Clemson Exploring Death Valley Upgrades Amid Home Crowd Decline
Clemson's average home football crowd last season "slipped for the third straight year," and the school aims to combat that issue by "giving Death Valley more life" through new upgrades, according to a front-page piece by Manie Robinson of the GREENVILLE NEWS. Clemson spent more than $95M on Memorial Stadium improvements from '04-15, but AD Dan Radakovich said that the school "could spend more to upgrade stadium amenities, including a new scoreboard and premium seating behind the east end zone." Radakovich said that Clemson "would like to augment Memorial Stadium without tampering with its traditions, obstructing scenic sightlines or drastically altering its current capacity" of 81,500. Radakovich: "I don't know that there is a desire to greatly expand Memorial Stadium, but we do have a desire and a demand for some premium opportunities, an additional club or two." He added that Clemson has "little interest in adding end zone upper decks." Robinson noted within the past four years, Clemson has "augmented stadium cellular service, revamped the concessions menu, renovated restrooms, remapped parking lots, upgraded the sound system and hired an in-game disc jockey." Despite its "enhanced stadium experience, Clemson's accumulated attendance has declined by 3,988 fans through the past three seasons." However, the school's average stadium capacity percentage has "not slipped below" 98.7%, so it is "far from a crisis." But Radakovich "asserted that Clemson cannot take fans' devotion for granted" (GREENVILLE NEWS, 7/10).
RAISING THE STANDARD: Radakovich said Clemson is "doing the full metal detector entry" into Memorial Stadium this year, which has "caused a number of changes as it relates to parking." Radakovich: "Physically, we have some challenges because of where our stadium is. ... We have to be a little bit more creative as it relates to making sure that we have enough of these machines to get people through." He added he believes the whole process will be "better at Game 4 than it is at Game 1, just the way these kind of things work." Meanwhile, Radakovich said Clemson is doing some "feasibility studies of a new sound system, a new scoreboard" and some "additional premium opportunities within the stadium" (THEATHLETIC.com, 7/10).