A Butts-Mehre-friendly suggestion box

Ever since I read this post of MaconDawg’s from last Friday, I’ve been pondering doing something similar here — namely, putting together a list of suggested changes for the fan’s game day experience that wouldn’t cost the athletic department an arm and a leg (at least in the context of $60+ million capital projects) and asking you to provide suggestions, too.

At the least, it would be therapeutic for us.  And, who knows, maybe somebody who matters might pay attention to a non-threatening cry for help.  So, what the hell, here goes nothing.

Let’s start with MaconDawg’s list.

Better televisions in the concessions areas and concourses. 100 mounted 46 inch flat screen televisions at $800 a pop comes to $80,000 plus installation. That would be a small investment to improve the game day atmosphere. Also, while some committed fans don’t want to miss a snap, I expect some would get up to handle their concessions and elimination needs during the action if they knew they’d be able to watch the game in line without needing binoculars. This might mean the rest of us could get a hot dog at halftime without missing the first half of the third quarter. Speaking of which . . .

Take a hit on concessions. The concession costs at Georgia home games aren’t outrageous by any stretch, especially compared to pro venues. But for those bringing a family to the game it wouldn’t kill anyone to cut the cost of a souvenir Coke or a hot dog by a buck. Cut Aramark a check for their loss, but work out a promotion with the vendor, one of the oldest and most closely associated sponsors of UGA athletics. Assuming the 94,000 folks assembled six Saturdays a year ordered one discounted item apiece at every game that comes to $564,000.

Throw some cash at the band. The Redcoats are a critical part of the game day experience before fans even enter the stadium. As the recent effort to build a new tower on the band practice field shows, $250,000 per year could do wonders for the finest band in the whole damn land.

Welcome pavilions. I’ve been to a couple of other schools where there are structures that serve as a sort of first aid tent/welcome center/meeting spot for home and visiting fans. Just an open air, 12×12 tent would do the job. Staff those suckers with students six times per year to help visitors find their cars, get a restaurant recommendation, or to cool off and wait for friends to catch up to them on the march back to their cars. My back of the napkin math says that 7 such stations could be set up and staffed for under $80,000 per year. For weary visiting fans it would go a long way to boost the image of Bulldog hospitality.

Nothing wrong with any of that, especially the welcome pavilions.  But I think there’s more to be done with concessions than a price cut.  Even McGarity recognizes that, based on something he told Bill King.

McGarity also said the athletic association is trying to streamline the frustratingly slow concessions process: They’ve eliminated time-consuming items like chicken tenders and french fries and rounded the prices up or down to simplify making change. He also said they hope to improve the training of the volunteer concessions workers and get more vendors out into the stands.

What blows my mind about concessions is that most public stadium facilities across the country these days recognize what a money maker concessions can be, if you make an effort to cater to the fans attending games.  Go to most stadiums, and you’ll find offerings you never thought possible just a decade ago.  Sure, there’s a price to be paid for it, but fans have shown they will dish out a premium for a premium product.

Instead, the solution we’ve gotten at Sanford is to dumb things down because the delivery system is so inept.  When you’re basing your concessions service priorities on the servers instead of the served, you’re doing it wrong.  Not only that, it’s counterproductive because you’re denying yourself the extra revenue that would come from pricier options delivered more efficiently.  How stupid is that?

As far as the price cutting goes, I think a commenter here once suggested that the best setting for offering that would be at cupcake games.  That’s a great incentive to attend and if you figure that’s a game that likely draws more families with kids, it’s a nice gesture for folks to save a couple of bucks.  Whatever short-term dollars that might cost could be more than made up for with the increase gained from stepping up your concessions game for the remaining games.  (Or by playing fewer games against cupcakes… I know.)

Bathrooms?  I’m sorry, but it can’t be that hard to find ways to improve the situation there with a little effort.  Start with more attendants who can work to keep the facilities cleaner during games and perhaps help direct the traffic flow.

The game day experience doesn’t begin and end in the stadium, of course.  There’s plenty that could be done outside of Sanford to make for a happier fan experience.  Beginning and ending starts with traffic and parking.  For whatever reason, the ACCPD has struggled with this.  Certainly it’s a bear to have to deal with emptying out the streets carrying an additional 92000+ people after a game, but it’s long past time for the school and the city to sit down together and map out a comprehensive traffic plan that does a more efficient job.  If that means, again, UGA needs to add some additional personnel to the mix to help disburse the traffic, then make that happen, please.

Parking has been an issue because of stadium expansion and general building expansion on campus.  The poorly thought out result has been distressing for many fans.  I’m not sure how fixable the problems are — what’s gone ain’t coming back — but this appears to be another area that could use a comprehensive approach to getting fans in and out of games more efficiently.

