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The Alamodome in San Antonio moves front and center in the sports world in late March when it hosts the 2018 Men’s Final Four Basketball Championship. To get ready for college basketball’s crowning spectacle and all the other events that the 25-year-young stadium hosts, some $60 million was dropped into renovations for the venue. Those in attendance at the Final Four and the millions of eyeballs watching the drama unfold from the comfort of their televi- sion sets should notice the improvements. I visited Nick Langella, CFE, general manager of the Alamo-

   before you ever enter the stadium with renovated entry plazas that now have naming rights attached to them. The trip to San Antonio (I would never turn down a trip to San Antonio) was to not only talk about the venue and the Final Four, but also the subject of “hosting the big event.” Before you say, “I think I will stop reading here because we will

never host a Final Four,” I implore you to continue on. Why? Every venue and every city have its own big events. You might be an IAVM member and responsible for a 600-seat theater. Guess what? You are working continuously to bring in your own big event, whatever that might be. It’s all relative, really. The three Alamodome veterans were gra- cious in sharing their nuggets of knowledge about what any venue can and should do in anticipation of an arriving big event, or for that  in addition to reading this column, I urge you to read the cover pro-  You will get some solid ideas to take back to your own place of work. Speaking of big events, as many of you know, I had one back

on January 30, 2015, when my wife of almost 25 years died from a coronary dissection during what is usually a routine day surgery angiogram procedure. Tanya was 48 at the time of her death. We were not able to have children, and my wife was my life. She took a magazine with her to the hospital that day in case she would be re- quired to stay overnight. Before she was taken down the hall for her procedure, she reminded me that in case she did not go home that night that I would need to go and get something to eat. I assured my angel I would worry about that once she came out of surgery. Within two hours of the procedure, I had Tanya removed from life support. Instead of worrying about what to eat that night, I was suddenly having to plan my wife’s funeral. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all my tremendous

IAVM friends who have checked in on me since losing my sweet Tanya. Life has never been the same, but I try to move forward. For the past two years, I have worked on a book called “Saint, Servant, Soulmate: The Loving Legacy of Tanya Baugus.” This is a book


about Tanya and about our incredible marriage that has been ther- apeutic for me to write. The book is now available at a website created just for my baby

at I hope you will visit the site and order a copy or two. When Tanya passed, her employer at Coaches Outreach called and asked if they could establish a Tanya Baugus Memorial Scholarship. Through tears and sobs, I happily agreed to this. Proceeds from the book will go to Tanya’s scholarship.  

the school year, Coaches Outreach produces “playbooks” of bible study for high schools where coaches wish to have a study. I was hon- ored this past semester to lead such a study at Nimitz High School in Irving.        -

treats for high school coaching couples. Tanya worked these and absolutely loved greeting the veteran and newcomer couples who came to the retreats. I attended one every summer with her and got to watch my incredible wife in action. She made everyone feel so at ease and welcome as soon as they walked through the door. The scholarship was established to help more coaching couples be able to attend a marriage retreat. Your purchase allows you to know Tanya better and to support her passion at the same time. As venue professionals, you obviously share much in common with

coaches when it comes to hours away from family and understand the need and challenge in keeping your family life strong. By sup- porting this scholarship, you also keep Tanya’s memory and legacy strong. Thank you for considering. FM


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