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Virginia Tech adjusting gameday to improve fan experience

Hokie nation fills the stands at Lane Stadium for the sold out home-opener against UNC on...
Hokie nation fills the stands at Lane Stadium for the sold out home-opener against UNC on Friday, September 3rd.(WDBJ)
Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 11:12 PM EDT
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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - Virginia Tech Athletics is hoping to solve many of the issues at Lane Stadium brought to their attention by fans who attended the Hokie football home opener September 3.

Multiple season ticket-holders say they experienced overcrowding from students taking over the normally reserved sections, and long wait times for ticketing and concessions.

Now, the university is making some changes.

In an update posted Wednesday addressing Hokie Nation, Tech Athletics released modifications surrounding the student section, concessions, entry gates and mobile ticketing.

When we say “This is Home”, we mean it and we take that responsibility seriously. Our commitment to a first-class experience defines what we do and how we prepare. We apologize to anyone who did not have a tremendous experience. We’ve heard you, we witnessed much of it first-hand, and we are working diligently to rectify it. Thank you for your support as we continue to improve.

We appreciate that our fans come to impact the game and we want you to continue to play a role. We do ask that all fans keep it respectful. We want to create an amazing home field advantage, but not at the expense of any of our guests.

Virginia Tech Athletics

After their initial apology, Tech Athletics went on to say staffing has been a challenge.

“We are working with countless groups and staffing agencies to find talented teammates. Some of the changes below reflect the reality of the staffing situation many organizations are currently facing,” stated the post.

For the student section, the following measures will be put into place:

  • A completely reworked gate entrance at Gate 7 will still allow the first 5,000 students to enter the North Endzone stands and the remaining students to move to the East stands. This route will go up the ramp all the way to the top of Section 21 and then students will move into their assigned areas from there.
  • Student seats are general admission within assigned areas (North End Zone, Sections 1 and 3 above the portals, and Sections 21, 23, 25, and to the middle of Section 27 where the aisle splits), not anywhere else in the stadium. Click here to view a student section seat map.
  • Tech is installing seat tarps at the bottom of the student section below Sections 25 and 27 to clearly define where students can and cannot sit. Students can sit ABOVE the tarp that says “Welcome to the Terror Dome.”
  • Wristbands will still be utilized for entry into the North Endzone so students are encouraged to come early in order to be one of the first 5,000 students inside.

The concessions menu will be reduced to fewer options to allow for shorter wait times. This will include adding and adjusting 15 total beverage-only concessions stands (serving water, soda and beer) within the concourses.

Ticketing at the entry gates is also being adjusted.

Gates open at noon, two hours before the game Saturday.

Fans are asked to download mobile tickets by Friday or earlier.

“The Hokiesports App requires the internet to access your ticket account, but once you add your tickets from the App to your Apple Wallet or Google Pay, they live on your phone. No internet is necessary to access your mobile ticket once it’s in your Wallet or Google Pay,” Hokie Sports explained in the post.

Additionally, there will be customer service locations at Gate 4 and Gate 2 to help with any game day ticket needs. Both locations open three hours prior to kickoff.

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