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Section 5: Game time

OK, you’ve built up to the crescendo, and you’ve worked hard to ensure that a splendid time is guaranteed for all. Now it’s time to roll out the lively, civil and entertaining game environment for which Division II is known!

If you’re depending on your community for support, and if you want your community relationships to be truly interactive – and if you’ve set up your front porch to welcome your community into your campus
– then you better provide lively, civil and entertaining athletics events once community members are inside.

What does “lively, civil and entertaining” mean? It’s simple: If you’re bringing a whole lot of people to your games, how do you ensure that they’ll want to come back? Will they come back if the seating at your venue is uncomfortable? Will they come back if they have to wait in line for 20 minutes at the concession stand? Will they come back if the music you play makes kids say to their parents, “Mommy and Daddy, what does that mean?”

The games themselves aren’t your challenge. Division II athletics is big-time, competitive and chock-full of highly skilled student-athletes who put on a good show every time they take the field or court. But it’s what surrounds that show that you need to pay attention to.

Seating and Concessions


  • Is the seating in your venue comfortable/easily accessible?
  • If you have designated seating areas, are they positioned appropriately? For example, where do you place the pep bands? Are the cheerleaders blocking sight lines?)
  • Are your concession stands accessible?
  • Do you have enough human resources devoted to avoid long lines?
  • Review the quality of the food. Are there healthy choices?
  • Is what you’re offering reasonably priced?

Atmosphere


  • Take advantage of your video boards! Institutions and conferences are making a social media splash by providing a computer in the lobby for people to post tweets and Instagram photos that transfer right to the video board in the arena. Go to tagboard.com to find out more about this new twist to fan engagement.
  • Is your atmosphere “civil”? In other words, do your fans cheer for their teams without berating their opponents?
  • Do you have staff or student body representatives positioned to maintain a civil environment or to address an issue if one develops?
  • Do some of your teams have coaches who are known to use “colorful language” during games? If so, are you comfortable having young fans be exposed to that sort of thing?

Entertainment


  • How do you “engage” fans during games? Do you have the appropriate music and promotions for timeouts and halftime?

  • How do you get the youth in your community actively involved with your event? Make sure the ball boys and girls, and other positions in which kids can contribute, are members of your community.
  • Do you have enough entertainment planned to keep everyone busy? Remember, the more down time you have during games, the more likely it is for someone to act out in a negative manner. Try to make sure that there’s never a dull moment!