Ask the AD
August 31, 2011
Auburn, Alabama. There is no better place to be on Saturdays during football season.
There is something special about Auburn’s gameday experience, from Tiger Walk and Toomer’s Corner to the eagle’s flight and the Auburn University Marching Band. This Saturday will be special as we welcome the defending National Champions back to Jordan-Hare Stadium for a nationally televised non-conference game against Utah State.
On Saturday, we will turn the page from a magical year to a new beginning with a new team. The crystal ball is a gleaming reminder of how hard and how tough the road to a National Championship can be. It reminds us every day what it took to scale the summit.
Turning the page for us means continuing to build the foundation for a championship program, and that starts with recruiting. Coach Chizik and his staff have done an incredible job of recruiting since his arrival, putting together back-to-back Top 5 national classes. More important than stars or ratings, however, is the caliber and character of the young men they have signed. All 25 of this year’s signees qualified academically and are on campus competing for the chance to play this fall.
Make no mistake about it—the future of Auburn football is bright. Yet the reality is we will experience some growing pains this year. Only nine players remain from the 2007 and 2008 recruiting classes, the last two classes signed before the Chizik Era began. Of those players, only three have ever started. That is a stark contrast to last season when 24 seniors led the way.
While few expect Auburn to make noise in 2011, Coach Chizik has said our goal— to win championships—has not changed. The great thing is you can’t measure an Auburn man’s heart. Regardless of how tough a schedule we face and how long it takes our young players to adjust to being thrust into key roles, you can rest assured our team will fight and play with class and integrity.
Just as Coach Chizik’s goal is for his team to compete for championships, our goal is to provide the best gameday experience in the nation. We will continue to uphold our gameday traditions while at the same time challenging ourselves to improve the gameday experience at every level, from the moment a ticket is purchased until the last car has left Auburn following a game.
Some of the gameday improvements we’ve made this year include renovations to the East Upper Deck, new banners, graphics and murals inside and outside the stadium, the addition of cell-phone charging stations and more ATM machines in the stadium and an improved Coca-Cola FanFest location in front of the Nichols Center due west of Jordan-Hare.
Tiger Transit routes have been revised and improved to include new pick-up locations at Duck-Samford Park in Auburn and at the Auburn City Softball Complex on South College Street. Tiger Transit will no longer pick up at Tiger Town, although the City of Opelika will run the Tiger Town Trolley to the stadium free of charge. All Tiger Transit riders will now be dropped off closer to the stadium on War Eagle Way.
A few other gameday improvements that we hope you will enjoy include improved post-game egress, an enhanced TV system in the stadium and the launch of a new and improved version of the AU Athletics mobile app (platforms include iPhone, Adroid, iPad and Blackberry).
GET THERE EARLY, TAKE HEAT PRECAUTIONS
While we encourage fans to get to campus and the stadium early for every game, early arrival will be especially important on Saturday with an 11 a.m. CT kickoff.
There is no doubt that heat will be a factor on Saturday, and we encourage you to take all necessary precautions. We will provide cooling stations at several locations around the stadium, free water will be offered in the student section and we have ensured that all of our water fountains in the stadium are operational.
Our gameday staff and emergency responders are trained to recognize heat stress and are prepared to respond if necessary. The cooling stations staffed with medical personnel will be available in the concourse area and upper decks should you or anyone in your party start feeling the effects of the heat.
By taking simple precautions like hydrating, dressing appropriately, wearing sunscreen and knowing when to get help, you can avoid heat stress and focus on enjoying the game.
GAMEDAY WEBSITE, TICKET INFO
The university maintains a great resource for gameday information, which can be found at www.auburn.edu/gameday. The site contains information about tickets, parking, tailgating, maps and more for your convenience.
Single-game tickets are still available for purchase at www.aubtix.com or by calling 1 (855) AUB-2010. Single-game tickets for the Utah State game may also be purchased at the Auburn Athletic Ticket Office at Auburn Arena and outside the west and east side of Jordan-Hare Stadium on gameday. Fans with tickets at Will Call are strongly encouraged to pick up their tickets early. The Ticket Office, located at Auburn Arena, will be open until 6:30 p.m. Friday and will open at 8 a.m. Saturday for ticket purchases and Will Call.
In closing, I want to thank the loyal members of Tigers Unlimited, our season ticket holders and those who have purchased single-game tickets. Our goal is to make sure our gameday experience is the best in the nation, and we know that we could not do it without your support.
God Bless and War Eagle!
Director of Athletics