Football Gameday Experience - SEC News

Interesting to see the things schools are doing to try and engage fans and students and entice them to come and to stay at the stadium.

LSU - introduced a “premium area” inside their stadium with beer, TVs, food options, etc. If Arkansas wanted to do something similar where would it be set up? … ction/amp/

Alabama: $92mm stadium project that includes a 10,000 sq ft air conditioned “social area” for students with TVs, concessions, phone charging stations, cooling off etc. … utType=amp

No doubt changes are coming at Arkansas - eager to see what they are.

LSU’s area couldn’t even see the field, it had TV’s. They’ll be turning that into the keg holding area, now that sales will be stadium wide. I haven’t really looked at Bama’s plan, I know it switched once stadium wide was passed last month.

The fan experience we need is winning, until then, they could give beer away and we wouldn’t sellout, we’ll…maybe we would? Anyway, the experience of being there when the team is winning, look at Baum, outweighs most obstacles. I wasn’t driving back up this weekend, but I wanted to watch us go for the CWS.

I agree winning is the key, but it’s not the be all end all…Clemson for the first time since 2009 not sell out one game last season. Even the biggest winners are not immune to declining attendance.

There will be teams cutting out numbers of seats and changing them to loge seating as we move into the future. They won’t need the 100,000 seats. They can get by with 75,000 and 40 boxes for club seats. It’s coming. Hide and watch.

Agree wholeheartedly

I would like to see a beer garden type area added to the top area of the SEZ. Open it early and have tents and food and drink stations along the back wall. Add a couple rows of bar stool type seats with tables behind the few rows of permanent seats that would be general admission. Have some TV’s in a couple areas showing other games during the pre-game.

You could see GA tickets for folks that wanted to stay in the area the whole game, or people with tickets could buy a wristband for $5.00 and come and go as they please.

It’s actually a pretty cool view from up there and would give some fans that want to hang out with a group of friends and watch the game a neat area to do so without being crammed into a row of seats.

Heck, you could even put up a few tailgating style canopies that could be rented out along the back wall as well (Miss St did something similar and sold them out quickly), kind of like what we added at Baum but on a smaller scale.

Would add a lot to the atmosphere, be a big revenue producer, and give some fans a reason to get in the stadium early!

You’re welcome, Hunter! haha!

Good idea - the point person for the game day presentation is Rick Thorpe who was hired back in February. I emailed him some thoughts - some similar to this - and he emailed back to see they were conducting a top to bottom review of the entire game day experience and that announcements would be made later this summer about changes.

Send him your thoughts! … ngagement/

Good info…I will definitely pass along some of my ideas as well. Thanks!

At the end of the day, you can have all the bell and whistles but it comes down to winning and even winning probably won’t fill the stadiums in the future.

Too easy to sit at home and spend 20-30 bucks vs. several hundreds. I agree with Clay.

No doubt winning is always the best remedy, and one that in the past required no additional effort or promotion…just sell butt space on an aluminum bench and people were going to snatch those up and cram their fannies into that tiny space, no extra frills needed. Now with every game on TV, and super-sized, ultra clear HD ones at that, you had better be creative and continue thinking of ways to enhance the overall experience for your fans that do attend, from pre-game to in-game to post-game.

Pre-game concerts, food trucks, additional tailgating space and activities, etc. More areas to meet and enjoy other games and entertainment surrounding the stadium.

We’ve seen a lot of this addressed inside the stadium in the recent expansions with it being most all premium type seating with extra amenities. Heck there wasn’t even a chair back in the house 20 years ago, except in one of the few suites behind glass and maybe the first couple of rows of the upper and lower decks.

I love the look and size of our stadium now. It finally looks like an SEC stadium. And I think we can fill it on a regular basis when the winning does return. And I hope in the meantime we continue to grow, not in size, but in ways that the fans that do shell out those dollars to attend, now and in the future, can enjoy. Amenities and new ways of watching a game, such as a roof top in-game tailgate party on top of the SEZ, and other areas that are different than just cramming into that small space on a bench.

I thought the NEZ top, or the “gap”, were suppose to be open areas such as you suggest for the SEZ. I’d heard of food trucks or beer garden for the gap area.

I thought so, too. There were folks on the NEZ top last year, but small groups in what I think was reserved for corporate type events. To me, it’s a cool way to watch the game sitting around tables with groups of friends and a “pig screen” for replays directly behind you.

And I just think there is a lot of potential for all that unused prime real estate on top of the south end. Beer garden, food tents, tables, parties, tailgate games. Kind of like the Hog Pen in baseball…not the greatest view, but an all-out party atmosphere. People at home see it on TV and think, “I should go to the next game and be a part of that.” Again, just something different to offer the casual fan besides a normal bench seat

:+1::+1: You are exactly right - they need to be creative and create gameday experience akin to what they are doing for the premium areas. I’m not saying as good as the premium levels obviously - they are premium areas for a reason - but hard metal benches just won’t cut it anymore in the age of 4K and every game on those fantastic televisions.

It’s my understanding that the top of the NEZ was used only for recruiting last year, there were some photos of them up there during some games, both inside and outside.

not that it will happen (at least in near future) at Arkansas, but Bama incentivizes students to stay throughout blowout wins by getting perks for next game like better tickets to not make a bad television impression of empty seats. Winning will do that and make other options mentioned more feasible. Even Vandy is trying to make stadiums on campus more appealing and putting money into football, baseball and basketball. It is a huge challenge to sports admin and management folks to make visiting live a need to do thing. More hassles than it is worth for most folks, of course I am getting old so time is compressing on me and I have not enough to venture out on a live sporting event adventure like I did when I was younger and the Hogs were relevant. Tailgating is more interesting than games to me right now.