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U football: Group aims to improve fans' experience

By Paul Nelson | Posted - May 15th, 2013 @ 9:26am



SALT LAKE CITY — What can be done to improve fans' experiences at Ute football games? Professors and students at the University of Utah are trying to figure out how to improve tailgating at Rice-Eccles Stadium next year.

In order to get inspiration, students from the U of U traveled to other universities to see how fan groups handle their overall football experience.

"The tailgating aspect was a small part," said Assistant Professor of Design Jim Agutter. "We also looked at how we could increase attendance and how we might do some promotions."

So, what kinds of improvements need to be made? Agutter said a lot of student groups, fan groups and different colleges within the university would celebrate the games by tailgating, but they didn't always do it at the same time and the same location.

"One thing that we found, in talking with the different user groups, is there tended to be, at least at the university, kind of sporadic involvement in the tailgating experience," he said.


"Next year, we'll have a coordinated tailgating event that involves a lot of different departments and a lot of different student groups."

So, Agutter said they're working to change that.

"Next year, we'll have a coordinated tailgating event that involves a lot of different departments and a lot of different student groups," he said.

He also said they can do a better job getting new students excited for football.

"There is an opportunity for incoming freshmen, to really educate them about the football game and the football experience," he said.

Along with the events being planned by the school's design department, he said he wouldn't be surprised if the athletic department creates some of its own, as well.

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