Large crowd attends annual Dore Jam
Aug. 10, 2014
Howell's Photos | Social Sweep
After years of watching the weather radar and packing extra sunblock, Vanderbilt fans didn't need to do either on Sunday at the football team's annual Dore Jam fan event. This year's event was held indoors at Vanderbilt's multipurpose facility, which opened its doors last November.
The new location enabled players and fans to avoid the heat, and allowed those in attendance an opportunity to check out the new facility. The combination, plus the program's recent success and growing anticipation for the 2014 season, led to a very large crowd of more than 4,000 at Dore Jam.
"I'm excited for the season and wanted to meet Coach Mason," said David Simmons of Nashville. "This event gets me ready for football every year."
Simmons was part of a large crowd of Commodore fans, who waited outside before the doors opened at 2 p.m. The line to enter Dore Jam wrapped around the facility as fans of all ages decked in black and gold waited in anticipation for their opportunity snag autographs and photos with the Commodores.
Upon entering the multipurpose facility, fans were greeted by members of the cheer and dance team. Those in attendance were able to pick up 2014 schedule posters, which were debuted at the event. Additionally, fans could take photos with the BBVA Compass Bowl trophy, order tickets, purchase merchandise and grab a number of free giveaways.
When not waiting in line for autographs and photos, children tossed footballs around and played in the inflatables that were setup.
Members of the team were seated at tables and divided into position groupings around each sideline of the field, with Head Coach Derek Mason stationed in the south end zone. Fans formed lines for each position group to collect autographs and snap photos with members of the team.
The longest line belonged to Coach Derek Mason, who was participating in his first Dore Jam. The line for Mason stretched more than 100 yards for the majority of the event.
Mason personalized merchandise, shook hands and took photos with everyone who asked.
By the time the event ended at 4 p.m., Mason's line was still 40 yards deep, and would have been much longer had it not been halted with 30 minutes remaining.
The 2014 football season is just 18 days away from kicking off. Given the excitement at Sunday's Dore Jam, the season couldn't get here soon enough.
"It was cool meeting everyone," said 9-year old Dylan Thomas, who threw the football back and forth with his friend. "All the players signed my poster. I'm going to hang it in my room."