Tailgating.  Ugh.  The basic approach should be to blow up everything that Michael Adams did in this department and start all over again, with input from fans about start times, locales, rules about what is allowed and not allowed, etc.  Most importantly, make sure there are enough trash cans, porta-potties and staff to make tailgating an enjoyable experience all over campus.

Georgia’s approach to tailgating really blows my mind.  It’s the most social aspect of the fan experience, the primary driver behind why fans love spending Saturdays in Athens, and yet the school’s quasi-hostile attitude about it seems destined to drive a permanent wedge between the fans and the game day experience.  What happened on North Campus a few years ago that led to the biggest impetus to the administration’s change of heart was unfortunate, but something that could have been avoided with a sensible degree of attention paid to providing sufficient resources.

None of these items, in the context of Georgia’s athletic budget, are financial back-breakers.  That’s not the real barrier to making things better for those who attend, though.  Things have to start with attitude.  I wrote something a few years ago comparing my experiences at the Masters and in Athens.  What struck me then hasn’t changed in the years since.  It all begins with the people providing the experience caring about making it fan-friendly, and that’s something that’s been sadly lacking at Georgia.

Bottom line, flood the place with courteous, well-trained folks who can help fans.  As I wrote before,

There’s a pretty basic trick behind the magic.  The Masters simply floods the place with personnel.  It hires an army of local kids, trains them well and deploys them everywhere from the parking lots to the gift store to the restrooms.  The grounds are constantly maintained (everywhere I turned you could see people discreetly removing garbage).  Sure, that costs money, but it’s spent in a way that you can’t help but appreciate and admire.  It also has the benefit of making sales more efficient, which means opportunity to make more sales.

It’s not rocket science, people.  It makes us feel appreciated and I’m pretty confident in saying an appreciative fan is a fan who’s more willing to spend money.  An appreciative fan is also a fan who will come back.

If there isn’t somebody at Butts-Mehre who has a feel for how to accomplish that — and I’d say at this point it’s pretty apparent there isn’t — go find someone who’s done that at another public venue in a cost-effective way and bring him or her in to work some magic.  Trust me, it would pay off.  Bigly.

Anyway, those are a few of my thoughts on the matter.  I’d love to hear any suggestions you might have for making game days more enjoyable affairs.  So, lay ’em out in the comments and hope somebody’s paying attention.  (Those of you who don’t go to games, or are in the recruiting über alles camp and don’t care about anything else, I can do without any condescending observations about how the rest of us can just stay home if we’re miserable, thanks.)

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101 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

101 responses to “A Butts-Mehre-friendly suggestion box

  1. tbia

    My biggest thing is get rid of the volunteer concession workers. It is amazing how efficient the Chick-Fil-A counter is compared to all others at Sanford.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Uglydawg

      tbia…My first thought was also Chick-Fil-A. Great model for service and quality.

      Like

      • PTC DAWG

        They demand quality from the top down…control everything..pay better, have better more costly food…many folks, like me, are willing to pay for it.

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    • W Cobb Dawg

      Agree. My first thought was also that CFA would do a far better job.

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      • 81Dog

        I guess we are all on the same page here. CFA was my first thought as an example of how to do it right, too.

        Hire them. Sub the concessions out, or hire them as consultants, or something. If Butts Mehre loves the money/profit margin most of all, CFA is a pretty good paradigm of a place that takes care of the customer while still making a profit.

        Of course, given the vapors that might trigger amongst the social justice crowd, there might be a bump or two in the road, but the same would apply for using the Masters as a model. Someone find me an outfit in Venezuela that manages superb customer service to all while turning a nice profit.

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        • I doubt CFA or the Masters are the only two options that would work as a service model.

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          • Go Dawgs!

            Indeed not. However, at Sanford Stadium the only place I am willing to go is the Chick-fil-A tent that is set up in the corner of the Reed Plaza. It’s the only place I can go and be assured of getting through a line and getting food and drink without missing half of a quarter of game action. Going anywhere at halftime is a losing proposition, but the Chick-fil-A folks still win that race, too.

