ATHENS, Ohio – In preparation for the upcoming 2017 football season, the OHIO athletic department announced several updates in an effort to continue to develop the game day experience for fans at Peden Stadium. The enhancements include a new video board, a distributed sound system and a pilot to expand beer sales stadium wide. Additional changes are operational impacts due to the construction of the Sook Academic Center and an updated re-entry policy.
"Improving the game experience is very important to us as we never want to take for granted the terrific support we receive from our fans," said Director of Athletics Jim Schaus. "The new video board and sound system will make game day look and feel different and we can't wait to get started on September 2."
"In regards to beer sales, our #1 priority will be safety and responsible consumption," Schaus said. "It is an amenity that our fans have asked for dating back many years but we wanted to take our time and make sure we gained experience through hospitality room sales while also benchmarking the industry over the past few years. I think that patience has paid off and we now have the experience, knowledge and plan to successfully implement beer sales throughout the stadium."
Peden Stadium will get a new look this upcoming season with the installation of a new video board in the south end zone. The larger (38' w x 20' h), high definition video board replaces the previous scoreboard that had been in service since 1999.
To complement the new video board, and provide for a better audio experience for our fans, a new sound system has been installed. The new sound system is a distributed system with speakers strategically placed throughout the venue for the best coverage of all our fans.
Expansion of Beer Sales on a Pilot Basis
After a successful three years of selling beer in hospitality areas at Peden without incident, OHIO will now pilot expansion of beer sales throughout the stadium in 2017, contingent on final permit approval from the State of Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of Liquor Control. The expansion plan was drafted with the input from, and support of, the Ohio University Police Department. The change is in response to customer survey feedback and is consistent with all seven other FBS football venues in the state of Ohio (Akron, Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Kent State, Miami, Ohio State and Toledo). OHIO's concessionaire, AVI Foodsystems, Inc., will handle the sales and will follow their industry standard procedures for alcohol sales with an emphasis on responsible consumption.
OHIO Athletics will create an alcohol free zone for fans that prefer to sit in an area without consumption. This area is in section 110, rows 14 – 27 and can be purchased by calling the ticket office at 800-575-2287. Also of note, OHIO will not sell beer at the concession stands on the student side of the stadium.
Construction of Sook Academic Center
The North endzone of Peden Stadium will be under construction for the 2017 season as progress is made toward building the Sook Academic Center. Due to construction, walkways on the interior of the stadium will be narrower on the north end of the field and ticket gates two and three will be offline.
With a focus on patron security, and to align with the movement towards new industry standard procedures, OHIO will institute a no re-entry policy beginning this year. Fans that exit the stadium will not be allowed to re-enter the stadium with their original ticket.