Another tradition that might be altered by impending change is the Dawg Walk. Under the plans for a $63.5 million two-phase renovation of Sanford Stadium — which will widen the south side concourse, add restrooms and build a new tower for the press box, so that its former location can become lucrative box seating — the Sanford Drive bridge (officially known as the Gillis Bridge), reportedly would become a part of the stadium on game days, requiring a ticket for access.
Since that portion of Sanford Drive already is closed to vehicular traffic on game days, it’s a major pedestrian thoroughfare that would be lost to fans.
However, another possible issue with this plan is that the bridge also is where lots of fans gather to watch the players and coaches parade into the stadium during the Dawg Walk, held in the Tate Center parking lot down below. It’s even where the Redcoats’ solo trumpeter opens the Battle Hymn during Dawg Walk.
If a ticket is required to access the bridge — and you’re not allowed to exit and re-enter the stadium once your electronic ticket has been scanned — that would seem to preclude many fans (including a lot of kids) watching the Dawg Walk from the bridge.
I don’t know that necessarily means B-M is looking for a way to monetize one of the dwindling number of unique game day experiences we fans can still access. But, if nothing else, it sure feels like another way to exercise control over the fans’ day. It seems the spirit of Michael Adams lives on.