Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Full stadium newest aim for SGA


With the first home football game of the season right around the corner, the SGA and other campus organizations are looking for ways to keep more students in their seats.

Looking up and seeing the student section in the upper bowl of Bryant-Denny Stadium only partially filled has become a familiar sight over the past few seasons, and while there are 17,000 seats in the student section, attendance has never broken 14,000, according to a November 2012 article in The Crimson White.

In 2012, only 69.4 percent of student tickets were used. The University is trying to fight this trend by assigning tickets by upper or lower bowl ahead of time, but it remains to be seen if the tide can be turned.

But sparse attendance is not the only problem plaguing the student section. With its new Stay for Four initiative, the SGA is hoping to stop the steady stream of students that begins to file out come halftime, leaving empty seats scattered across the student section by the end of the fourth quarter.

Leela Foley, director of media relations for the SGA, said they are hoping to do something about the bad image created by students leaving early.

“SGA has designed the Stay for Four initiative to encourage students to stay for all four quarters of the football game,” Foley said. “We get a lot of negative feedback when the student section empties out during halftime at games when Alabama is steadily in the lead.”

Some students, however, feel that there just isn’t any point to sitting through the rest of the game when the outcome seems to have been determined.

“If the team is taking our first string players out, we should take our first string fans out,” Mitchell Dykstra, a junior majoring in philosophy, said. “If I wanted to watch Blake Sims run draw plays for the entire second half … I don’t want to do that.”

As part of Stay for Four, the SGA provides fans to help students cool off during long football games.

“All students will receive a Stay for Four fan on their seat before the game this Saturday,” Foley said. “These fans have the fight song lyrics printed on them, so we hope students will use them throughout the game not only to cool off from the Alabama heat, but also to sing along after touchdowns.”

The SGA will also offer other incentives for students to sit through the entire game.

“We will also be randomly selecting a student who stays for all four quarters to be ‘Fan of the Week,’” Foley said. “They will receive a prize package from the SUPe Store and will be featured on the SGA website and social media. We are hoping to develop the ‘Fan of the Week’ initiative throughout the fall, and at the end of the season, this group would receive a tour of the football athletic facility.”

Dykstra said that he would more likely to stay for all four quarters if there were incentives to do so.

Foley said the SGA is hoping to partner with the Office of First Year Experience and other student organizations on the Stay for Four initiative in the future.

“We expect the program to evolve after each game and are open to suggestions and partnerships from other organizations,” Foley said.

Dykstra had a suggestion for how to get students to stay for the entire game.

“Schedule better out-of-conference opponents. That would encourage me to stay,” Dykstra said.


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