VIDEO: Utah sees the value in their game day atmosphere
In today's age of man caves and flat screens, the trend of fans choosing to stay home instead of spending a Saturday at the stadium has been well-documented. We've seen a few notes from numerous athletic directors that many fans also enjoy following the game on Twitter and their smart phones therefore reinforcing the idea that they'd rather watch the game from the comfort of their own home rather than battle the elements.
The top 10 programs in the country aren't having any major attendance issues, but many other universities, and nearly every NFL team has noticed a significant trend over the past few years.
With that in mind, Utah athletic director Dr. Chris Hill discussed in a video (shown below) how his school plans to combat the new market trend by making sure that their in excellent in game atmosphere remains untouched.
Dr. Hill has explored the possibility of expanding Rice-Eccles Stadium due a growing outpouring of fan suggestions. But for now those plans will remain in his desk drawer, as he explains.
While the plans for an expansion look exciting and impressive, it was a few other things that Dr. Hill said during the clip that really caught our attention.
- Oregon and Utah are the only two schools in the Pac-12 that regularly pack their stadium to capacity. Hill notes that they don't want to sacrifice the overall atmosphere for more seating capacity.
-This one was the real kicker. Dr. Hill notes, "It's hard to believe, but adding another 10,000 seats would be more than the actual cost of building the new stadium itself."
-Then Dr. Hill explains that 10 of the 12 schools in the Pac-12 are looking at ways to "have a little smaller stadium."
Very interesting stuff.