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The University Athletic Association will implement several initiatives to improve the fan experience at football games.

Saturday August 30, 2014Fan Initiatives Announced For 2014 Gator Football Season

Gainesville, Fla.

The University Athletic Association will implement several initiatives to improve the fan experience at football games.

With anticipation building for the Gator football team’s 2014 opener next Saturday at 7 p.m. at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium against Idaho, the University Athletic Association wants to notify fans of several new initiatives in place for the upcoming season that include, but are not limited to, an increased Distributed Antenna System to enhance cell service, national TV games on the videoboard when they enter the stadium, new and enhanced stat display on the videoboards, more in-game music, streamlined on-field presentations and fireworks for select games.

 

“We hope that our fans will enjoy the enhancements for their game day experience in The Swamp,” said Chip Howard, Executive Associate Athletics Director for Internal Affairs. “We will continue to explore new and innovative ways to improve the fan experience for everyone.”

 

Here is a more detailed look at what fans can expect in The Swamp for the 2014 season:

 

Distributed Antenna System (DAS)

·         Thirty-six antennas have been added to the current DAS, bringing the total antenna count throughout the stadium to nearly 400; most noticeably, the new flag poles around the top of the stadium include additional antennas, providing additional coverage and capacity and eliminating coverage gaps between sections. AT&T will continuously work to improve the service throughout the season and in years to come.  The additional antennas will provide better cell phone service for all fans throughout Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

·         AT&T and Verizon currently are the only service providers participating in the DAS. 

 

Fan Entertainment Enhancements

·         Dazzlers & Cheerleaders: The Dazzlers and Cheerleaders will be involved more pre-game and in-game. Cheerleaders will look to have more interaction with fans, but specifically in the East stands and with UF students.

·         National Games on the Big Screen: Before the Verizon Pre-Game Show (which will begin approximately 45 minutes prior to kickoff), fans will be able to watch other games around the country on the videoboard.

·         Streamlined Presentations on the Field: Quicker, more video-oriented recognitions of Gator achievements to allow more time during breaks for music and entertainment. 

·         Updated videoboards: Fans will see an updated design to the GatorVision videoboards in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, including an enhanced and expanded stats display format that will provide more real-time stats and information for fans.

o    The GatorVision videoboards also will show more in-game replays, improved highlights, updated Gator videos and will feature fan interaction through social media with a constant Twitter feed, displaying those tweets that use #ItsGreatUF or the specific gameday hashtag (#UFvsIDA for season opener).

·         More Music: The updated SEC Music Policy now gives all SEC schools the ability to play music until the center is standing over the ball.

·         Fireworks: For the Idaho and Kentucky games, fans will be able to enjoy fireworks during pre-game festivities and throughout the night in The Swamp.

·         Wounded Warriors:  During each game, the Gators will honor and recognize a Wounded Warrior.

o    The annual Saluting Those Who Serve game will be on Nov. 22 vs. Eastern Kentucky.

·         Group Ticket Theme Days: Groups of 10 or more have the chance to experience Gator Gamedays. Additional Theme Days information is available on GatorZone.com.

 

Special Heat Initiatives for the Gators’ season opener against Idaho:

·         Misting stations located around Ben Hill Griffin Stadium: Outside of Gate 2, Gate 16, Gate 9, upper North Endzone Sunshine Seats

·         Hand fans distributed at Gator FanFest outside Gate 2 of the Stephen C. O’Connell Center and select gates as fans enter Ben Hill Griffin Stadium

o    20,000 Hand Fans will be distributed by the Florida Lottery for the first four games

§  10,000 Hand Fans will be distributed by the University of Florida University Relations Office for the Eastern Michigan game

·         Sunscreen and Cooling Hand Towel giveaways at Gator FanFest outside Gate 2 of the O'Connell Center

o    Florida Dairy Farmers will distribute cooling hand towels for the first three games

·         Sunscreen also will be available in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at the Guest Service Kiosks at Gates 7 and 16 and between Gates 1 and 2.

·         Comfort Temp Chill Zone at Alligator Alley, located on the West Concourse

·         Numerous water fountains are available throughout the stadium

o    New for 2014 will be eight new enhanced water fountains in each concourse with easy bottle/cup filling stations.

·         $2 12-ounce bottled water will be available at concession stands

·         Officers at gates will be watching for fans in heat distress and directing people to first aid stations

·         Fans with a football ticket can enter the O’Connell Center through Gate 1 to get out of the heat and cool off

·         The football game will be shown on the O’Connell Center’s videoboards for fans to watch while staying cool inside

o    On Saturday, Aug. 30, Gator Volleyball will host the final day of the Active Ankle Challenge. The match vs. Oklahoma begins at 2:30 p.m., and fans with a football ticket for the Idaho game can enter the O’Connell Center for free.

o    The following week on Saturday, Sept. 6, Gator Volleyball takes on Texas at 7:30 p.m. Fans with a football ticket stub from the Eastern Michigan game can enter the O’Connell Center for free.

 

Heat Initiatives will be in effect for the Gators’ first three games against Idaho (8/30), Eastern Michigan (9/6) and Kentucky (9/13).

 

General Guidelines for High-Temperature Days

·         Wear loose fitting clothing and a hat

·         Sunscreen of at least 30 SPF - repeat application

·         Get out of the sun if dizzy

·         Drink plenty of fluids - water and Gatorade

·         Avoid excess alcohol - it will compound heat problems

·         If you have G-1 respiratory or cardiac disease, be especially careful

·         Go immediately to an aid station if you need help

 

Comfort Temp Chill Zone at Alligator Alley & FanFest

·         The Comfort Temp Chill Zone at Alligator Alley is located on the West side of the Stadium Atrium outside of Gates 1 through 4.

·         Gator FanFest located outside Gate 2 of the O’Connell Center.

·         Both areas will be open throughout the season to enhance the fan experience at The Swamp.

 

Sustainability Initiatives

As part of the University of Florida's Sustainability initiatives, The Swamp continues to take steps towards zero waste

·         Throughout stadium concourses, fans will now find a compost container paired with a recycling container.

·         Visual aids will be at each station to help fans get it in the right can. 

·         Green Team members will be stationed throughout Ben Hill Griffin Stadium educating fans and assisting in the sorting of compostable and recyclable items. 

·         WCA, the UF Office of Sustainability, Neutral Gator and the Gators will host the annual Green Game on Saturday, Sept. 6.

 

For all of the latest information on Florida Football, stay tuned to GatorZone.com and follow the team on Twitter.

 

 

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