Yesterday, the results of the 2011 Ole Miss Gameday Survey were released along with a small sample of plans in place to continue to improve on the atmosphere in and around Vaught Hemingway Stadium.
Yes, the most exciting development of all of this is that Chick Fil A sandwiches will now be sold as a part of the stadium's concessions - something for which we all have pined I am sure - but that is far from the only thing to take away from these survey results.
The survey results, in PDF form, can be found here. As you dig through these, the first thing you'll notice is that, while the football team was historically the worst thing to ever wear an Ole Miss uniform, the fan base was overall more pleased with the gameday atmosphere and amenities in 2011 than they were in 2010 (which, as far as football goes, was also awful). Whatever work they did before last season regarding things like improved concessions, bathroom updgrades, A/V and PA equipment upgrades, and so on, had a noticeable impact among the Rebel fan base.
Also of note:
- The game most Ole Miss fans answering the survey reported to having had attended? BYU.
- A negligible amount of responders reported the overall appearance of the stadium in 2011 as having been worse than it was in 2010. Most people either said it "improved" or "stayed the same."
- Few impressions were made regarding parking. This likely has to do with the fact that so many people spend their time before and after the game in the Grove that their parking spaces as they relate to the stadium are almost meaningless.
- Regarding food, survey takers' biggest gripes were with the prices. I guess if you're going to gripe about something, that'd be it, but they're concessions, y'all. They're expensive everywhere.
- People liked the barbecue last year more than they did the year before. I say "bring back Corky's", but maybe that's just me.
- The quality and selection of the food were thought of as having improved, while the quality and selection of drinks were thought of as having stayed the same.
- The improvements in the restrooms were widely lauded. The most common complaint they listed in the results were the water efficient sinks being, well, too daggumed water efficient. People didn't feel that they had enough time or water to wash their hands.
- Moving the band from the area above the tunnel to the area below the south endzone club was well received. People could hear it much better throughout the stadium.
- People value the video quality of what was broadcast on the PoweTron, but not the audio quality. Both were reported largely to have "remained the same" from 2010 to 2011 in terms of quality.
- Nobody can agree as to what type of music should be played before and during games.
- The folks in the club seats were most satisfied with their "locker service" above anything else.
Some improvements they plan on making as a result of this survey (INCLUDING THE CHICKEN SANDWICHES) are:
- Handrails in the aisles bowl seats. You know, I never really noticed, but those steps sure don't have handrails. That's probably not ADA compliant whatsoever.
- They'll now sell eight dollar cokes with all-you-can-stomach refills? I'm sure the student section and their smuggled brown liquor appreciates that. And nothing fulfulls the "Mississippians have Type 2 Diabetes" stereotype quite as well as a bottomless cup of Coke.
- "Gourmet burgers" to be served, whatever those are.
- The band will play the Alma Mater every game. Nobody will know the words to it.
- The video crew will devote more time and space to things like stats and scores form other games, something which they've needed to improve on for a while now.
As with previous surveys, this one allowed for open ended comments to be submitted with each questionnaire. Some of the more interesting comments they chose to highlight are:
I never saw anyone selling programs. Wanted one, didn't get one for any game.
Who buys programs?
The ticket takers make getting into the game through the student gates take way too long. People complain about people not getting to the game early enough, but many students got to the gate 30 minutes before the start of the game but didn't get in until after the game had started.
This isn't the fault of the ticket takers. This is the fault of UPD and Cobra Security.
However, I think we could make the food more of an anticipated complement to the gameday experience by offering more foods synonymous with MS (i.e. fried catfish, BBQ, po boys)!
I'll second that exclamation point with one of my own! Why in the hell don't we sell fried catfish in VHS?
Bring back 'From Dixie With Love'!
I agree, so long as TSWRA doesn't come back with it.
I dislike rap music. It hurts my head. I have to wear ear plugs when I go to a basketball game but I guess I understand why it is played. Who are we entertaining?
Stadium music needs to appeal more toward the players on the field.
First off pop rap does not pump up players, it needs to be hard hitting rap that gets all of our players hyped up, instead of Kanye West and Black Eyed Peas.
Ugh, the Black Eyed Peas. Agreed, they should never be played. This does raise an interesting question as to for whom the music in the stadium during warmups, commercial breaks, etc., is intended. Is it for the fans or for the players? Both?
None of this really matters though, because CHICK FIL A SANDWICHES THEY CAN LITERALLY SPIT IN MY FACE BEFORE I WALK INTO THAT STADIUM AND I'LL BE THRILLED WITH MY "OVERALL EXPERIENCE" AND "ATMOSPHERE" AND BLACK EYED PEAS SELECTIONS BECAUSE I'LL HAVE ALL THE CHICKEN SANDWICHES.