Indiana athletic director Fred Glass met with the media to talk about plans to enhance the football gameday experience at IU on Monday night. Above is a portion of what he had to say and below is the full press release:
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Since opening the North End Zone Complex in 2009, IU Athletics has made substantial and ongoing investments in IU Football and in improving the gameday experience at Memorial Stadium. To prepare for the fifth season in the refurbished stadium, IU Athletics has collaborated with several key groups in a comprehensive effort to make the gameday environment at Memorial Stadium one of the best in the country. As part of this effort, Vice President and Director of Athletics Fred Glass and Head Football Coach Kevin Wilson and members of their staffs began meeting regularly in early January to reevaluate the entire football gameday experience and consider from scratch new ways to improve it.
“Since 2009, we have added new gameday traditions, improved our infrastructure, and invested in people,” Glass said. “As we were poised to enter the fifth year of the North End Zone, I thought it was important for us to take a methodical, wholesale look at our football gameday experience and how we could continue to improve it.”
IU Athletics brought key constituents to the table to be a part of the process of building a better football gameday experience. The Student Athletic Board was charged with representing the student body and seeking input from a diverse population of students. The leadership of the Marching Hundred and the Redsteppers along with that of the cheerleading team offered ideas on how to further engage fans in the stands. Input from campus groups outside Athletics such as the Interfraternity Council, Panhellenic Association, IUSA, Resident Assistants, and Student Orientation Leaders, was solicited and provided.
“We really appreciate the work that Mr. Glass, the administration and our student leaders contributed to make Memorial Stadium the place to be on gameday”, said head coach Kevin Wilson. “The commitment from our administration has been awesome and we can’t thank everyone enough. We’re ready to get started and excited to play in front of our fans eight times this season. Hoosier Nation, we need you to come out in full force, be loud and let’s win together!”
In 2009, the first year of the North End Zone (including the nation’s largest strength and conditioning center and new football offices and meeting rooms), IU Athletics further improved Memorial Stadium’s infrastructure through wrought iron fencing, branding, painting, and the like and introduced new traditions such as Knothole Park, “Kicks for Keeps”, Red Light Specials, and the “I’m a Hoosier” videos on the scoreboard. Hoosier Village, now a major gameday destination, was moved from behind the DeVault Alumni Center to just outside Memorial Stadium.
In 2010, a 36-foot high by 91-foot wide high definition video board featuring state-of-the-art technology was installed on the south end of Memorial Stadium. At the time of its construction, it was one of college football’s ten largest video boards and serves as a significant revenue source for IU Athletics.
In 2011, Glass hired nationally recognized football coach Kevin Wilson as the new head coach at Indiana University. To recruit the best staff possible, IU more than doubled the salaries for the head coach and his assistants and added three strength and conditioning coaches to bring that staff to the NCAA maximum of five. Glass also hired Amy Freel as the Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Performance Services adding IU to the short list of schools nationally to have a full-time sports dietitian on staff.
In 2012, IU Football replaced one of its natural grass practice fields with a new Field Turf field at its outdoor practice facility to continue to upgrade the IU football complex as one of the country’s best.
Attached is a football gameday experience highlight summary describing many of the new enhancements to the football gameday experience for the 2013 season:
Football Gameday Experience Highlight Summary
1. Infrastructure Improvements
a) New flat screen TVs in concourse: old TVs and casings out
b) Installing Distributed Antenna System to improve texting and cellphone connectivity (Verizon on board; AT&T not yet)
c) Clean up concourses: painted east concourse risers, other painting touch-up; removed dead speakers; removed old fencing; renovating concession stands (new roofs, new lighting, rewiring, improved food delivery system)
d) U.S.S. Indiana Prow
e) Bringing back the cannon (“Big Jake”) to shoot off after IU scores; ROTC pushups
f) Create platforms so cheerleaders can move up into student section stands
g) Adding three t-shirt machine guns (bringing total to four)
h) New and expanded gameday safety & security command center on 7th floor of pressbox
i) New 154.5′ flagpole (Navy dedication; Varsity Club National Board member funded; ROTC flag raising w/National Anthem; Victory flag–NEZ spotlights red after victory)
2. Build Awareness for Gameday
a) Aggressive & coordinated use of social media through contests, photo and video sharing, promotions, etc.
b) New, branded Chevy Volt speaker car tours on and around campus
c) Thursday Flash Mob Rallies
d) Friday Night Spirit Patrol
e) Off campus flashing game week traffic signs
f) Giant, mobile TV showing football highlights with countdown clock for opening game
g) Coach Wilson hosted game week event (8/27 @ 2:00 @ clock near Woodburn Hall)
a) The Walk will now begin at Woodlawn and 17th near the tailgate field so that students and other fans can engage the team as they depart the buses; band and cheerleader members will lead the team to steps of Assembly Hall and then to Memorial Stadium (this similar to Coach Hep’s original route)
b) Team will enter the field after a live Jumbotron camera shot of them preparing to enter the field; smoke; additional fireworks, flashing lights and a siren will signal their entry.
c) The pregame videos will include highlights from great moments in IU Football history as well as highlights from this team
d) Tim Noble (and perhaps occasional guest singers) will perform “Back Home Again in Indiana” accompanied by the Marching Hundred
e) There will be fireworks during National Anthem at “rocket’s red glare” (approximately 15 minutes before kickoff) to dramatize the lyrics and advise those still outside the stadium that kickoff is near.
f) Band and cheerleaders will roam pregame (and in game) entertaining fans and teaching new cheers (discussed below)
g) Band will close each pregame performance by spelling Indiana and playing “Wipeout”
a) New cheers/traditions–especially for students
i. Yell “Hoosiers” when ball is kicked on kickoffs
ii. Yell First Down Hoosiers and point direction
iii. Touchdown March
iv. Jaws theme and Chomp-Clap on Defensive 3rd Downs
v. “Tap-Out” on defensive stops and turnovers, cross arms, put Tap-Out X in the air, and add “X” to Tap-out Wall Count
vi. Be loud when opponent is on offense in either red zone, especially near student section.
b) Offensive and Defensive Performance awards for fans
i. Score 50+: Discounts at Kilroys and Papa Johns
ii. 8+ Tap-Outs: Discount at Kilroys
iii. If both: Free hotdog at next football game
c) SAB Super Fan
d) New football song and video to be produced by Daniel Weber and Brice Fox (the “This is Indiana” guys) to be unveiled at the Penn State game
e) More stats, scores, highlights, and replays on Jumbotron
f) “This Day in Indiana Football” feature
g) New helmet giveaway
h) Birthday Party ticket promotion (birthday kid’s name on ticket and Jumbotron; 4 adult & 12 youth tickets for $150.00 ($280.00 – $320.00 value)
i) Fireworks before second half kick signaling it’s time to get back to your seats
j) New helmets
a) Kick For Keeps
b) Knot Hole Park
c) Red Light Special
d) William Tell Overture
e) Greening IU Athletics
f) Branding Expansion (including, but not limited to the W. Jay and Nancy Wilkinson Performance Center, the “Hoosier Room Hallway,” and the Hoosier Room)
g) Spirit Posters