Recommendations and Suggestions for Making Friday Nights Better at the Stadium

A lot of schools have a great spread of food/drinks for people in the press box. This includes announcer, game stats people, scoreboard operator, media, etc... I know it isn't the general population, but definitely a nice touch for the people who are working the game. Even the chain gang comes up at half time and has something to eat.
We have a decent spread in the box, chain gang is fed whatever they want from concession stand pregame (if they come early enough) and halftime. Used to have one of the concessions ladies come up to the box and take orders if we wanted something different than the spread upstairs.
 
A lot of schools have a great spread of food/drinks for people in the press box. This includes announcer, game stats people, scoreboard operator, media, etc... I know it isn't the general population, but definitely a nice touch for the people who are working the game. Even the chain gang comes up at half time and has something to eat.
I've only been to 1 place that does this....Elder in Cincinnati.

What other schools are putting out this spread for the press box people working? I mean I've heard of announcers and whatnot getting a burger or hotdog as payment, but never a spread of food/drinks.
 
Good concessions go a long way.
I agree. I like something unique other than the normal burger, hotdogs, pretzels available.

I was at a game recently and their big draw that people were going nuts over was Chick-Fil-A sandwiches. I couldn't figure out why people were excited about a chicken sandwich that was made 30+ minutes ago? But to each their own.
 
It all comes down to the product on the field good football = bigger crowds. Marion Local has maybe 1500 home seats (complete guess), 90% are season tix why because they produce a good product on the field, no other reason. Before Goodwin, me and my neighbor would sit in the seats late Oct. could look down the entire row and might not see another person for 50 ft., its all about winning.
 
I've only been to 1 place that does this....Elder in Cincinnati.

What other schools are putting out this spread for the press box people working? I mean I've heard of announcers and whatnot getting a burger or hotdog as payment, but never a spread of food/drinks.
Depends where you go. As the visiting stat guy, I've been to some places where there was no complimentary spread, and I've been to some places that would offer me their press box food at halftime. I would gladly partake after all the home team workers and guests had their chance. We're usually talking about pizza, sub sandwich, hot dog, Frito-Lay products, cookies, and either cold drinks or hot chocolate depending on the weather. Otherwise, I'd either go down before the game or at halftime to throw a few bucks at concession stand, usually for a hot dog and candy. At my school, they'll often send up some hot dogs, popcorn, and drinks at halftime. It doesn't improve the experience for the people in the stands, but you definitely want to stay on the good side of the few print and broadcast media that remain. You don't want to unnecessarily stir up any bad PR from them.

A few years ago, our press box was overcrowded with media for a big local game. AD had assigned seating based on who all was covering the game and how many each outlet said they were bringing. The programming director for the main local news-weather-sports radio station that was broadcasting the game showed up unannounced. There weren't enough chairs to spare one for her, and she subtly buried our school and AD on the radio the next week. They announced which game they'd be covering early that next week, and she made a snide remark along the lines of, "maybe they'll have a chair for me this week."
 
I agree. I like something unique other than the normal burger, hotdogs, pretzels available.

I was at a game recently and their big draw that people were going nuts over was Chick-Fil-A sandwiches. I couldn't figure out why people were excited about a chicken sandwich that was made 30+ minutes ago? But to each their own.
During the COVID season the local Lee's provided chicken fingers to the concession stand. I was working nights at the time so I asked the 2 parents running the concession stand to hold back 2 orders for me and I would be by to pick them up on my way out of the stadium to go to work. Not sure the food was actually that good but was a whole lot better than the usual overnight fare available during COVID.
 
Depends where you go. As the visiting stat guy, I've been to some places where there was no complimentary spread, and I've been to some places that would offer me their press box food at halftime. I would gladly partake after all the home team workers and guests had their chance. We're usually talking about pizza, sub sandwich, hot dog, Frito-Lay products, cookies, and either cold drinks or hot chocolate depending on the weather. Otherwise, I'd either go down before the game or at halftime to throw a few bucks at concession stand, usually for a hot dog and candy. At my school, they'll often send up some hot dogs, popcorn, and drinks at halftime. It doesn't improve the experience for the people in the stands, but you definitely want to stay on the good side of the few print and broadcast media that remain. You don't want to unnecessarily stir up any bad PR from them.

