With a tough Big Ten schedule ahead for the Gophers football team, Adam Stegemann said he looks forward to cheering as loudly as he can to support them.
Stegemann, an agricultural business senior, said he has attended sporting events, mainly football, since his first year at the University. He has been dubbed “The Fry Guy” by friends because of his McDonald’s fry costume that he wears to games, he said.
Stegemann originally started wearing the costume to basketball games with “House of Hagen” written and duct-taped on the back as joke, but later started to wear the costume at football games.
One of the main aspects of college is the social atmosphere, Stegemann said. Cheering during the games with friends is something he enjoys because he feels the louder they are, they better the team will perform, he said.
“It makes me proud to be able to cheer as loud as I can for the team,” he said.
An added incentive for him to attend games is the cheap season tickets, he said.
Betsi Sherman, director of marketing communications for athletics, said they tried to make buying tickets more convenient for students this year by allowing students to charge the tickets to their student accounts via Coffman Union bookstore.
“We’ve found that since we started offering students the chance to buy tickets through their student accounts, our sales have gone up,” Sherman said. “People who wouldn’t normally go to a game are buying season tickets now.”
Each season ticket purchase comes with a T-shirt for students to wear to the games, she said.
Students will also be able to purchase season tickets at a reduced price of $59 for men’s and women’s basketball if they buy Gophers football season tickets, Sherman said.
Sherman said students can expect to see Gophers sports tents, live bands and food and beverages, as well as the University’s marching band at the games.
Gophers sports will try to give away prizes that would be beneficial to students, such as television sets or certificates to purchase gas Sherman said. There will be a lot of in-game promotions only in the student section, she said.
Sherman said tailgating has diminished around the Metrodome due to the new housing construction projects so students typically hang out at a friend’s apartment or house to rally before the game.
Applied economics senior Steve Anderson said he meets up with a few of his buddies at a friend’s apartment to get fired up before a game.
Sherman said Gophers sports is looking into offering on-campus space for students to tailgate before the games.
She said the department hopes to offer a cheer clinic. That way, students could diversify their cheers and chants, she said.
Representatives from the cheer squad and football team would work with the students. The program would be “unique to our campus,” she said.
Sherman said the University is also looking into having an incentive rewards program, which is modeled after Texas A&M’s. The program would allow students the chance to win prizes, such as free season tickets to selected sporting events.
“It’s a way to get students to come to sporting events who normally wouldn’t go,” she said. “When students are into the games, everyone gets into the game.”
Stegemann said he thinks the University’s school spirit would jump immensely if the Gophers had their own stadium.
But the team also has to win.
“You’ve got to play to win. (If we) beat all the big boys, then we’ll get some respect all around the country,” Stegemann said.