North Texas Daily

Investment from athletic fee referendum helped improve tailgating experience, athletics staffer says

Investment from athletic fee referendum helped improve tailgating experience, athletics staffer says

Investment from athletic fee referendum helped improve tailgating experience, athletics staffer says
November 30
10:56 2018

Initiatives and investments from the athletic fee voted into place during the spring for the fall 2018 semester have helped increase student attendance and experience on game days, said Jared Mosley, the associate vice president and chief operating officer for Mean Green Athletics.

The athletic fee referendum was first introduced to a student vote in Dec. 2017 but was rescheduled due to formal complaints.

The referendum increased the student athletic fee from $10 to $16.25 per credit hour.

“We spent more dollars to create a more energetic atmosphere for students, working with local vendors to give away products that would be [suited] for students,” Mosley said.

Mosley said attendance increase also goes in hand with how well teams are performing at their games.

“When students come to football games and events and have a good time, they’re more likely to come support other teams,” Mosley said.

With football wrapping soon, Mosley said athletics is looking to focus on improving the student experience at basketball games when the spring semester begins.

One way athletics targeted improving student experience is partnering further with vendors and sponsors to provide students with things they would like. Vendors on game days this year included Coca-Cola Co., In-N-Out Burger and Takis.

Infographic Zaira Perez

Mosley said they have been able to completely revamp the tailgate experience. Amy Gaston, assistant director of marketing and promotions, spearheaded that change.

“The real core to the success of our tailgate was the student buy-in,” Gaston said. “Branding and organization helped student groups feel as though they were a part of a real event each week rather than just a random collection of people.”

Gaston said they have heard a lot of positive feedback from student groups at tailgates, and with the University Program Council, the athletics department had a live band at tailgates.

Although some investments were used to improve the tailgate experience, geography senior Denise Medrano said some changes have been inconvenient, even if they were put in place to prevent the destruction of the landscape.

“Before, we could drive up on the hill to drop off supplies [and] necessities for tailgate like [a] tent, grill, generator,” Medrano said. “Now we [have] a small parking lot to unload. It was difficult to carry big items to different areas of the hill.”

In Dec. 2017, the North Texas Daily reported a large sum of the funding from the student athletic fee would go to student athlete wellness and development.

“We’ve made allocations and investments there to make sure we have qualified professionals to serve [more than] 350 student athletes working to prepare themselves,” Mosley said. “That’s in a much better place.”

Mosley said the investments target the sports medicine staff in providing student athletes access to mental health professionals and further nutritional help.

Mean Green Athletics also unveiled a master plan for the department. However, the funding is not coming from the student athletic fee.

“The projects we’ve had and undergone [such as the] track and soccer complex — none of those facilities are being funded by student fee dollars,” Mosley said.

While the student fee will not fund facilities, it will help improve them. Mosley said a topic in meetings has been what technological upgrades can be made to improve the experience for students.

“We want to find things that really do impact the student experience — whether it’s Wi-Fi or creating areas where students can socialize around our games and contests,” Mosley said. “Most of those won’t [happen in one year] because those tend to be larger in investments than tailgates and giveaways.”

Featured Image: Infographic Zaira Perez

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Zaira Perez

Zaira Perez

Senior News Writer

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