The University of South Dakota’s Student Government Association met Oct. 9 and discussed student interaction with athletic programs, specifically student retention at football games.
Lindsay Sparks, assistant director of Student Life, wanted answers on why so many students clear out of the DakotaDome at halftime at football games.
Last year, after a survey, more songs were played during games. However, Sparks said that many older fans complain about the number of songs played during games.
Senator Laine Greblunas said that an extreme score may be a reason why many students leave the football games early.
“One of the things a lot of people have said, it goes on how the game is going, also,” Greblunas said. “A lot of the times at the games it is either a blowout on either side. [A team is] either losing by a lot of points, or winning by a lot of points. It’s not as fun because of that big point difference.”
At the Dakota Days game this year, a new policy was implemented where students had to pick up their ticket to the football game before the day of the actual game in order to guarantee a seat. However, even students with a ticket who arrived later in the game were turned away from the student section.
“Maybe make it so that if you have a ticket, you can get in the student section no matter what, as long as there is room,” said junior senator Lexy Schuman.
Sophomore office manager Brooke Horner suggested students may leave because they have to stand during the games.
“I sat in overflow seating. I don’t like standing, I’d rather sit there. We could always have that option,” Horner said.
Horner also said that in the overflow seating not only was it more comfortable, but it was easier for her to see the
Alcohol consumption has been listed as a reason why many students leave the games early, especially during the Dakota Days game.
“We can’t sell alcohol at the games since we own the Dome,” Sparks said. “Yes, we know that is a huge issue, our hands are tied with how the Dome is owned.”
Other suggestions included having the marching band learn and perform more songs, along with increased attention on tailgating.
“I’m from Nebraska. I’ve been going to Nebraska games…and tailgating was huge in Nebraska,” Greblunas said. “When I come up here, I don’t feel that.”
Greblunas suggested brining in businesses and making the tailgating area larger in order to increase community involvement with football games.