            There is one simple change that will fix concessions. STOP. USING. VOLUNTEERS. I think it’s awesome that the local Boy Scout troop or a group of United Way volunteers wants to staff a concession stand to raise funds. Wonderful. But this isn’t the Little League field, folks. It’s literally a multimillion dollar enterprise. Staff the concession stands with professional workers and managers and all of a sudden you can still manage to offer chicken fingers because you’ll have people that can figure out how to work ahead and have them ready to go. You’ll have people who know how to make change. All of a sudden you might even be able to offer more than a soggy hamburger or the most disappointing plastic tray of nachos that you have to take out of the bag yourself. You might be able to offer food that you can charge more money for! Hello, reserve fund! Of course, the reserve fund is the issue. This change would cost the school money, though they do have the money. I’ll pay a dollar more per item to compensate. Heck… I was paying 8 bucks for a Chick-fil-A sandwich last year, I think.

            When I went to UK’s revamped stadium last year I was blown away by how quickly things worked in concessions. Same for Jacksonville, Tennessee, and Auburn in recent years.

            Liked by 1 person

            • AlphaDawg

              Staff with pro’s and let the boy scouts and united way setup outside of the stadium if they want to maintain a presence during game day for raising funds.

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  2. Jeff Sanchez

    There is indeed a long list of improvements which need to be made, but concessions is about the lowest of them all to me

    I’ve been going to the games for 35 years and I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve wanted to eat in the stadium. Don’t understand it.

    I’ve usually loaded up at the tailgate to the point of being uncomfortable, which also has the advantage of soaking up the bourbon I’ve brought with me.

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    • Napoleon BonerFart

      But many people don’t eat in the stadium precisely because it’s so painful. While I certainly don’t want to eat lunch or dinner at the stadium, rather than a restaurant in Athens, I wouldn’t hesitate to grab a pretzel or bag of popcorn if I could get back to my seat in 10 minutes.

      Liked by 1 person

    • DoubleDawg1318

      That’s essentially my attitude as well. Doesn’t change the fact the AA should work on fixing concessions but I personally would never bother buying them in the first place If you’re tailgate is good then you probably have better food there than in the stadium anyways. The only thing I occasionally buy is an overpriced bottle of water.

      Like

    • Folks like me dont always have a tailgate. And a long travel day – getting “something” at the game to get through the day is about needed.

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  3. Bright Idea

    Just win baby!

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  4. John Denver is full of shit...

    Shouldn’t take me .45mins to get home to Watkinsville.

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    • SlawDawg

      Have you tried the secret exit onto the loop from east campus? Take exit 4A off the loop going south on 441. By the time you pass Hog Mountain Road, you should be in the clear.

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      • DoubleDawg1318

        Shh! Don’t give away the secret! My parking/commute is now a very enjoyable experience having discovered that spot.

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  5. SlawDawg

    My tailgating crowd always gets to our spot about 6:45 so we can snag one of the few trash cans in the area (the cardboard box kind that are scattered around campus on gamedays). If cleaning up is such a huge cost, deploying more of those disposable trash cans would help the cause.

    BTW as we’re packing up for the game, that thing is always overflowing and the other folks around us are making neat piles all around it in order to streamline pickup. Gotta have more places to put trash if it’s not to go on the grass.

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  6. PTC DAWG

    How do we “flood” the stadium with personnel? The place is packed now…agree with others, concessions etc are WAY down the list for me..

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  7. Snoop Dawgy Dawg

    I think you hit the nail on the head on tailgating. Part of the reason you go to campus is to re-live your joyful days in Athens, hanging out on campus. With the parking restrictions and major development, there just aren’t places to park near the stadium like there used to be.

    Bathrooms? it’s beyond idiotic for them to be an issue. Do they get clogged? Yes. I don’t even know how to flush them. The urinals have that one red button that I think flushes all the urinals. or maybe not. The toilets have some similar thing going. Continually flushing troughs is the easiest way to get people in and out of a bathroom. it can’t possibly cost that much.

    Listen, macondawg is complaining to complain. We upgraded from the Zenith TVs a couple years back. That upgrade has already happened. sarcasm you know what would be nice on the concourse area, along with more, larger tvs? piping in audio of the radio broadcast so we can see and hear, or simply hear what’s going on. you wait in an eternal line to pee, missing all of the action except for what you can find on play by play on your phone.

    Fight to avoid noon games. heck. fight to not have a crap home schedule like 2017.

    I go back and forth on season tickets. I’ll spend more for my wife and I to attend the notre game game than it would cost me for donation and tickets for the whole season,but I’m happy to do that. I just can’t find the energy to make the push on 6 home games against bad teams that are likely to kick off at noon. Am I a bad fan? I don’t think so, but since I don’t have any Hartman points today, I don’t lost anything by not continuing to give. All of you who have decades of giving added together lose a whole lot if you were to throw in the towel.

    Liked by 1 person

    • DoubleDawg1318

      I’m pretty sure they pipe in the radio at several spots in the stadium already.

