The University of Tennessee will make it a priority to create an exceptional fan experience at Neyland Stadium, according to athletic director John Currie.
Currie took over as the school’s athletic director in April, and came to Tennessee with a track record of overseeing facility improvements at Kansas State. Since his arrival, he has sought to implement similar initiatives in Tennessee, even announcing earlier this month that Janeen Lalik had been appointed to the position of senior associate athletic director for strategic initiatives.
The goal for Tennessee will be to offer improved customer service and new fan experience initiatives at its facilities. One venue that could factor heavily into that plan is football’s Neyland Stadium. Plans are already in place for a major overhaul of Neyland Stadium and, with the first phase of upgrades expected to arrive in the next few years, Currie wants to ensure that Tennessee is in a position to improve the game day experience on multiple levels. More from the Columbia Daily Herald:
Currie entered the job at Tennessee with the university already slated to begin phase one of Neyland renovations in 2019. That anticipated $106 million project will focus on overhauling the south side of the stadium, including “basic enhancements” to fan experience, like more entry points to the stadium, larger restrooms and more concession stands.
“We’ve got to change how that looks and, more importantly, we’ve got to change the way it functions,” Currie said. “Right now, the experience we provide is not sufficient from a basic customer-service standpoint.”
Future phases of the Neyland renovations, or renovations to other facilities, may allow Currie to pursue more creative fan-experience enhancements, although it’s worth noting that SEC rules, for now, still prohibit alcohol sales at games.
Including the period under Currie’s leadership, Kansas State had made improvements at its facilities in recent years, with football’s Bill Snyder Family Stadium receiving upgrades along the way.
Image courtesy Tennessee football.