Furman hosted North Carolina A&T on Saturday Sept. 4, and the atmosphere certainly improved from how fans remember in previous seasons. These changes were heavily suggested by the fanbase, and our AD Jason Donnelly has listened.
New Tailgating Plaza Near Paladin Stadium
Tailgating is critical to the football game day experience and was an aspect Furman could improve upon. To create a more immense tailgating atmosphere, a new tailgating section was created by the field house overlooking Paladin Stadium. Students will be able to grill their favorite game day dishes and share an enjoyable space together before and during the game. This area will allow communities to gather and cheer on Furman in a way we haven’t seen before.
Furman Fan Zone
Regardless of your interest in the sport, Jason Donnelly has explained that the enhanced Furman game day experience is meant for everyone to enjoy. Three hours before kickoff, a new pregame event will take place with the Ingles Concert Series, food trucks, a beer vendor station, tailgating games, inflatables, performances by the Furman Band, performances by the Furman Cheerleaders, and much more. For the game against NC A&T, Furman brought in the Asheville based band, Lyric. The Furman Fan Zone lasts until 30 minutes before kickoff to allow fans to make their way into the stadium to cheer our Paladins to victory.
Paladin Stadium Makeover
As many have already noticed, a new turf field has been installed at Paladin stadium. During the offseason, the away-stands have been painted purple which will be more appealing to the eyes of those in the home stands. Banners have been placed over the bare fences wrapping the stands in order to display Furman’s accomplishments and improve the look of the stadium. Fans will be able to easily navigate between the east, and west end zones with improved circulation pathways. Seating upgrades have been installed for areas 3 & 8 which will be considered luxury seating, providing more comfort and incentive to seat these areas.
Furman Partners with Wicked Weed Brewery
Before this season, fans were not able to purchase alcohol during games. After extensive planning, Furman has partnered with Wicked Weed Brewery to provide beer and wine before and during the game. A new Wicked Weed Endzone Experience will be located under the video board granting fans a field view of the game while enjoying their favorite alcoholic beverages. This change in alcohol policy has been long due, and Donnelly knew this was a factor that would improve the game day atmosphere.
Saturdays In Greenville
We are witnessing major upgrades which will certainly create new traditions, and an improved identity to the Furman experience. Jason Donnelly hopes this will expand Furman’s brand and continue to connect Furman to the Greenville community. Greenville has to feel like Furman is their university. Furman has to be different from other schools and provide something special in order to gain attention over larger institutions. The truth is Furman simply doesn’t have a 30,000+ student body. Furman has a beautiful stadium, a talented football team, and a small school atmosphere. To combat this, Furman has to be good at… being Furman in order to attract fans. What Furman strives to provide is an intimate and enjoyable experience for all age groups. The additions of tailgating, beer & wine sales, pregame activities, and stadium improvements may be the key for more people to choose Furman on their Saturdays.