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Miami @ FAU Gameday Experience...

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Well mine was horrible, but I sincerely hope I was the Exception and not the rule. Here is my letter to Pat Chun and the AD for events.
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Just wanted to reach out to all of you about the game day experience. I have been an FAU season ticket holder since inception and I have seen the highs and the lows of all our game day experiences, from SunLife, to Lockhart, to our new home. This was without a doubt the WORST experience I’ve had in 15 years. I will give the details to you but I just wanted you to know how upset I was/am as a season ticket holder.

Traffic

Traffic control on Spanish River was non-existent. There was one officer at Military and Spanish river and he was not directing just sitting on his trunk. Not much he could do as it was bumper to bumper on all the way to the stadium but still it looked bad. It took 1 ½ hours to go from Military to get into the parking area. Once in there parking was done well I thought as I was able to get to my Orange lot and got right in.

Stadium Entrance

The gate I normally went to was now designated a “Student Only gate” so we had to move to Gate 4 to get in. Gate 4 was to put it mildly a dumpster fire. There was no line control at all, which resulted in a giant blob of people together pushing to get in. Due to this, a fight broke out in the area between an FAU fan and a UM fan. A full cocktail, (judging from the smell a heavy Rum and Pineapple concoction) comes flying in and hits me dead in the chest. Sadly I have to report that it was the FAU fan who threw the drink and instigated the fight. Please keep in mind that I have my 14 year old daughter with me. Thankfully the drink hit me and not her. The 2 girls start to fist fight, and I yell for the police, who did not appear. The fight is broken up briefly but continues they continue to yell and continue the fight as we move toward the gate. The UM fan asks the cops at the gate to stop the girl who hit her, and they reply “Which one is it?”. Now the whole area was pointing the fans out and sadly this person had already waltzed into the stadium.

Lightning Delay

While I realize that you cannot control the weather a MUCH better job of informing people in the stadium needs to be done when these delays are issued and when they are set to expire. I had a fellow co-worker (Evan Mayer) attend the game and he left the Hyundai deck after the hour delay because he had no idea when it was going to end. The only reason I knew was that I was checking twitter from my phone and could see that FS1 twitter was reporting the times. All we heard in the stadium was “Please stand by as we are still under a lighting delay”. I eventually left as well before the game restarted because it was getting too late and the game would not of ended till well after midnight. Again not your fault, but communication needs to be a WHOLE lot better about restart times.

I can honestly say that if this had been my first ever experience with an FAU game that I would not come back. The GLARING issues were crowd control outside the gates. There was simply not enough barricades or staff members to control the crowd. I was very scared for my little girls safety in that huge crowd.

Please learn from this experience as, at least for this long time fan, what I was hoping would be one of the most exciting and fun nights in FAU history was turned into a nightmare situation.  If you’re expecting crowds of this level ever again there is much work to do.
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Anyone else have anything better or worse? Other then the above I thought the team played well.

I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick @$$ and I'm out of bubble gum.

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OwlFamily said

Well mine was horrible, but I sincerely hope I was the Exception and not the rule. Here is my letter to Pat Chun and the AD for events.
_______________________________________________________________________

Just wanted to reach out to all of you about the game day experience. I have been an FAU season ticket holder since inception and I have seen the highs and the lows of all our game day experiences, from SunLife, to Lockhart, to our new home. This was without a doubt the WORST experience I’ve had in 15 years. I will give the details to you but I just wanted you to know how upset I was/am as a season ticket holder.

Traffic

Traffic control on Spanish River was non-existent. There was one officer at Military and Spanish river and he was not directing just sitting on his trunk. Not much he could do as it was bumper to bumper on all the way to the stadium but still it looked bad. It took 1 ½ hours to go from Military to get into the parking area. once in there parking was done well I thought as I was able to get to my Orange lot and got right in.

