full-time job.