A few years ago, our press box was overcrowded with media for a big local game. AD had assigned seating based on who all was covering the game and how many each outlet said they were bringing. The programming director for the main local news-weather-sports radio station that was broadcasting the game showed up unannounced. There weren't enough chairs to spare one for her, and she subtly buried our school and AD on the radio the next week. They announced which game they'd be covering early that next week, and she made a snide remark along the lines of, "maybe they'll have a chair for me this week."
More schools should do this. Heck, when I was up there in the booth we had to bring our own food and snacks. It was a carry in so to speak.
 
Ban stadium chairs. More and more are over sized and not only are too wide but also take up most of the leg room of the seat behind them.
Have a size limit. I was at a game where a fat guy with a fat wife each had back pack stadium seats that were wider than them and they were really wide. They hit everybody sitting in aisle seats as they climbed up the steps. They left early and hit everybody again as they came down the stairs.
 
Late to this thread, but I will put in my $.02....a bit of pet peeve of mine.

Get rid of the "show" marching bands, and go back to the traditional marching bands with formations, etc. A good marching band, especially during pregame, is awesome, show bands do nothing for old guys like me.

Now, get off my lawn....
 
Late to this thread, but I will put in my $.02....a bit of pet peeve of mine.

Get rid of the "show" marching bands, and go back to the traditional marching bands with formations, etc. A good marching band, especially during pregame, is awesome, show bands do nothing for old guys like me.

Now, get off my lawn....
Agree 💯 Our band uses halftime as a practice for their competition show. Sometimes they dont even wear uniforms because they dont want to get them dirty. Schools need to have “pep” bands for football and basketball games.
 
I too would like to hear about the toe sucking!
I’ll put it this way, there are a lot of people that leech off programs under the guise of giving with their real motive being taking. If teams/schools/programs allow people that are in it for themselves or for their own kids get into official positions, you can feel it in the air and the culture/attendance/atmosphere/team numbers all will suffer.

There are givers and takers. It’s like when someone does mental math at a pizza party on how much is left. Some people will take extra so they get fed, others will eat less so there’s enough to go around. A lot of programs adjunct positions are filled with the three slice takers and the effects of that always shows itself with poor community engagement.

Basically every school has the experience they deserve.
 
Programs WITH ROSTERS. Cheap, too. $1 or $2 for a simple two-sheet folded 'program'. My school used to have a 20 page or so 'program' that was printed by the school that was just regular white paper with a cover sheet in a different color for $2. Had that game's rosters, schedules, etc. And then a bunch of ads.

Now, they seemed to have gone away from the program and have a $2 'roster card' which is about a 5x7 laminated card with the entire team's roster. It's nice to have when you're watching especially in poor weather.



50/50 is a must. Don't just sell single ticket. Sell a strip for $5 each. You get a lot more people thinking they have higher odds even when they don't. But you get $5 instead of $1. And when the 50/50 becomes reliably larger, you'll see even more people plunking down money. Works good if you have people go in the stands selling tickets and make announcements what the pot is up to now. As an incentive.

Different foods. Burgers and hotdogs and nachos are fine. But predictable. Make something good. Pulled pork sandwiches? People will pay more for that. Walking tacos. Pierogis. Chicken Wings, Chicken Legs. Brats. Double-Cheeseburgers.

Saw a game in Belfield, North Dakota. $4 cheeseburgers. $6 double cheeseburgers. Guess which one sold the most?

Good, simple announcing. Announce the ball carrier/receiver, the yardage gained, and the next down and distance and spot. The board doesn't keep up a lot of times with games where an announcer with a good set of binoculars can keep pace with as they talk.
I am our school's PA announcer and this is absolutely the approach that I, or anyone else, should take. There is a school in our conference where the announcer is way more of a cheerleader than an announcer. I can't stand that.

Our HS secretary is my spotter. She uses binoculars to see the players involved in the play. She also makes a few of the announcements during the game. I could not do my job effectively without her.
 
Late to this thread, but I will put in my $.02....a bit of pet peeve of mine.

Get rid of the "show" marching bands, and go back to the traditional marching bands with formations, etc. A good marching band, especially during pregame, is awesome, show bands do nothing for old guys like me.