Stadium Entrance

The gate I normally went to was now designated a “Student only gate” so we had to move to Gate 4 to get in. Gate 4 was to put it mildly a dumpster fire. There was no line control at all, which resulted in a giant blob of people together pushing to get in. Due to this, a fight broke out in the area between an FAU fan and a UM fan. A full cocktail, (judging from the smell a heavy Rum and Pineapple concoction) comes flying in and hits me dead in the chest. Sadly I have to report that it was the FAU fan who threw the drink and instigated the fight. Please keep in mind that I have my 14 year old daughter with me. Thankfully the drink hit me and not her. The 2 girls start to fist fight, and I yell for the police, who did not appear. The fight is broken up briefly but continues they continue to yell and continue the fight as we move toward the gate. The UM fan asks the cops at the gate to stop the girl who hit her, and they reply “Which one is it?”. Now the whole area was pointing the fans out and sadly this person had already waltzed into the stadium.

Lightning Delay

While I realize that you cannot control the weather a MUCH better job of informing people in the stadium needs to be done when these delays are issued and when they are set to expire. I had a fellow co-worker (Evan Mayer) attend the game and he left the Hyundai deck after the hour delay because he had no idea when it was going to end. The only reason I knew was that I was checking twitter from my phone and could see that FS1 twitter was reporting the times. All we heard in the stadium was “Please stand by as we are still under a lighting delay”. I eventually left as well before the game restarted because it was getting too late and the game would not of ended till well after midnight. Again not your fault, but communication needs to be a WHOLE lot better about restart times.

I can honestly say that if this had been my first ever experience with an FAU game that I would not come back. The GLARING issues were crowd control outside the gates. There was simply not enough barricades or staff members to control the crowd. I was very scared for my little girls safety in that huge crowd.

Please learn from this experience as, at least for this long time fan, what I was hoping would be one of the most exciting and fun nights in FAU history was turned into a nightmare situation.  If you’re expecting crowds of this level ever again there is much work to do.
________________________________________________________________________________________

Anyone else have anything better or worse? Other then the above I thought the team played well.


Posted On: Sep 14th 2015, 10:32 AM #348586


Traffic and weather delays are part of the game.  Your other points seem valid.

My opinion was that FAU did a great job with the event.  My only criticism would be that when you have a significant weather delay like that you can't keep serving alcohol until the beginning of the 4th quarter.  Their needs to be an earlier cutoff, like approximately when the 4th quarter was suppose to start in real time.  I saw some fights start and it probably was all due to alcohol, and people sneaking into the Hyundai Deck.  I had a friend complain that they did not have enough people staffing the bar. 
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I too have an email going out, I loved the fact the stadium was sold out, loved the energy, FAU Athletics. Ticket sales did a great job promotong the event, so kudos to al that. Traffic I didnt have an issue with, they said get there early, and honestly it wasnt as bad as I thought it would be.
I did have a bunch of issues with Event Staff not FAU staff but thrid party like security/club employees.

From being told when we arrived we could not use our parking pass for valet, despite seeing the valet 100 yards away and being threated with arrest if we drove to where we were supposed to be, to having security to tell us to 'not be loud and cheer" when Miami was on offense becasue it may disturb other fans…(mind you just cheering not being obnoxious, cursing etc) we have a 5 year old and an 18 month old with us so that is not how we roll….and a bunch of other issues…it certianly did not feel like I was in the same home stadium that I have attennded every game in since it opened up.

If that was my first time, I would not be back, period… with the issues we experienced. Never had any of these types of things happen at other FAU events nor at any other sporting event I have ever been to.

I may post my email as well when I send it. The school needs to know about these things as they are correctable issues. I also got an email survey after the game so I suggest every one fill that out as well. It seems they want the feedback to improve things. Bottom line we have come a long way, and I expect there to be bumps along the way, just experienced a few to many myself on Friday.
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I know they cant control the weather but they should of been more communicative about the "restart" time. Even if its just an estimate at least people would know roughly what time it would be restarting. Traffic was traffic, and I truly thought that an 1 1/2 hours to get into the stadium from my location should of been easily enough accomplished. I was just irritated the cop was siting there on his trunk.