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      • Snoop Dawgy Dawg

        gotcha. maybe that happened before last season. First year in 15 years I didn’t make it to a few games in Athens. Birth of the most recent kid in september just made it too hard to get up there.

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    • Napoleon BonerFart

      I called it quits on my 22 years of contributions this year. The experience has gotten worse and worse. Why continue to pay >$1,000 a year for mediocre seats when I can invest the money in a home theater for my own personal sky box? If I piss on the floor at my house, it gets cleaned up pronto!

      I keed, I keed. … Sort of.

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  8. Atticus

    Concessions– I never eat food there so I don’t care but the customer service should be run by professionals. And have huge big screens everywhere.

    Traffic flow–they need security/stadium liasons/whatever you want to call them and have them in the stadium directing traffic.Other pro stadiums do this and its fantastic.

    Bathrooms–have more attendants and security. Ultimately a renovation of them is long overdue.

    Tailgating-there needs to be roving trash detail staying on top of the tailgating areas and many more trashcans. Also roving security in the high density areas.

    Stadium–needs a severe facelift on the outside. Wrap the s—t out of the stadium in Gs and red and black. Brand the crap out of the place so you KNOW it’s all about the G. Too much plain concrete everywhere. Maybe some red and black brick…..Huge murals and banners of former players should be everywhere on gameday. There should be a huge red and black G somewhere that everyone can see.Also the field has gone significantly downhill compared to the last several decades. After 1 or 2 games it looks trashed compared to when I remember walking into the stadium and it was pristine. Maybe its rose colored glasses but I recall how awesome it looked when we would walk into the stadium and I haven’t seen that in a long time.

    Also the music is a disaster. Play songs at appropriate times that have always stood the test of time. Great rap, GnR, ACDC, Zeppelin, Outkast, Michael Jackson, Stones, Public Enemy….whoever, and some of the most popular songs now…..but do it when it makes sense. Not the freaking Outfield or Journey….make the song fit the moment and have professionals run the whole sound system. And have the Redcoat band more prominent, after all its college, not pro. You can still get the fans into it. There is a difference.

    Win. Win. Win. The four loudest most incredible atmospheres I have ever seen in Athens were the Auburn blackout, LSU/Saban a– kicking in 2004, TN in 2000 and 1984 Clemson Butler kick. They all had one thing in common and had nothing to do with the list above. They won.

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    • Otto

      The Indy 500 concessions stands are staffed by volunteers and the UGA concession line in east end zone during half time of the Dday games last year moved faster than the one I used in the upper deck of the Dome during the UNC game half time.

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      • KornDawg

        I wonder if you were in the same line that I was. I left the stands for a beer at the beginning of halftime, got in line, never got that beer.

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        • Otto

          But we should have professionals rather than volunteers. The boy scout or non profit volunteer cares more than majority of the professionals.

          The line was half as long (and I’m being generous) at Sanford and took less time than the Dome.

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  9. AthensHomerDawg

    An appreciative fan is also a fan who will come back.—>

    ATHENS, Ga. — The University of Georgia Athletic Association announced on Wednesday morning that the remaining football tickets for the Georgia-Kentucky game on Nov. 17 have been sold.
    The UGA ticket office sold nearly 600 tickets in eight minutes on Wednesday morning, which will give Georgia sell-out crowds in all seven of their home games this season. In fact, all 45 home games since 2001 at Sanford Stadium have been sellouts.

    Like

  10. MDB

    Completely revamp how parking passes are distributed. It’s insane to me that all the permit-only lots near the stadium (at least on South Campus) are half-empty. I kind of understand the mindset behind big donors getting passes, but it makes no sense to just give them out to people who carpool, prefer to tailgate elsewhere, or simply don’t come (and who apparently don’t sell them on the secondary market). If you put passes for those lots up for sale, it’s a potential revenue source for the reserve fund. Maybe as a compromise give the fat cats the right of first refusal, then put them out there for everyone else. I’d bet that many people would happily pay to guarantee a spot at Aderhold or the Science Library.

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  11. paul

    The reason why concessions are so far down the list for most of us here is that they’ve been so bad for so long we wrote them off decades ago. No offense, but the church group volunteers, while well intentioned, are simply incapable. That UGA has seen fit not only to continue this practice, but to actually dumb it down and reduce offerings is symptomatic of a complete lack of understanding and leadership. Not to mention just plain stupidity. There’s money to be made and good will to be generated with very little effort here. Even folks like me who haven’t bothered to visit the concession stand for years, would do so for decent food at reasonable prices served quickly and efficiently. What’s really being expressed in this series of posts is frustration with years of not only neglecting the fan (alumni) on campus and in the stadium but outright hostility towards doing anything that actually enhances the game day experience. Signing new contracts with ESPN isn’t your only job. And even those are already starting to look unsustainable in the long run. Once the TV revenue gravy train starts to slow down you may look around to discover you’ve run off all your fans.

