Special to the Journal
AUBURN – When fans arrive on the Auburn University campus for the 2012 football season, they will see many new additions and upgrades in the areas of technology, customer service and premium seating, all in an effort to greatly improve the gameday experience. Here are 30 of the new additions.
Information on all the upgrades as well as the valuable information needed to plan your trip back to campus can be found on the improved gameday webpage www.AUBGameday.com.
“Our goal is to provide the best gameday experience in college football,” Director of Athletics Jay Jacobs said. “Auburn’s gameday traditions are second to none, but we want to build on those traditions with new improvements each and every year. We have worked hard to improve customer service, maintain the family atmosphere and develop new activities and events that enhance not just gameday but the entire game weekend experience.”
1. Gameday Weekends: Auburn is extending its gameday by providing additional activities for each gameday weekend. Families come back to campus to experience all Auburn has to offer and now they have a full schedule of events beginning as early as Thursdays on some weekends and lasting until Sundays. Activities include Outdoor Movie, Campus Walking Tours, Campus Lectures, Arena Brunch, Downtown Concerts, and much more. See www.AUBGameday.com/gamedayweekend.html for more specific details.
2. Dine on the 50-yardline: Now fans can dine on the 50 yardline at Café Jordan-Hare. On Friday, Oct. 5, Auburn Athletics will bring in a chef to cook a feast on the field for a select number of fans. Stay tuned to www.auburntigers.com/gameday/arkansas.html for more details.
3. Tailgate Drop Off locations: Three locations – Transportation Tech Center off Magnolia Ave., Goodwin Music Hall off Samford Ave. and the Mell Street Station – have been made accessible for fans looking to drop off supplies more convenient to their tailgating locations. The Tailgate Guys will be on hand to help with the unloading process.
4. Auburn Mobile Application is FREE: Fans can now download the latest Auburn Athletics mobile app for free for their iPhone, iPad and Android devices. The app still provides all the great information from the previous app, including radio broadcasts, but now has the addition of features to help with the gameday experience. Added are more maps and GPS functions to help navigate through Auburn and Jordan-Hare Stadium with more ease.
5. Tiger Walk Route Change: The buses transporting the Auburn football team to the Tiger Walk drop off have a new route for the 2012 season. The team will travel down College Street from I-85 and take a left onto S. Donahue Drive going past the many RV lots before stopping at the corner of S. Donahue and Samford Avenue.
6. New TVs: Twenty-nine new flat-screen televisions have been added to the upper rows of the lower bowl on the West side of Jordan-Hare Stadium
7. Jordan-Hare Stadium Locker Room Tours: Each Friday before home games from 4-6 p.m., Auburn fans have the opportunity to tour the Jordan-Hare Stadium locker room as it is set up for Gameday. It’s a unique look at the facilities that house the team as they mentally gear up for the game and get their last-minute prep from the coaching staff. Fans will enter through Gate 10 at the McCartney Tigers Walk Plaza, tour the locker room and go onto the warning track of the South end zone at field level through the tunnel of Jordan-Hare Stadium. Admission is free.
8. Improved signage around Jordan-Hare Stadium: To assist fans with easy movement and correct gate information, eight large Stadium maps will be placed around Jordan-Hare Stadium with “You are Here” markers making the entrance and egress around the stadium more fluid. There will also be electronic signage around campus to help with construction updates and up-to-the minute traffic information.
9. Heisman Trophy Winners Statues: During the spring, Auburn unveiled statues commemorating its three Heisman Trophy winners in Pat Sullivan, Bo Jackson and Cam Newton, as well as a bust of the Trophy’s namesake John Heisman who coached at Auburn from 1895-99. These statues serve as a great photo opportunity for loyal Auburn fans on gameday.
10. Advanced Reserved Parking: AAA Parking will manage prepaid parking for six different parking lots around campus. Fans are now able to reserve parking in advance to guarantee a spot when they arrive on campus. Log onto http://www.parkwhiz.com/jordan-hare-stadium-parking/.
11. Tiger Walk Tailgate Party: A new Tailgate area has been created to provide an additional area for those fans looking for hospitality near the stadium in the Plainsman Park parking lot. The Tiger Walk Tailgate Party will also house the Red Diamond Pregame Tailgate Show heard locally on WKKR-FM 97.7. Former letterwinners will be featured in the Verizon Autograph Tent, while a giant video screen shows live college football. Admission is free and open to the public.
12. Credit Cards accepted in Upper Concourses: Hard-line Ethernet has been added to the upper concourses of Jordan-Hare Stadium to provide fans with credit card use in the concessions stands. Additional ATMs also have been added to the upper concourse areas as well.