Now, get off my lawn....
OH GOD YES. I can't stand these but never knew a good place to express it. I'm a fan and alum of the one school in the GMC that does NOT do show style and I appreciate them for it. They complement the game well, play songs people know ("Poison" by Bell Biv Devoe last time I saw them), and seem like they're having a great time. Those show bands always seem like they're off in their own world, play songs no one really knows, and make amoeba-like figures on the field. Do absolutely nothing for me. I'd rather wait in the snack line.
 
I see your point, but as is there are still too many PA announcers that do not follow the memo from NFHS (that OHSAA has reminded schools of) as to what a PA announcer should and shouldn’t do.

The worst culprits are the ones who narrate the play as it unfolds. 🙁
The NFHS offers a completely free online course that PA announcers can take. I did it last fall. It seriously takes less than an hour to complete.
 
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Another one came to mind: PA announcers announcing scores of nearby schools/league opponents during breaks in the action.
Between me and my spotter, we do that too. We do that for everyone on our schedule (non-league and league) plus a few others in the area.
 
As Yappi has mentioned, the football game is often the best opportunity for the school system to communicate with the community.

I appreciate the schools where the announcer gives reports on all of the other school's fall sports teams. One such school will mention the sport, the coach's name, how they did in their contests since the last home football game, any upcoming contests that will happen before the next home football game, and any other factoids like if an athlete set a school record, if the team won the league, if the team is on a long win streak, etc.

By contrast, I've been way more places where not a word is said about how the school's other sports are doing. Some of that dead air time is taken up by live reads or other advertisements. When I did stats, the announcer to whom I'd feed info had a binder that more less had a script of the announcements he'd have to make during the game. It's actually not that difficult to fill up any dead air during a game if the announcer and athletic dept. know what they're doing.


OK, my personal contribution here also has to do with PA announcers. Get one who is willing to do the work. Have an announcer who comes prepared to fill dead air with better material than flipping through the program and reading ads. Have an announcer who will get the names of the officials rather than blame everyone else for not bringing him the card with their names. Have an announcer who will will go down before the game and go over pronunciations with somebody from the visiting staff. It is irritating for any knowledageble fan to listen to an announcer who is mispronouncing the visiting team's star players all night long. It is even more irritating to the parents of a 3rd stringer either who gets 1 carry or who makes 1 tackle to have their kid's name pronounced incorrectly.
I get the officials' card when I take the field mic down to their dressing room before the game.

I get the opposing team's roster in advance. On Monday of a home game week...I'll scan through it a few times, pick out the names I'm not sure how to pronounce, and then I'll email the other school's AD or coach and ASK. It takes little effort to ASK.
 
I get the officials' card when I take the field mic down to their dressing room before the game.

I get the opposing team's roster in advance. On Monday of a home game week...I'll scan through it a few times, pick out the names I'm not sure how to pronounce, and then I'll email the other school's AD or coach and ASK. It takes little effort to ASK.
Good on you for wanting to do the job and do it the right way!

I worked next to at least 1 announcer who was a crony of the AD and used the job as an excuse to hang out in the press box and to buy some time until they could decide where they were going to go after the game. He made no effort to get proper pronunciations, and if he didn't have the officials' card, he would just say "nobody brought it to me" with no effort on his end to make it right. To fill dead air, he'd flip through the program and read ads. He was a far cry from his predecessor who would do whatever was needed to get the proper pronunciation of the opposing players' names and get the officials' card long before the game (we do not use a field mic for the officials at our place, BTW). He had a binder with the whole game scripted out and never had to resort to reading ads to fill dead air. He approached it as a true professional until eventually deciding it was no longer worth his time on a Fri. night.

We now have a video scoreboard to fill dead air, and the school's marketing dept. has more or less commandeered it and programmed content into it.
 
Late to this thread, but I will put in my $.02....a bit of pet peeve of mine.

Get rid of the "show" marching bands, and go back to the traditional marching bands with formations, etc. A good marching band, especially during pregame, is awesome, show bands do nothing for old guys like me.

Now, get off my lawn....
Yes Yes Yes. My local school does their competition show. I tell people around me that they will see this "show " all 5 games...
 