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  12. Otto

    Again having traveled to many stadiums I disagree with complaints that UGA worse than the competition.

    However, the tailgating on North Campus was set up for failure. The school did not provide enough trash receptacles and then blamed everything on the fans.

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    • Snoop Dawgy Dawg

      I think Athens has the least inviting tailgate experience of anyone in the SEC East(I haven’t been to Mizzou), worse than AU, Bama, LSU, and Ole Miss.

      People’s perception of the “game day experience” begins with tailgating and ends with driving home. UGA ignores the details that can make much of that a better experience.

      Like

      • DoubleDawg1318

        I’d say South Carolina is a lot more uninviting than ours. Mizzou was fine, but they don’t take it as seriously as the rest of the SEC.

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        • Snoop Dawgy Dawg

          it’s been a handful of years since I was last in SC for a game, but I was able to get in a lot right next to the train tracks and the cockabooses, short walk to the stadium very easily, arriving from out of state. I wandered around drinking from my open container, and no one cared.

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          • Otto

            LSU and Ole Miss were 2 of the best places to tailgate. The LSU fans were some of the nicest offering us some of their food. Yes LSU does have fans running around yelling Tiger Bait but most are generally nice if you take it in good fun.

            UGA is in a bad spot with tailgating, the Campus has grown up around the stadium and the biggest places to tailgate are on the other end of campus from downtown. I will add the Athens downtown area is one of the best in the SEC so everything is a mixed bag. My cousins which are alumni of an SEC West school said their kids wouldn’t have followed their legacy if they had visited Athens. They were amazed at how busy downtown was after a night game.

            When I was a kid we tailgated in the lot next to Legion Pool and would wake up before dawn to get our spot. It was awesome being able to walk to downtown, the t-shirt stands up Lumpkin or visit the book store. However I do understand why that is no longer open to the public 1st come 1st serve like it was then.

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            • Otto

              One other thought a friend is a SC Alum and he said he wished the stadium was closer to campus. He said you could see it from campus but wished it was more central like UGA and some other schools. Sanford Stadium may have some drawbacks from the school growing up around it but walking across the bridge and looking inside the stadium is a great experience and something UGA should preserve.

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            • Why are no lots on campus available first come first served? The reserve fund balance … that’s why. We used to park at Jackson and Baldwin the night before home games. It was the perfect tailgating spot. Easy walk to and from the stadium, access to the bathrooms in Baldwin Hall and we took our garbage with us. Michael Adams bulldozed those spots and made all of the parking around it controlled by the AA. I miss those days.

              Like

  13. Positively Munson (formerly Skeptic Dawg)

    “Tailgating. Ugh.” Far be it from to applaud anything the Auburn does, however, they really have nailed tailgating on campus. Rent spaces, tents, TV, generators, tables and chair. They offer everything one needs in a uniform manner, including trash cans! As money driven as McGarity and UGA are I am floored that this is an area that they have to tapped into yet. Rent space from North Campus all the way to the stadium. Hell, if all I had to do was drag a cooler to an already setup spot I would be in.

    Liked by 1 person

    • DoubleDawg1318

      I’ve definitely thought renting out North Campus tailgate blocks would be a great way to allow tailgating while avoiding the place getting trashed.

      Like

    • Otto

      Auburn also offers buses from Tiger Town to the stadium Yes Auburn does a great job with the game day experience.

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      • S

        Fuck Auburn. Fuck Auburn fuck Auburn fuck Auburn. Fuck Auburn: fuck Auburn; fuck Auburn fuck Auburn. Fuck Auburn? Fuck Auburn!! Fuck Auburn fuck Auburn fuck Auburn.

        Fuck Auburn.

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    • Gone2thefarm

      I brought Auburn’s plan to the attention of the Athletic Board about 5 years ago. http://Www.tailgateguys.com wanted to come to Athens but the UGAA never gave it due consideration. They would have been the ideal solution to the problems on north campus while letting UGAA even make some money.

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  14. Go Dawgs!

    Here’s my wish list:

    1) Professional concessions employees, not volunteers. My reasoning for why is in a (probably too-long) comment above. But having at least one or two pros in every stand seems like a must.

