Entering Fifth Season of the North End Zone, IU Athletics Embarks on Comprehensive Effort to Further Enhance the Football Gameday Experience
Aug 26, 2013
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Since opening the North End Zone Complex in 2009, IU Athletics has made substantial and ongoing investments in IU Football and in improving the gameday experience at Memorial Stadium. To prepare for the fifth season in the refurbished stadium, IU Athletics has collaborated with several key groups in a comprehensive effort to make the gameday environment at Memorial Stadium one of the best in the country. As part of this effort, Vice President and Director of Athletics Fred Glass and Head Football Coach Kevin Wilson and members of their staffs began meeting regularly in early January to reevaluate the entire football gameday experience and consider from scratch new ways to improve it.
"Since 2009, we have added new gameday traditions, improved our infrastructure, and invested in people," Glass said. "As we were poised to enter the fifth year of the North End Zone, I thought it was important for us to take a methodical, wholesale look at our football gameday experience and how we could continue to improve it."
IU Athletics brought key constituents to the table to be a part of the process of building a better football gameday experience. The Student Athletic Board was charged with representing the student body and seeking input from a diverse population of students. The leadership of the Marching Hundred and the Redsteppers along with that of the cheerleading team offered ideas on how to further engage fans in the stands. Input from campus groups outside Athletics such as the Interfraternity Council, Panhellenic Association, IUSA, Resident Assistants, and Student Orientation Leaders, was solicited and provided.
"We really appreciate the work that Mr. Glass, the administration and our student leaders contributed to make Memorial Stadium the place to be on gameday", said head coach Kevin Wilson. "The commitment from our administration has been awesome and we can't thank everyone enough. We're ready to get started and excited to play in front of our fans eight times this season. Hoosier Nation, we need you to come out in full force, be loud and let's win together!"
In 2009, the first year of the North End Zone (including the nation's largest strength and conditioning center and new football offices and meeting rooms), IU Athletics further improved Memorial Stadium's infrastructure through wrought iron fencing, branding, painting, and the like and introduced new traditions such as Knothole Park, "Kicks for Keeps", Red Light Specials, and the "I'm a Hoosier" videos on the scoreboard. Hoosier Village, now a major gameday destination, was moved from behind the DeVault Alumni Center to just outside Memorial Stadium.
In 2010, a 36-foot high by 91-foot wide high definition video board featuring state-of-the-art technology was installed on the south end of Memorial Stadium. At the time of its construction, it was one of college football's ten largest video boards and serves as a significant revenue source for IU Athletics.
In 2011, Glass hired nationally recognized football coach Kevin Wilson as the new head coach at Indiana University. To recruit the best staff possible, IU more than doubled the salaries for the head coach and his assistants and added three strength and conditioning coaches to bring that staff to the NCAA maximum of five. Glass also hired Amy Freel as the Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Performance Services adding IU to the short list of schools nationally to have a full-time sports dietitian on staff.
In 2012, IU Football replaced one of its natural grass practice fields with a new Field Turf field at its outdoor practice facility to continue to upgrade the IU football complex as one of the country's best.
Football Gameday Experience Highlight Summary
2. Build Awareness for Gameday
b) Offensive and Defensive Performance awards for fans
c) SAB Super Fan
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