Changing the Culture: Pre-game/In-game
July 28, 2011
Thursday: Pre-game/In-game: This is the fourth part of a weeklong series on VUCommodores.com titled Changing the Culture, which highlights the changes that have been made in the offseason. These changes were implemented after receiving feedback from the fan base through a fan forum, an online suggestion box and multiple conversations.
VUCommodores.com has already detailed the renovated locker room, improved parking and enhancements to Vandyville. Today, we take a glance at the changes fans can expect during their pregame and in-game experience.
Creating a festive atmosphere in and around the stadium not only adds to the experience, but also makes gameday that much more of a special experience for those in attendance as well as the coaches and players on the field. Watch the video above to hear Head Coach James Franklin's thoughts on gameday - something he considers to be the most special days of the year for football team.
In addition to the enhancements made to Vandyville that include the team walking through on gameday, a stage with live entertainment, the pregame show being located on site and the new Coca-Cola picnic area, there are many other pregame festivities fans will not want to miss on Saturdays.
Vanderbilt will continue its tradition of Star Walk approximately 1 hours, 15 minutes before every game. With cheerleaders, the band and fans lining both sides of the black and gold pathway on Jess Neely Drive, the Commodores walk to the stadium, carrying the anchor from the McGugin Center locker room to the locker room at Vanderbilt Stadium.
Previously, the anchor was placed in the locker room at the stadium and it remained there the entire game. This year, the anchor will have a more prominent presence on gameday. Before kickoff of each game, there will be a special on-field ceremony presenting the anchor on the field. Just how will the anchor be presented? Well, that will remain a surprise up until Sept. 3 when the Commodores open the season against Elon.
Fans inside the stadium will also be greeted by a new sound system that will provide more clarity to public address announcements as well as improve the atmosphere through the pre-game and in-game music. The pre-game music this season will also include favorites from the Commodore team, coaching staff and other notables. An additional emphasis has been placed on the type and timing of music played between breaks. The band, dance team and cheerleaders will also be debuting new songs and routines this season.
The Commodores will have a more rousing entrance to the field for pregame introductions. The team will enter through a new inflatable Star V tunnel and will be accompanied by pyrotechnics. We are also opening up the name of the signature fog horn for you the fans to vote on. All three of the finalists were submitted by fans.
"Our fans have told us that they want to continue to see our game day atmosphere grow and we hope that our changes will work to address those needs," said Steve Walsh, Vanderbilt Director of Sales and Marketing. "We will continue to work to find ways to create the ideal family-friendly, college football environment that our fans are looking for."watch this captivating time-lapse video of the sod being torn out and replaced. The video is also at the bottom of this release. A few things to look for are the paint lines that remained on the field even after the grass was removed and the shadows that come and go each day on the field.
If you arrive inside the stadium early, you will now be treated to video content that will begin 30 minutes before each game. There has also been an emphasis placed on improving the in-game graphics on the video board. Click here to watch an example of a few of the new video board graphics.
Fans heading to the stadium early will also see improved customer service next season with the ticket office opening four hours before kickoff instead of two.
Also of note, Vanderbilt's bookstore will be opening a new location in November. The bookstore will be located in the old Borders location and will officially be called Barnes & Noble at Vanderbilt.
Check back Friday for the final installment of the Changing the Culture Series.