    2) Fix the ticket scanners, and expand the major entry gates. Perhaps the addition of another entry gate into the new recruiting plaza from the bridge will help, also, but the bottle neck at Gate 2 at Sanford Drive by Memorial Hall has literally taken 30-40 minutes to get through for the past two years since they brought in the new ticket scanners. They simply don’t work properly. And it’s not a matter of not being there on time. I’ve gotten to the stadium 30-40 minutes before kickoff and I’ve missed kickoff. It’s a real pleasant experience to be in that crush of people for our patented noon kickoffs on hot September days, too. I’ve never been to another stadium where it’s that hard to get in, college or pro. FIX IT.

    3) I’ll echo the Senator’s point here about stopping the hostility towards tailgating. Friends of mine and I were stopped by a UGA cop at 6:58 AM walking down a sidewalk towards our tailgating spot carrying our tent and coolers. This is not an exaggeration. I checked my phone. It was 6:58. The guy was hassling us and telling us it was “illegal” to set up before 7:00 am. One, no it isn’t. It’s against UGA rules not Georgia code. Two, I’m certain I’m allowed to carry my property down a public sidewalk at any time. That’s a microcosm of UGA’s attitude towards tailgating. Hammer the people who violate the rules and tear up campus. Welcome the overwhelming majority of the rest of us.

    4) Sell alcohol inside Sanford Stadium. I doubt it increases the difficulties with drunks that much and I’d wager it reduces at least some of the pre-game binge.

    5) Bathrooms. And not just updating and fixing them so they’re in working order. Add to the staff so someone comes through with a mop and empties the overflowing trash can every half hour or so.

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  15. Governor Milledge

    North Campus tailgating to me is the big thing to solve. But the model is already there – look at Ole Miss and the Grove.

    Ole Miss brings in porta-potties on movable trailers, permits tailgate setup the night before the game (6 or 7 o’clock, I believe) and has people patrolling the area to ensure no funny business/things walking off overnight. And all of this is open on a first come, first served basis. Plus the tailgating area at the Grove is continually monitored throughout the game and post-game for things not walking off and for trash not accumulating. I believe there also are copious power supplies in the Grove that anyone can plug in and use, eliminating the need for noisy generators.

    I LOVED the ability to get to North Campus at 7 am, go get a coffee and Kahlua (discreetly) downtown, grab some breakfast, and then head back to our tailgate site. The atmosphere was electric for any game, Alabama/GameDay or not. I currently have a walkable house to Sanford I can pain-free tailgate at for any game, but I know that if North Campus was to re-open ala the Grove, we would relocate our tailgate once again to there.

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  16. ATL Dawg

    I would just like to point out that an organization that has $77 million in reserves does not figure this stuff out on their own. Their modus operandi is “do not put any effort into something until it is a total dumpster fire and people are going ape shit”.

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  17. DawgPhan

    I sent an email to John Bateman a few years ago about the concessions. Complained about a lack of cold drinks, ice, and basically being limited to hot red powerade during the second half as a drink option. He response was basically we didnt run out of water we still had 20k bottles of water on a truck in the basement after the game.

    His response basically summed up every thing dumb about the stadium experience in one utterly stupid statement.

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  18. DoubleDawg1318

    As I read through the responses, I see nothing that’s a real back breaker in $$$. The real issue is all of this requires a proactive stance rather than a reactive one. We know where UGA is on that and they’ve been able to get away with it for years if not decades. The Master’s is a great comparison since they too have a very exclusive product (maybe even more than UGA) and yet they choose to roll out the red carpet and treat people as guests rather than mere wallets. No reason UGA can’t do the same. Heck, if they got creative enough they might even be able to recoup some of the small costs associated with improving the experience.

    The big thing they have to realize is they are no longer selling access to the product. ESPN has taken care of that. Now, they have to sell an experience rather than just access. Clearly that hasn’t crossed their minds.

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  19. Macallanlover

    Minor part of the discussion but Macon Dawg must have had the government purchasing group price those 46″ inch flat screens for $800. Just this week I bought a 55″ 4K Ultra High Def Roku TV for $398. It is an outside TV so I don’t go top of the line but a 46″ inch “non’smart” TV can’t be more than $250-300 if you are buying individually, much less the number he is talking about. One other note, the fountain coke and plastic, printed cup cannot cost the school more than 60 cents soi why hose the patrons (excuse me using the Masters term for paying customers, should have called them sheep, or lambs.)

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  20. Normaltown Mike

    they could look at Disney for how to accommodate massive amounts of people in a small area. The Magic Kingdom is a little over 100 acres and averages over 50K visitors per day. While the stadium is going to be crowded, we should do a much better job in how people and cars are distributed before and especially after games.

    I would start by adding another game day only entrance to the ramp, at the back of the intramural fields.