Delphos SJ: bathrooms and concession stands on both side of the field.
Program is 98 pages $3. Covers all fall sports and band. Football roster, all sports pictures and schedules, Hall of Fame, etc... I get one every week to support the band.
DSJ marching band (7-12) one of the largest in the MAC and is NOT a competition band. Best description: funky.
Concession stand is not a five star restaurant but has enough variety you won't go hungry. Don't know if we feed the media or anybody else. Press box isn't big enough to put out a buffet.
Scoreboard and speakers more than adequate although speakers went out Week 2. Been using portables but new speakers should be here by now.
Announcer just retired 2 years ago after 35 years. As good as any announcer ever. New guy is doing pretty good too.
50/50: sell until kickoff, announce end of first quarter. Same volunteers sell every week and they want to see the game so we shut it down at kickoff.
Great bleachers, turf field, plenty of cement sidewalks to get around.
City owned stadium is right next to pool and splash pad. Pool closes when school starts but splash pad stays open for a few more weeks. If it's a hot game you can sneak out at halftime and cool off.
Other than 40 more kids on the team not sure what else I'd want.
 
50/50: sell until kickoff, announce end of first quarter. Same volunteers sell every week and they want to see the game so we shut it down at kickoff.
How much is the typical 50/50? This sounds like the perfect setup if everyone gets on board with buying their tickets early.
 
This year, we're 2-2 with 3 homes games, the give away has been around $600 per game.
That seems in line or even a little more than most games that I go to. It is a much simpler system and gets the same outcome. I wish more schools would go to this instead of thinking that 3rd quarter is going to magically double the pot.
 
Going back to this thread for a couple of comments.

Last home game, the 50/50 was sold through the 3rd quarter. This was in a running clock second half. They made an announcement with about 2 minutes left in the 3rd to "get your tickets soon as they will stop selling at the end of the quarter." Several people in my general area were complaining because they were there for the band and were just waiting for the 50/50. With 7:00 left in the 4th quarter, they announced the winning number. Since this was a running clock, there was literally 7 minutes left before the game was over. Barely enough time for the winner to get to the booth to claim their prize.

I really want these school programs that run these 50/50s to understand doing a good drawing will increase sales and running it poorly will make people quit playing it each week. If I'm a visiting fan, I wouldn't buy tickets from a school that doesn't seem to care that much about it.

Also, ANNOUNCE you have a winner. People are holding on to their tickets just in case. You don't have to name the winner but letting people know is a good gesture. Barberton was the best I've seen about updating the crowd.

And another topic, I've been looking for rosters for several teams lately. Most only have their rosters on MaxPreps but those are a mess unless someone goes in a cleans them up. I've seen plenty where the player's number is listed as a player who graduated 2-3 years ago. The actual player may be on the roster but without a number. With writers trying to promote the players, team, and school in a positive way, it would be good for the rosters to be accurate.
 
Yes Yes Yes. My local school does their competition show. I tell people around me that they will see this "show " all 5 games...
Yes they will, which is not unreasonable considering the huge time commitment involved. The serious competition bands have no time to create a show for Friday nights, then report at 6 or 7 A.M. on Saturday to go on the road to one or often two competitions often getting home well after midnight, then back to two-hour practices after school each weekday.

The idea of a pep band has a lot of merit. Hell, invite any alumni to participate to get the numbers up.
 
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Yes they will, which is not unreasonable considering the huge time commitment involved. The serious competition bands have no time to create a show for Friday nights, then report at 6 or 7 A.M. on Saturday to go on the road to one or often two competitions often getting home well after midnight, then back to two-hour practices after school each weekday.

The idea of a pep band has a lot of merit. Hell, invite any alumni to participate to get the numbers up.
Our band is a Show (not a competition) band and still marches the same show ever Friday. The idea that high school kids should be expected to learn a whole new show (music and marching) for every game of the season is unrealistic. I know of a local band that has marched the same drill for multiple years and just changes the music each year.
 
Our band is a Show (not a competition) band and still marches the same show ever Friday. The idea that high school kids should be expected to learn a whole new show (music and marching) for every game of the season is unrealistic. I know of a local band that has marched the same drill for multiple years and just changes the music each year.
IIRC, back in the day, our school's marching band put together a new show for each home game, then played that show for road games.
 
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