13. Additional On-Campus Shuttles: There will be additional shuttles from on-campus permit lots X, Y and the Old Track to provide fans quick access to Jordan-Hare Stadium. Shuttles will begin two hours prior to kickoff each week. Shuttles from X and Y will drop off at the East and West Gates, and the Old Track stops will be at Coliseum Drive and Heisman Drive. Post-game pick-up will be at those same locations returning to the respective lots.
14. Express Lines: Now fans without bags to check can move more quickly into Jordan-Hare Stadium through express lines at gates 2, 12A, 12C and 15.
15. Partnership with Hotel and Restaurant Management Students: The Premium Seating & Hospitality area within Tigers Unlimited is partnering with the Hotel & Restaurant Management program within the College of Human Sciences. Several of their students have been selected to serve as Executive Suite Ambassadors, the official host/hostesses of the Auburn Executive Suites at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Additional HRMT students will be getting beneficial hands-on experience serving at the Auburn Arena, helping with both Men’s Basketball Games and also Auburn Arena Private events.
16. Prohibited Items list: The prohibited items list has been amended to allow tablets and iPads into Jordan-Hare Stadium this year. With an upgraded mobile app and social media interaction encouraged throughout the game, fans can now enjoy the experience with their tablets and iPads in hand. Prohibited items added to the list are bags over the size of 12x12x12 into the stadium and any cameras with 4-inch lenses or bigger.
17. Guest WiFi: Fans now have the ability to get wireless internet while on campus through a partnership with Verizon Wireless and iBAHN. The wifi is subscription based and can be accessed by selecting AU_Guest once on campus. Rates are $7.95 for 24 hours, $9.95 for 48 hours, $11.95 for 72 hours and $17.95 for 30 days. The installation of the wireless also increased the signal for the previously installed Digital Antenna System.
18. ATM Machines Galore: As part of a partnership with PNC Bank, Jordan-Hare Stadium will be outfitted with eight ATM machines throughout the concourses to help provide fans more convenient banking services.
19. Shorter Wait Times at Concessions: High-traffic concession stands located on the North Concourse will be updated with a “snaked” line system to move customers through the lines more efficiently, shortening the average wait time. Also 10,000 souvenir cups will be offered at all seven home games.
20. AU Team Store delivers to Suites: This year Suite Holders will have the ability to purchase merchandise from the AU Team Store on gamedays and have it delivered directly to the suite before the end of the game. Suite Holders also will have a new system of requesting assistance through QR codes on their smartphones.
21. Mass Transportation Drop Off Locations Added: Outside groups wishing to provide mass transportation to campus will be given the opportunity to provide that service to their patrons and guests. All groups must pre-register with Auburn University at http://www.parkwhiz.com/jordan-hare-stadium-parking/ and after approval will be given drop-off and pick-up passes.
22. Live DJ at Coca-Cola Fan Fest: This year at the Coca-Cola Fan Fest a live DJ will entertain fans each week in addition to all the great activities the area has to offer, including games, inflatables, giveaways and prizes. The Coca-Cola Fan Fest is a “FanZone” style entertainment area located in front of Nichols Center on Donahue and opens four hours prior to kickoff.
23. Added Customer Service locations outside Jordan-Hare Stadium: Lifeguard-style chairs will be placed in various locations outside the gates of Jordan-Hare Stadium where customer service representatives will be armed with maps and information to help fans with any questions they may have on gameday.
24. Tiger Cards for Concessions: Students can now utilize the money on their Tiger Cards for purchasing food at the Jordan-Hare Stadium concession stands.
25. Better air circulation: Four new 16-foot ceiling fans have been installed on the west mid-bowl concourse of Jordan-Hare Stadium, which will improve the climate during those early season games. These fans bring the total number to seven in the stadium – four on the west and three on the east side.
26. Beckwith Club: New outdoor chairs, with cup holders, as well as new carpet has been installed for the 2012 season in the Beckwith Club.
27. Improved training for Gate Workers, Ushers and Concessions staff: Each year many new faces join the Jordan-Hare Stadium gameday staff working the gates, ushering fans to their seats and serving concessions. Auburn Athletics has a high standard of customer service and with an improved training program, so will the staff, who are oftentimes the most visible of our representatives.
28. Added restrooms to the X permit parking lot: Additional outdoor restroom areas have been added for those fans parking in that area.
29. Digital Customer Service Booths: Each of the four guest assistance customer service booths inside Jordan-Hare Stadium will be equipped with netbook tablets to feedback from fans instantly, which will allow Athletics Event Management staff the ability to respond more efficiently.
30. Additional Food Service Areas in Football Scholarship seating: There will be added satellite food service areas in the football scholarship seating being staffed by friendly Jordan-Hare Stadium Ambassadors. Additional TVs have also been installed in the area.