The gate issue was completely controlable by FAU and they dropped the ball on that. They knew this crowd was going to be big and I feel they didnt have enough staff at the gates to control the crowd. Getting hit in the chest with a drink from a drunk FAU fan shouldnt happen right outside the entrance gate

I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick @$$ and I'm out of bubble gum.

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Here is the problem with anncoucing possible ''restart'' times those lighting detectors go off an reset every time lighting strikes to what ever distance they had it set to.

Lets say is 15 miles if its been and the rest time is 30 min.

You can be at 29 min and 59 sec and if Lighting strikes 14.9 miles away you have to reset that clock.
 So jus imagine the frustration if they kept saying there is only 15 more min the something strikes where no one can hear or see and we are wondering why they have not restarted.
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OwlFamily said

I know they cant control the weather but they should of been more communicative about the "restart" time. Even if its just an estimate at least people would know roughly what time it would be restarting. Traffic was traffic, and I truly thought that an 1 1/2 hours to get into the stadium from my location should of been easily enough accomplished. I was just irritated the cop was siting there on his trunk.

The gate issue was completely controlable by FAU and they dropped the ball on that. They knew this crowd was going to be big and I feel they didnt have enough staff at the gates to control the crowd. Getting hit in the chest with a drink from a drunk FAU fan shouldnt happen right outside the entrance gate
Posted On: Sep 14th 2015, 12:16 PM #348593

I have to agree with you on that. The security inside the stadium didnt seem to have a clue where open seating passes was compared to us who had season tickets, or those that bought their tickets early. Another thing on the weather delay how close does it have to be to really delay it. The storms never came close.
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Wow…I guess luck was on my side. We cut through airport road to Spanish River. There was a long line but people were courteous in letting cars merge in. Went right into Orange lot as we typically do. Checked out the owl walk as the players came in. This all happened between 5:30 to 6. Only gripe I have was the replay issue on the screen. 
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owlcountry40 said

Here is the problem with anncoucing possible ''restart'' times those lighting detectors go off an reset every time lighting strikes to what ever distance they had it set to.

Lets say is 15 miles if its been and the rest time is 30 min.

You can be at 29 min and 59 sec and if Lighting strikes 14.9 miles away you have to reset that clock.
 So jus imagine the frustration if they kept saying there is only 15 more min the something strikes where none can here or see and we are wondering why they have not restarted.

Posted On: Sep 14th 2015, 12:39 PM #348594

Yeah I know its problematic due to resets, but if they said something along the lines of "Weather delay is in effect for at least 30 minutes, Estimated time of restart is XX:XX "we would at least know. Add a caveat that if additional strikes are detected we will update the estimated restart time.


I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick @$$ and I'm out of bubble gum.

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not weather issues, but do we email the director of the football operations, stadium, or Pat chun.
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owl in training said

Wow…I guess luck was on my side.  
Posted On: Sep 14th 2015, 12:55 PM #348597

I got lucky too. Of course it took me 35 min from boca raton blvd to get to campus off spanish river, which was expected. and that was around 6. I found "parking" relatively easy, bought a ticket when I got on campus (perfect seats, hunday deck, 50 yard line at a VERY reasonable price). Tailgated for a solid hour, and went into the stadium with no problem.

I agree with crowd control. I didn't wait in line to get in thru gate 2 (or 3). However,  gate 4 was mayhem. The could use extra people to manage the gates I guess. And definitely more ppl managing the bars.
I knew going in was going to be really hard. I even had a hard time when i was a student back in '11 vs WKY. They actually stopped scanning student IDs and let everyone in.

My overall experience wasn't bad at all, I'd give it a 8/10. I've been to several UF games when I lived in Gainesville, and I'd rather go thru last friday's experience 10X over.

For those that had a bad experience, I'm sure there's a lot of room for improvement, but at least you shouldn't have expected our typical saturday gameday ambiance when a much bigger program, 30 min south of our campus, with a heavy fan base travels to our stadium. I personally didn't see anything to convince a first timer not to come back to our stadium.
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