Cyber-side Chat No. 22
October 9, 2003
TO: Fans, Friends, and Supporters of LSU Athletics
FROM: Skip Bertman, LSU Athletics Director
This weekend promises to be another exciting one on the LSU campus as the Florida Gators come to town for a nationally televised football game. And don’t forget that LSU’s soccer team opens its SEC home schedule with matches against Ole Miss on Friday night at 7 p.m. and Mississippi State on Sunday at 2 p.m.
The response to last week’s Cyber-side Chat was overwhelming. We received more response from the correspondence about sportsmanship than any of the previous Chats of the past several months.
You expressed yourself loud and clear. In all, we received over 330 e-mails that expressed support of our efforts to eliminate the poor behavior of a very small segment of our football fans. We received exactly 12 e-mails that were critical of my letter. Everyone’s feedback was appreciated.
Most of you responded by simply saying “I agree 100 percent,” or “Amen,” or “Keep working on this problem.” Many others said “Thank you” and “It’s about time!”
LSU and the Athletics Department take the position that to ignore the one percent of irresponsible behavior toward other fans would be negligent on our part. I fully realize that these things happen at other schools. I have spoken to hundreds of other athletics directors as a member of the NCAA Sportsmanship Summit, and all ADs have agreed that the best method is to be proactive. And that is what we’re doing.
Very many of you wanted to know how to help or where to call if you see a problem. If you are inside the stadium, seek out a police officer or game marshal. If you are outside the stadium, call our police dispatch phone number at 578-3231. Please call this number only in emergency situations.
If you are witness to a criminal act, or you see consistent harassment of other fans, please contact a police officer or game marshal, or call this number and let us know where the problem is taking place. Our police will act as fast as possible.
We don’t want you to take matters into your own hands. Sometimes confrontations with other fans can just escalate the situation. Please call on our police or game marshals for assistance, whether inside or outside the stadium.
Many of you suggested a greater police presence on game day. Please know that we are making every effort internally to attack this problem and are addressing many internal issues to make the campus safer and more fun on game days.
And let me say this one more time: Thank you to the 92,000 or so who are so positive in their support of LSU. You are loud and you are intimidating. You produced a tremendous atmosphere for the Georgia game that created an advantage for your team.
Most of all, we want you to enjoy the day. Arrive on campus early, tailgate, and have fun.
We are running an advertisement in Friday’s Baton Rouge Advocate that outlines the growth of Tiger Stadium since the 1940s. While Tiger Stadium has grown by leaps and bounds, the roadways leading into campus have not grown at the same rate.
This is not a criticism of our city planners. The fact is, around 92,000 people attended the LSU-Georgia game, and another 15,000 to 20,000 came just to tailgate. Nicholson Drive, Highland Road, River Road and the other thruways into campus are simply not designed for the seven Saturdays of football games. Consider that the average car takes three people to a game, and we may have had 37,000 cars on campus for the Georgia game.
We often hear people say, “Traffic is worse than it used to be.” Well, that’s true. Only four years ago, our stadium held 11,000 less fans. That’s about 3,500 less cars.
We think Tiger football is worth it, and judging by the great turnout to games this year, you must think so, too. Please support your police and other traffic and parking officials. They’ve been hired by LSU Athletics to assist you in getting to the game and getting home safely.
Don’t forget that the deadline is approaching for applications for the Stadium Club, scheduled to open in 2005. The Stadium Club will consist of over 3,000 new seats on the west side of Tiger Stadium and Stadium Club members will enjoy high speed elevator access to their seats. Two dining areas of over 4,800 square feet each will feature catered meals and beverages, plus closed circuit large screen TVs. The deadline for applications is October 15 of this year, so call (225) 578-7787 or log on to LSUsports.net to apply.
We welcome your feedback, so write to us at LSUvision@etigers.net and tell us how we can make LSU Athletics better for you. I cannot promise a response to every letter we receive, but each one will be read.
Thank you for your support of Tiger Athletics.