The warehouse, located in a nondescript area of King of Prussia by the Pennsylvania Turnpike, doesn’t look like much until Scott Reidenbach rolls up the metal door and reveals a treasure trove of materials that may generate memories for those who have visited Villanova’s Pavilion since its opening in early 1986.
The inside, appearing to be a little longer than the length of a basketball court, first reveals the wooden cubicles that were part of the Wildcats’ locker room. Keep walking and one will find the wooden bleachers of the student section, chair-back seats, scoreboard panels, two will-call tables with the “V” logo, locker room couches, retired jersey banners and wall panels and photos that hung in the corridors.
The Pavilion, which hosted its last game on Feb. 25, is in the opening stages of a 16-month, $60 million renovation. Before that could begin, however, the facility had to be stripped of its contents, and that’s where Reidenbach, 46, a Wayne attorney and a 1993 graduate of Villanova, comes in.
Shortly after the Wildcats’ 2016-17 season ended in the second round of the NCAA tournament, Reidenbach spoke with athletic department officials and made a proposal that was accepted, allowing his company, 1985 Pavilion LLC, to acquire “the entire contents that weren’t concrete” in the building, he said.
Reidenbach hired a subcontractor to dismantle the inside and remove the items, a process that was completed by the end of May. The inventory and cataloging of the items are now taking place. He hopes to have the items for sale on his web site (www.VUPavilion.com) and that of the athletic department (www.Villanova.com) later this summer.
Reidenbach, whose law firm is Reidenbach & Associates, describes having an “entrepreneurial spirit” as one of his motivations for the project. But another is his devotion to his alma mater. He is a booster of the basketball program. He has given a life skills lecture for the last 12 years to the university’s incoming student-athletes on matters such as the legal ramifications of actions that include underage drinking and fake ID cards.
“Villanova has been such a key part of my life since I was 18 years old,” he said. “I came to Villanova in the fall of ’89, and I’ve really never left. I met my wife at Villanova. We got married at Villanova. I played baseball at Villanova. All my best friends are from Villanova. I thought what a great way to meld together my love for Villanova, my love for basketball and my entrepreneurial spirit.”
Athletic director Mark Jackson said he discovered from incoming e-mails that there is a lot of interest in the items pulled from the Pavilion, and he wanted to accommodate Villanova alumni, boosters and students.
“We’re hoping that if somebody wants to take home a memory, they’re going to have the opportunity to do it, and do it in a classy way,” Jackson said. “So that’s our intention. From our perspective, the bottom line on what kind of revenue we drive from this isn’t a deciding factor. This is really just for us to hopefully give everybody the opportunity to take away something.”
Jackson said others had approached his department with plans for the basketball court or some other portion of the Pavilion’s contents before Reidenbach presented a more complete and comprehensive proposal.
“Scott is a loyal Villanovan who has been around the Pavilion for a long time,” he said, “so we felt a level of comfort that we could have a partnership doing this the right way.”
From Reidenbach’s perspective, “I could sense that Villanova wanted to have some level of input, whether it be with the creation of the products or with the quality or the priority of sales to the fan base. That was exactly aligned with our vision for the company,” he said.
Neither side would discuss financial terms of the agreement, and Reidenbach would not say what the project is costing him.
Reidenbach’s company researched what others did with materials from demolitions at Veterans Stadium and Shea Stadium, and with the old bleachers at Wrigley Field. He said the massive portable student section at one end of the Pavilion and the upper level benches presented him with a lot of wood.
That wood, he said, will be used to produce executive pens, I-Phone cases, golf bag tags, coasters, bottle openers, picture frames and diploma frames. There will be some “as-is” products such as lockers, leather couches and rest room signs, and “vintage” items such as trophies and awards that go as far back as the 1950s with coach Al Severance.
A number of seats also will be put up for sale. Reidenbach said more than 1,300 will be available, and interested buyers can fill in a request form on the website plugging in their section, row number and seat number.
And, he added with a laugh, sales will not include the “earrings, cell phones, glasses, keys and 32 years worth of bubble gum” that were found under and underneath the seats.
As for the basketball court, which is being housed in a separate undisclosed location, pieces of it will serve as an inlay for cuff links that are expected to be a hot item, plus “different things with pieces of the court” that are still being planned, according to associate athletic director Josh Heird, who is part of the Pavilion renovation project.
Heird said Villanova will keep some of the items, such as the national championship banners, retired numbers and “things that obviously you can’t put a price on.”
Still, with the hundreds of items that will be manufactured for sale, the question remains: Will it all sell? Reidenbach is confident that it will.
“We only conceived this project in early to mid-March,” he said. “We already have a list of people that want products. We’re getting e-mails daily from season-ticket holders that are asking, ‘Can I find my seats? Can I get a piece of the court?’ So we already have a waiting list. We’re very confident we can sell everything out.”