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Friday, October 8, 2010

Gameday atmosphere changes afoot?

This stood out to me at Thursday’s meeting of the UGA Athletic Association board: Jennifer Stamp, a board member, said that after attending last month’s game at South Carolina, she saw better gameday “aesthetics” at that school, which Georgia could learn from.

That’s despite Georgia’s prouder tradition (in terms of wins and championships) and Sanford Stadium having about 10,000 more seats.

There actually was a lot of discussion of the gameday atmosphere at the board meeting. It also appears to be a concern of new athletics director Greg McGarity, who said the focus the rest of this season would be on “customer service.”

One possible immediate change: Cutting down the commercials that are played during timeouts. This was suggested at the board meeting by a student representative, who said the commercials have a way of “killing the atmosphere.”

McGarity at least wants to minimize what he called the “canned music.”

“So many institutions ... go maybe overboard in all this pre-programmed music,” he said. “I’m pretty much a traditionalist, a conservative. If the band’s there, I want to hear the band playing, and I think the fans do too.”

McGarity doesn’t want the atmosphere to resemble a pro game, and all the bells and whistles that come with it.

“It’s just tweaking a few things,” McGarity added. “It’s not anything that’s off in the ditch here. It’s something that I’m going to pay a bit more attention to now that I’m getting comfortable.”

The student representative also asked the board about the tailgating policies on North Campus. The answer from the board and McGarity was that all procedures would be reviewed at the end of the year. What was left unsaid was that school president Michael Adams was not at Thursday’s meeting, and that was an issue that would have to be addressed with him.

Georgia senior receiver Kris Durham, also present at the board meeting, had another concern: The players notice that at road games the opposing students get there earlier, adding some “nastiness” to the pregame atmosphere. Durham asked if UGA students weren’t being let in as early as at other schools, but was told that they were.

The reason for that concern, it's limited to this season, is the time of the games: Both of Georgia's home games have started at noon, while two of the three road games started at night.

1 comment:

Castleberry said...

The student section fills up a bit earlier when you kick off after 3:30. In fact, the whole stadium fills up a bit earlier with a later kickoff.