Half-priced drinks is a start.
Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
After numerous fan complaints about the game day experience for last Saturday’s home opener against Eastern Kentucky, Vince Tyra and the rest of the brass at U of L have promised better for Friday night’s crucial contest against Central Florida.
Among the changes being made for the game is a 50 percent reduction in the price of beer and fountain drinks before kickoff and during the first half of Friday’s game.
Other changes — as well as a partial explanation for what went wrong last Saturday — are included in the following letter that Tyra addressed to season ticket holders Tuesday morning:
Following up on my message from Sunday, I wanted to update you on what you can expect for this Friday night at Cardinal Stadium.
In conjunction with our operational partners, CSC and Centerplate, we’ve been working to complete a thorough review of Saturday night’s in-venue issues.
Home games are exactly that, a representation of our house, and maintaining that sense of pride in how we host our fans and our guests is a value we take to heart. Improvement is a dynamic goal---one that never ends—and we are committed to working through these challenges to provide the best experience possible for you.
Below is a list of actionable items we will implement to improve your game day experience as well as context where relevant.
On a typical game night, it takes close to 1,000 subcontractors from a number of partners to staff Cardinal Stadium, and we greatly we appreciate their work and efforts. Approximately 400 of the 1000 contracted employees are Centerplate workers focused on food and beverage service. Last Saturday, there were only 250.
Like many businesses, we are currently experiencing significant labor shortages and difficulty staffing part-time roles. Centerplate has expanded its engagement with temporary staffing agencies from nearby cities to augment local staff.
In an effort to greatly reduce wait times and mitigate other challenges, we plan to:
- Activate 25 in-seat vendors who will accept cash.
- Accept cash at select concession stands on the concourse and those stands will be clearly identified.
- Anticipate a 40% increase in point-of-sale locations over Saturday.
- Transition four (4) concessions stands to beverage-only (serving water, soda, and beer) within the concourses and they will be labeled accordingly.
- Centerplate’s IT department is actively working with point-of-sale payment partners to determine root cause of credit card processing delays on Saturday and provide resolution.
- Centerplate and UofL’s IT department are conducting a networking overview in effort to improve speed of service and throughput.
- Activate all concourse water fountains to be open and operational. Free cups will be available for fans at concession points.
Mobile Ticketing: Entry Gates
Gates open at 6 p.m. on Friday, an hour and a half prior to kickoff.
In an effort to expedite gate entry:
- Additional staff and supervisors provided for training on scanners
- Additional supervision will be provided at each gate for trouble shooting and guest services
As a reminder, we ask that you download your mobile tickets prior to leaving for the game to expedite entry. For the home opener, less than half of fans downloaded their ticket before they arrived. Once you download your tickets to your Apple Wallet or Google Pay, the tickets are accessible to scan without internet service. If you have any questions on how to download your tickets, please call or text 502-852-5151 and we will help you.
One of our key departmental values is: We Are Fans Too. We share your joys and your frustrations, and are committed to providing the best possible game day experience for each and every one of you. We witnessed the issues first-hand and have efforted to solve for them ever since. We expect significant improvement, and that starts Friday night.
As a token of our thanks for your candid feedback and support, all beer, fountain drinks and water prices will be 50% off from the time gates open until halftime. Half off until halftime as appreciation for you, our fans.
While many challenges have presented themselves since March 2020 and we have navigated it all, we will do so again here. Given where we all were 18-20 months ago, creating solutions to fan experience issues is a challenge we accept. Because it means we are back together. In Cardinal Stadium. Watching live football and cheering on the Cards.
Our goal is for you to have a positive experience every single time you and yours to come to a Louisville game. And that remains unchanged.
See you Friday.