In Michigan, as the high school playoffs get closer and closer to the ultimate destination of Ford Field, and the college football regular season starts to wind down, the weather gets downright wicked and cold.
A few weeks ago after the Nebraska game, Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis publicly voiced some displeasure with the way that the fans, especially the student section, emptied out as the game wore on.
As a program, we are prepared to make the changes that will fill Spartan Stadium with Spartan fans that want to be there.
— Mark Hollis (@MSUAD) October 6, 2014
Casual fans might have read that as typical “AD speak”, but this is the same athletic director that has scheduled basketball games on aircraft carriers, and would schedule games on the moon if it were possible. So when Hollis says that they’re prepared to make changes, he’s dead serious.
After the loss to Ohio State on Saturday, former Michigan State linebacker (and hero of the Rose Bowl win over Stanford) Kyler Ellsworth took to Twitter to voice his similar displeasure with the student section.
Hollis is taking all the attention that the situation has gotten very seriously, and has an interesting idea aimed at keeping the student section in their seats.
If he can’t control the weather (he’s good, but not THAT good), there has to be another avenue.
In a conversation with ABC 57 before the Ohio State game Saturday, Hollis said that the athletic department is looking into a heating system to keep the entire student section nice and toasty during frigid Saturday’s.
How sweet would that be for students? Although I can’t see it being very cost effective for programs, imagine an entire open-air stadium with that type “keep people warm and comfortable and in their seats” capability.
Heating the student section is a nice idea that you don’t hear thrown around often (and stadium wide Wi-Fi is a popular topic of conversation as well). The idea itself makes it clear that Hollis is serious about getting as creative as needed in order to keep valued fans in the stands.
Hopefully Barry Alvarez doesn’t read this and steal the idea, because as cold as it seems things get in East Lansing, Madison is a whole different story at the end of the regular season, and Green Bay’s Lambeau Field would be even more ridiculous.