BYU COUGARS

Fan Experience Top Priority For LaVell Edwards Stadium Renovations

Aug 28, 2019, 9:30 AM | Updated: Aug 29, 2019, 9:21 am
LaVell Edwards Stadium...
LaVell Edwards Stadium (Courtesy of BYU Photo)
(Courtesy of BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah – College athletic departments across the country are looking at each other and asking, how do we get more people to attend football games?

Attendance at college football games nationwide hit its lowest mark in 22 years last fall.

BYU is not immune to these attendance issues.

In fact, last year marked the lowest average attendance at BYU home football games since the expansion of LaVell Edwards Stadium in 1982. Last season, BYU averaged 52,476 fans per game.

10 years ago, BYU averaged 64,236 fans per game. Where did the fans go and how does BYU go about bringing them back?

Renovations to LaVell Edwards Stadium is where BYU’s athletic department has looked to bring more fans into the stands in Provo.

This past summer, BYU completed renovations on the mezzanine in the four sections of LaVell Edwards Stadium. This renovation brings the four independent sections of LES together so fans can walk around the entire upper deck without having to go down to the bottom concourse level.

It’s a subtle change to a stadium that has been around since 1964 (east and west grandstands), but it helps the fan experience and the logistics of navigating the stadium with busy crowds.

Along with the construction to the mezzanine, 216 new bathroom fixtures were put into place at LES including new bathroom facilities in the south and north endzone concourses.

According to Duff Tittle, BYU’s associate athletic director for communications, there are considerations to add tables and phone charging stations in various spots around the stadium in the near future.  Standing room-only ticketing could be a possibility down the road as well with these new renovations.

The focus of the project was the fan experience according to Tittle who has seen a handful of renovations to LES since he was hired at BYU in 1996. Prior to this year’s renovation, the last major renovations to LES were in 2012 when new video boards were installed and replaced the 16-year-old Mitsubishi screens.

Last year, BYU installed a state-of-the-art WiFi DAS system that has been used in many NFL stadiums to give fans the ability to consume any apps or videos on their cellular devices.

Along with WiFi, BYU rolled out a Gameday app created by Pesci Sports. The Gameday app provided fans instant replays to plays on the field, food ordering options, social media, and live stats.

Back in January, BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe said that season ticket sales for the 2019 season were up from last season. Holmoe also noted that ticket sales for football and men’s basketball are “huge” in regards to revenue streams for BYU’s athletic department.

Single-game tickets are still available for Thursday night’s Utah game through BYU’s ticket office.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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