Renovated Citrus Bowl Evaluation – Part II

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(Continued From Last Week)

Speaking of football, you find some American football fans really like the NFL and some fans just can’t get enough of the gridiron at the collegiate level. Most of these fans have impartial interest in either the pros or the level right before the pros. I enjoy both games, perhaps I’m an outlier? I will say that I’ll never refuse hearing and enjoying college bands playing. No sound system can duplicate their energy and sound. It’s something raw and alive that’s added to college football. Perhaps the NFL could take a page out of the college football venue and add more life and spirit to the professional game. It’s certainly worth looking into.

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Missou versus the Gophers

I thought it was poignant to see the ads for Florida vacations multiple times during the RAB bowl game. We’re here, aren’t we? You don’t have to convince 90% of attendees to a college bowl game the fun associated with Florida vacations. That commercial shown in the Midwest in January may warm my heart and may compel me to travel to the Sunshine State, however, it may be misdirected when it’s shown to those tourists who have already been convinced of this fact.

As I mentioned earlier, there were dozens of fans who tweeted to the Citrus Bowl during the game. I would have been useful to get it on some of the action. Because my service felt inferior with much lag time, I thought of the new 49er stadium in Santa Clara, California. According to Levi Stadium, there are 1,200 access points in the stadium and is the first stadium to carry 40 Gbs of Internet capacity. The site also states there are about 70 miles of cabling to support Wi-Fi. All of these network infrastructure improvements at Levi Stadium will only help to improve the fan experience.

Later in the day on New Year’s and while home watching bowl games, I was amused by the AT&T commercial stating how strong their service had become. Having AT&T as a provider, my experience at the Citrus Bowl did not align to the PR campaign made by AT&T. I heard of others with this same provider having similar issues at the same game. Coincidence?

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Would Minnesota versus Missouri be a good match???

Being in Section 130 for New Year’s Day game, we naturally went to the vendors who were on the second level. The one nearby vendor ran out of soda before halftime. Selecting a vendor area we more selection, I had to wait 15 minutes in queue for a pretzel and soda. Why were there no soda, pretzel or hotdog vendors circling the stands? Not sure. The only mobile vendors who could be spotted at any time were the beer vendors. Is that something they’re still addressing or will address?

BTW, it wasn’t until late in the 3rd quarter that we realized using the vendors on the first level would have saved us much time. If we attend in the future, we’ll be open to trying other options to avoid having to miss good action on the field to get a soft drink.

The Citrus Bowl organizers need to better understand supply and demand. For example, I saw so many young people selling Citrus Bowl programs, even after halftime. Perhaps that was the job they had to do for the entire game. I wish them well, however, there’s little demand for programs after the first half of the first quarter. Perhaps discount by 50% after halftime? With so much supply, I don’t think any fan left the stadium wondering why they didn’t have the opportunity to purchase a Citrus Bowl program. If I could suggest, using fewer program sellers and more food and soda vendors.

One more thing about vendors. Later that day, I settled down in a great room in Florida to watch the Sugar Bowl between ‘Bama and the Buckeyes and more than once, noticed a Dr Pepper commercial that made me chuckle.

This Dr. Pepper ad portraits a Dr. Pepper vendor ready to sell his product to thirsty fans. Why wasn’t he in Orlando for the RAB and Buffalo Wild Wings bowl? Not seeing one soda vendor at either game and yet seeing this vendor in these goofy commercial just made me more curious and of course, more thirsty even though I’m not a Dr. Pepper fan. Anyway, a cynical visitor may say ‘follow the money.’

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I spent nearly 4 hours at the Citrus Bowl and did not see one soda/pop vendor. Where was this guy when I need him?

From a “lesson’s learned” perspective, were there consultants walking around the facility looking at ways of improving this experience? Did they survey anyone? Do they feel the need to survey anyone? Would it be a good idea to survey some random folks to get an idea of their experience in lieu of the new facility?

ADDITIONAL THOUGHT

How long will the Sugar Bowl host the NCAA championship playoffs? Will the Citrus Bowl ever get a shot with their newly renovated station? Does Orlando want the Sugar Bowl in the future? Do they need it with so many other tourism dollars?

ONE MORE ADDITIONAL THOUGHT

According to the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus bowl, the 2015 Citrus Bowl states that it will be the first game played in a rebuilt stadium. Contrary to this statement, the RAB Citrus Bowl between Clemson and Oklahoma was played on this field a few days prior to the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl.

ONE, ONE MORE ADDITIONAL THOUGHT

During the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl, my wife, wearing a Ohio State jersey ran into a petite blonde fan in the restroom who was from Alabama. The woman walked by my wife and whispered, “Tide.” With a quizzical look on my wife’s face, the woman repeated, “Tide”. The game at hand involved Missouri and Minnesota so her comments didn’t automatically register with my wife being from Chicago. In addition, my wife knew OSU played Alabama later that day in the Sugar Bowl and all along figured their nickname was “The Crimson Tide” and not ‘Tide’ for short. My wife didn’t appreciate such “in your face” approach — it was only a game to her. Regardless, after what OSU did to Alabama and Oregon during the playoffs, I wonder if any of her arrogance wore off.

Kevin Schwarm

I have over 25 years of professional experience in business, information technology (IT), and customer service. Industry experience in retail, medical insurance, higher education, non-profit, financial services, and property and casualty insurance. Customer focused professional interested in providing value (save time, money and aggravation) by evaluating and analyzing information, services and products with a unique perspective.