New was the Word Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium
Everything seemed new in Auburn on Saturday, all the way down to Aubie’s Under Armour. New was the word of the day on the Plains and not because it was a new season. Auburn was ready to show off its new look and nothing was newer than Pat Dye Field at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The University completed its much anticipated multi-million dollar face lift on Friday and swung open its gates on Saturday for all the college football world to see.
Pat Dye Field delivers on its promise. The stadium renovation has been a much talked about project throughout the off season. Pictures have been popping up on web sites all summer. Fans have been very open about giving their opinions (including this one), even though very few had seen the finished product. I have to give it to Jay Jacobs and the athletic department staff; Jordan-Hare Stadium has never looked better.
The most impressive enhancement is the addition of the long message boards along the front of the upper decks. The new boards really add a first class flavor to the field. The only negative was the amount of advertisements run on them throughout the game. Verizon Wireless should have paid for the boards outright because they had use of them all game long. Auburn should have utilized them better, showing more game stats and scores from around the country. They only did this a few times each quarter. Hopefully, they’ll get this corrected before LSU comes to town.
The lighted lettering showing the names of “Pat Dye Field” and “Jordan-Hare Stadium” looked great. The orange letters really showed up nicely at night. The new digitized numbers on the scoreboards vastly improved the look of the existing scoreboard and looked great on the new one. The color was almost a deep orange that was easy to read.
As for the new scoreboard itself, I could have done without it. It looks basically like the old one minus one very important feature. Gone is the scrolling marque that identified who made the tackles on the last play. That key feature was nowhere to be found. Make sure you have a player list handy when you go to the stadium, especially in blowouts because there is nowhere to get player information now. In its place are, you guessed it, more advertisements.
The signage around the stadium concourses looked great. There were more places to buy refreshments but the lines were still long. Unfortunately, Miller-Lite was still nowhere to be found. The bathrooms looked about the same to me. Maybe others around the stadium had been improved on.
We must protect this house. That seemed to be the catch phrase in and around Jordan-Hare Stadium. It seemed that everything and everybody had Under Armour on it. The players uniforms looked great. I admit, I do love the Under Armour logo on the jerseys. And the coaches shirts looked great. One of the overhangs in the South End Zone has the Under Armour logo on it and looks good.
Even Aubie had his gear on. The biggest surprise was the number of fans wearing Under Armour gear. By my estimation, one in four fans had the logo on them somewhere. At a conservative $40 a pop, this agreement is already paying off for the company.
That’s my take on the new look. I’d love to hear yours. Share your game day comments with us.
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