SEC provides conference-wide initiative for better fan experience
In an effort to make football games an even better experience, the SEC concluded a two-year initiative resulting in substantial changes that fans will see at stadiums this season.
“SEC fans are the most passionate and loyal fans in the country,” SEC commissioner Mike Slive said in a press release issued Wednesday. “Our institutions have made it a priority to engage their fans in a way that will enhance their in-game enjoyment and satisfaction.”
The SEC Fan Experience Working Group, chaired by Mississippi State athletic director Scott Stricklin, conducted a league-wide fan research study in football and other collegiate sports. The research showed that fans wanted:
- improved availability of concessions and satisfactory restroom conditions.
- a high quality video experience in the stadium.
- improve cell service.
In response, at least 12 SEC institutions have indicated they are taking steps to improve concessions. Various schools have increased the number of points of sale and in-stands concessions sellers with some offering the opportunity to order with smart phones.
In addition to in-stadium replays of officials’ reviews, ESPN is partnering with the SEC to provide video highlights to stadium video boards for in-game highlights and updates for fans. At least six SEC schools have improved video elements and production as well as the addition of new HD video boards in some stadium renovations.
At least eight SEC schools have taken recent steps to improve cell service for its customers and some have added wi-fi for fans in premium seating areas.
The enhancements come on the heels of the conference seeing an increase in attendance. The SEC averaged 75,674 fans, which was an increase from 74,636 in 2012. Also, the average percentage capacity in 2013 for SEC games was 99.02 percent, compared to 97.40 percent in 2012.
“Even as attendance at SEC events is as robust as ever, we would be remiss not to reward our fans with a great experience at each and every event,” said Stricklin.“The fan experience goes beyond winning and losing games. It starts from the time they approach the stadium to the moment they leave campus.”