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Technical Tidbits 2/15: The GTAA is making it harder to attend football games in 2018

Georgia Tech News & Links 2/15

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 25 Georgia at Georgia Tech Photo by Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The GTAA announces “improvements” for Boddy Dodd Stadium in 2018
There’s nothing really positive or exciting of note in this besides to make up for season ticket holders no longer being able to bring in outside food or drinks, they’re sending you a t-shirt and water bottle. They’re adding upgrades to the premium seating, which doesn’t affect the vast majority of fans. There’s vague, detail-less mentions of tailgate and general seating enhancements, but no explanation of what either of those will be.

So let’s talk about this clear bag policy they’re implementing.

You know what, GTAA, I’m actually going to write this directly to you. I’m going to try not to swear, because this is a family-friendly blog.

First, GTAA, we love Georgia Tech football here at this blog... but the football team won 5 games last season. Your football team only fills its home stadium for maybe 1 game a season when the opposing team has a heavy-traveling fan base. There’s not much momentum heading into 2018. The team isn’t even the most popular college football team in its home city, much to our collective chagrin.

So why in the hell world are you implementing a policy that makes it more difficult for women and families to attend games? This is the opposite of what you should be doing. Attendance is down across the sport around the nation for a myriad of reasons. You’re adding another.

So in addition to having to purchase a ticket, fight Atlanta traffic, pay for expensive parking, walk god-knows how far to the stadium, and then suffer through what are almost certainly going to be noon kickoffs in the sweltering sun for the first half of the season, you actively discourage women and families from attending with a policy against purses.

I know NFL stadiums do it. I don’t care. Can you show me one example of when it added to security? I googled it, and I haven’t found anything.

It’s also not going to help the security lines. Has anyone from your office actually attended a game as a fan at BDS lately? It takes an eternity to get into the stadium. Clear bags are not going to help. You already open and search everyone’s bag. Guess what - you’re still going to do that even with this policy. The lines are still going to be awful, even the no-bag ones that I use. Maybe instead, you could improve the ticket scanners so it doesn’t take the staff member 8-10 scan attempts per ticket for a fan to enter?

The clutch purse size allowed in the stadium is barely large enough to even fit a premium seat ticket. Then you’re actively discouraging families with young children to attend by forcing them to cram everything into a single, clear 12in bag, in addition to all the other obstacles to attending a game with children. This is ridiculous. Nothing about any of these policies adds to safety. Diaper bags and women’s purses that are already searched upon entry are not threats.

In short, GTAA, when you should be doing everything in your power to make it easier and cheaper to attend a game in order to fill the empty bleachers that show up on TV for every home game, you’re doing the opposite. The club seats in the middle of the TV cameras for every game will still be vacant because all the premium-seat people are inside, while you implement policies that prevent you from filling the cheaper seats.

Did you remember that the football team has had a losing season 2 of the last 3 years? That’s not helping things either. In case you weren’t aware, Atlanta is beautiful and there’s a lot to do on fall Saturdays... Georgia Tech football is rarely a hot ticket in town. We would love for it to be, and we love this team, here at FTRS, so it hurts us to see you implement policies that actively encourage people to stay home and watch the game on their couch.

But what do I know? I’ve only been attending games for 29 years and been a season ticket holder for the last 7.

Clear bag policies are inconvenient, discourage attendance, and don’t add to fan safety.