    As others have said, I would add infrastructure (defined zones with security) to north campus tailgating, ala the Grove, and possibly monetize it too.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. CarolinaCanine

    Step 1: Get a new A.D. The improvements will follow.

    Like

  22. DugLite

    Do the “find the French fries” thingy more. Got dam I hate that 1990’s $hit.

    Like

  23. Cojones

    Beer. Sell tap beer in red cups and let the tv cameras be proud; see red sides/black bottoms create a Doppler effect all through the crowd. Beer. Hear them roar! Beer. Don’t let that tailgate buzz slip once you come into the stadium, get more. Beer. For lonely people waiting for a score. Serve’um Buds, or some other crud, just as long as all are drankin’ suds.

    Biergartens, strategically placed; catered with Belgium/Canadian/local brews braced; the discerning beer drinkers’ stadium experience paced. Clear cups so that you can enjoy the appeal of a good red. In the Plaza area – with a nice head.

    Don’t like good beer? Okay, – Cookies! Bring’um in plastic zip-locks, but bring only enough to still witness the Dawg hip-blocks.

    Beer! It’s what’s for breakfast. What could possibly go wrong?

    Like

  24. Cousin Eddie

    Act like you want the fans there.
    Act like the fans are at least friends of yours when “inviting” them over.
    Quit scheduling noon games 5 1/2 times a year, it’s the frick’in South. (I think McG shouldn’t be allowed to run the A/C in his Game Day Palace on any kick off before 7:00 PM.)

    Like

  25. Athens Dog

    I started going to games in the early 60’s with my folks. Bought my first season ticket as a student in 75. Have been a season ticket holder since i graduated in time for the 79 season. Have given to the BM every year. Have four tickets in club, parking pass across the street at Boggs where it takes me 5 minutes to get there from my home in Five Points.

    I should be happy? (since i’m one of the fat cats referred to earlier)

    No way. Customer experience continues to go down. All of the reasons listed above. And no I don’t go for concessions, but how hard is it to get a bottle of water on one of those September afternoons when it is 105?

    Adams ruined tailgating. I was threatened with arrest a few years ago for “saving spots” It was 7:30 in the morning and the lot was empty.

    In fact those who have read me before know that I believe Adams ruined UGA.

    But i digress: tailgating, bathrooms, concessions (food, service and tvs), music, sound system………………easy fixes, especially when you’re sitting on the kind of funds we have.

    But I don’t see anything changing till we stop paying………….and I don’t see me doing that for a while.

    Liked by 1 person

    • PTC DAWG

      Agree on Adams, tailgating will never be the same…

      Like

    • 69Dawg

      I was an RVer from 1998 until Adams ran us all the way to the Intramural fields. We used to get threaten with tickets and towing. We were still in the Coliseum parking lot and were allowed to arrive on Friday after 5:30 PM. Well we could not time it just right so we usually arrived 30 minutes early but we would pull into the area near the tennis courts because by 4:30 the parking lot was clear of students. Now this was the UGA RV Club. The campus cops showed up and wanted us to move our coaches at 5:20. There were at least 15 RV’s already there. By the time the arguments and threats were over it was well past the 5:30 arrival time. We knew then that Adams was a horses ass and it was not going to get better and as we know they didn’t.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. DawgPhan

    I feel like ADGM didnt do himself any favors by burying the new scoreboard. Isnt that what the bulk of the 63million is going towards, a new scoreboard? Seems like they buried that part, focused on the recruiting and in turn pissed everyone off.

    If they announced a new big scoreboard project and additional bathrooms in the west end zone(and while we are there a new recruiting lounge and updated lockerrooms) would the reaction have been so negative?

    Like

    • Cousin Eddie

      No but it was better than his first presser that read, ” We are spending some money on stuff, if you ask for specifics we will get back in 90 days.”

      Maybe he should invest some of the treasury in a PR firm, because he sucks at it.

      Like

  27. saildawg

    Havent seen this mentioned, but I think the simplest thing to fix the “in game” experience is hire somebody with a pulse to run the video board. It is so frustrating to not be privy to instant replay challenges (which is now like every few plays). They just put a graphic up and eventually show a terrible amateur video shot from outerspace. Why cant they just show the direct feed from CBS or ESPN. That is a simple fix that wouldnt almost nothing.

    Like

  28. Puffdawg

    My God, I’ve been following the blog since, what, 2007? And this is your best post ever. Thank you.

