Students can enjoy music, entertainment at athletic events

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Going to the Doyt for a football game now means more than just watching the game — it means going to experience the entertainment before, during and after.

This year, there will be more entertainment to keep the fans involved in the football experience.

Before the game, the falcon marching band, cheerleaders and the dance team will put on a free show in the Stroh Center.

“It’s to get fans excited for the game,” said Emily Hage, senior and drum major for the falcon marching band. “It builds a lot of school pride and spirit.”

The band will play the alma mater and the fight song, she said.

Fan involvement is important to athletics because students’ experience on campus may be shaped by the events they attend, said Craig Sandlin, coordinator of promotions and fan experience.

“Athletics play a big part during the college experience,” Sandlin said. “Students are paying good money to come to school here, so they should get the best experience possible.”

The University is trying to increase attendance at games, especially students’ attendance, Sandlin said.

“One of the things we’ve heard a lot from our students is that they don’t go because of the distance,” Sandlin said.

In order to get more students to come to games, the University is employing a shuttle, which will go to six stops to pick up and drop off students for the game.

“We’re doing our best to try and make it accommodating for students,” Sandlin said. “The most important thing for us is to make sure our fans are engaging, that they’re having a good time and want to come back week after week.”

To engage students and other fans, the downtime in the game will be interactive, Sandlin said.

One way to up the interactivity is to use the brand new video board in the stadium, Sandlin said.

The video board is high definition and will be used to do things such as show the football team’s introduction video, get fans pumped up about the game, spotlight plays with new high tech graphics, trivia, spotlight famous alumni who excelled in their sports and show fun videos and animation.

“We want to utilize it to the fullest,” Sandlin said. “It’s an interactive thing, we want to get fans as involved as possible with that.”

Christofer Smith, assistant producer of in-game entertainment and events for University athletics, said there are more videos to look forward to this year.

“There’s a lot of cool stuff,” Smith said. “There will be more movement, we’ll keep it flashy and exciting.”

When halftime comes, the entertainment won’t stop, it will keep going with the band, the dance team and the cheerleaders.

The first show features songs from Back to the Future, Star Wars, Star Trek and cantina band, said Emily Hage, senior and drum major for the falcon marching band.

“I think it’ll be pretty good, the drill is really interesting, it goes really well with the music,” Hage said.

Hage said the theme has the band stepping out of it’s comfort zone.

“It’s different than what we usually do,” Hage said. “It’s different, but really exciting.”

There will also be post-game fireworks five to 10 minutes after the game, Sandlin said.