UConn Football Announces Changes to Game-Day Experience
Attention, UConn Football fans: We’ve got some big improvements coming this season for game days at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field.
UConn Athletics Director David Benedict announced several changes to the football game day experience this month, including:
- Reduced concession prices for bottled water and hot dogs from $5 to $3 each
- An extended hour for tailgating, in which Blue Lot ticket holders can park anywhere five hours before the game
- A new pre-game format, including live look-ins from around the country and a new UConn Marching Band “Welcome to the Dog House” tradition
- A student tailgate lot for students who drive to the game—the bus shuttle will drop students off at the same lot for easy meetup opportunities
- A new Fan Fest location, featuring the UConn Dairy Bar ice cream truck
There will also be changes during the game, including fewer promotional reads, on-field recognitions, and an updated scoreboard layout:
New layout of the video board for @UConnFootball @UConnHuskies #BleedBlue #UConnNation #sellitout pic.twitter.com/3AXsPfSY5X
— David Benedict (@UConnHuskyAD) August 18, 2016
You’ll start seeing these changes to the game day experience on Sept. 1, when UConn hosts Maine for its home opener, but they’re already getting a thumbs-up from fans. SB Nation publication The UConn Blog noted that “having a big student presence at games is a key piece of home field advantage, as they are usually the loudest and most energetic fans there.”
Alumni-run blog A Dime Back also approved: “These are all positive changes, clearly designed to improve the fan experience at games. We’ve talked a lot here at ADB about how the university can get more butts in the seats, and this is an excellent first step. Well done, AD Benedict.”
Excitement for the season has already started to build. Several players have been put on watch lists for awards, including junior Arkeel Newsome for the Doak Walker Award, given annually to the nation’s best college running back. Coach Bob Diaco and his wife Julia recently announced a $250,000 gift to UConn Athletics, too, to help construct athletic facilities on campus.
“If you can’t get excited about people wanting you to succeed, then you are in the wrong business and wrong game,” said Diaco during a recent summer practice. “It’s the best. I love that. UConn Nation is excited about what we’re going to become and has expectations for greatness. It’s fantastic.”
With Coach Diaco’s squad ready to improve on their record—and improvements to transportation, concessions, and game flow—it’ll now be easier to show your support for UConn Football by filling the Rent for every home game.
Benedict’s one request for fans in return? “Be in your seats by kickoff.”