    Like

  29. 69Dawg

    Old Fart Alert! If we are going to keep having the Noon Kickoffs let’s revert to the good old days. Look at some of the old sideline shots and notice that the Georgia National Guard Military Police Unit spent their Saturday drills at the games. They left early and they actually directed traffic at every intersection all the way out of Clark county. ACC and the State Troopers just manually control the traffic signals. I was parked off of Hull Street and tried to follow the visiting band bus back onto the main drag. The State Trooper working the light would not change it for the side street even for the official busses. I finally rolled the window down and yelled at the Trooper to change the light and he did. There is zero coordination between intersections with the manual system. I realize that most police don’t direct traffic much anymore but a driver is less likely to block an intersection with a police officer in it than with just the light and the officer off the street at the control box. They also need to make all major roads out of downtown one way out after a game. I know they do it some but more are needed.

    Like

  30. ZeroPointZero

    I go to a few games a year now with my wife and young ones. What really shocked me last year was the filthy stands and seats. Even the installed seat cushions were so filthy you didn’t want to sit in them. It didn’t rain all season which made me realize Mother Nature was the cleaning crew all these years. My brother in law’s company worked on some of the wifi project in Sanford a couple years ago. He said the suites hadn’t been cleaned from the Tech game. Piles of rotting food and overflowing trash cans months later. He was disgusted with it. This holy site desecrated in such a way.

    Like

  31. If it’s any consolation, Tech really cacked up concessions at the Atlanta United game on Sunday. It was Sanford-level bad and the POS technology didn’t work.

    I still loved it, though, because it was an awesome atmosphere. Right there with a big game between the hedges – nothing like a noon kick versus ULL. They play Orlando City the same day that we play Samford. I’ll probably go see United.

    Like

  32. 'Ol Gill

    Lol, fries and chicken fingers are time consuming. What a friggin joke. I guess everyone else in the world of food prep must have super powers.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. The Georgia Way

    We thank you, our wonderful fans, for this very meaningful feedback.

    To re-affirm our commitment to you, the Georgia fan, we are announcing a new concession item available at selected Sanford Stadium concession stands.

    Beginning with the 2017 season, we are introducing the Ludacris Bulldog Restroom Foot Condom (the LBRFC). It is available for the competitive price of only $20 (per foot).

    Each LBRFC is made of a waterproof material created especially for you by our Biorefining and Carbon Cycling Program on campus. It fits over the shoe and contains a tall sleeve for the second half when things get really bad in there. It is made of a strong, biodegradable material approved by our Office of Sustainability.

    Since this is an item you will NOT be able to carry into the stadium, we encourage you to deposit your LBRFCs after the game in the UGA return container strategically placed on our North, South, East, and West campuses.

    So if you are looking for a creative way to support the Dawgs and not have to deal with the unpleasant odor of human waste while sitting through hours of post-game traffic, the one-size-fits-all Ludacris Bulldog Restroom Foot Condom is for you.

    So as always, #COMMITTOTHEG and Go Dawgs!

    Like

  34. Debby Balcer

    Get Billy Payne to handle the patrons. He does it at the Masters surely he could give advice.

    Like

  35. rchris

    I own and operate quick service restaurant outlets so I know a little about the concessions issue. MaconDawg and the Senator mentioned improvements that wouldn’t cost too much but trust me, improving speed of service in a setting like Samford Stadium would make money. That urine in the restrooms you see is probably B-M pissing away hundreds of thousands of dollars or more in profits by giving slow service. POS systems can be tied to service times, track that and pay accordingly. Add tons of credit card fulfillment kiosks, and yes, only serve foods that can be delivered quickly (french fry grids and freezer to fryer strips can meet that requirement). Tasty food and accurate fulfillment are somewhat important, friendliness is not important in this context, but trust me, in a setting like Sanford Stadium, speed is KING. You can’t gross more than you can thru-put.

    Like

  36. Pingback: Pity the poor McGarity. | Get The Picture

  37. I don’t travel to other stadiums like I used to but one big concession problem other than volunteer workers is lack of space in the concession stands. The is no staging space. In other words, efficiency would benefit by one worker constantly filling drinks and the front person just turning an handing over the ready and waiting drink. At Auburn, half time would see big tables between the drink machines and the front filled with waiting cups. Yours might be a little watered down but you got it within seconds. Along the concourses and in the west end zone there is not enough room to do it.

    An example of BM’s lack of innovation is a suggestion I made to one of their 10,000 assistant/associate/junior AD’s. Let Coke pull in their mobile concession stands to serve only drinks. Keep that line moving. This was in response to the year or two they sold refillable drinks and concessions were packed with fans wanting their “free” refill. They solved that problem by eliminating the refills.

    By the way, Poss ran the best concession operations.

    Like

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