October 13, 2013

Golden Eagle ‘fan experience’ will be top priority at Eblen Center basketball games


Feedback from fans helped shape services being offered


COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Customer service leading to a fantastic fan experience will be the top priority this season in Tennessee Tech’s Eblen Center for fans cheering for the Golden Eagle women’s and men’s basketball teams.

“We have taken a look at every aspect of the fan experience at our home basketball games, from how we greet you to how we treat you, and we believe we’ve done everything we can to make it the best experience it can be,” says Mark Wilson, TTU Director of Athletics.

“Many of our fans provided input last year, and we have listened,” he says. “There are many aspects of Golden Eagle basketball that are extremely popular, such as the Hoop Troop and the autograph tables, but there were also some areas where we needed improvements.

“We have made some changes that we feel will enhance every fan’s visit to Golden Eagle basketball games, and we want to continue to hear feedback,” he said.

“Our hope is for every fan attending any Tech basketball game will enjoy a great experience,” Wilson added. “That goes from how they are greeted when they arrive on campus, to the services we provide in the arena, to the concessions, the announcements, and the in-game activities. We have tried to look at every minute of their visit and make sure it is the best it can possibly be.”

One change that fans will welcome: individual game tickets have been reduced from $10 to $8 per ticket. In addition, Tech offers several season ticket and group sales options.

At the core of each event will be the performance of the Golden Eagle teams and the fans’ avid support of the players.

“Once the whistle blows and the ball is tossed up for the tipoff, the game is in the hands of our coaches and student-athletes, and we are really excited about the upcoming season for both teams,” Wilson said. “Coach (Jim) Davis and coach (Steve) Payne, and their staffs and players are working very hard to get ready for an exciting season.

“Cheering for the Golden Eagles is the reason fans come to the arena,” he said.

“The rest of the Athletics staff has spent a lot of time working on all of the aspects of ‘Tech Basketball’ that takes place off the court,” he said.

The most visible change will be seen inside the arena with the services offered by game ushers. The system of checking tickets and limiting access by sections has been lifted, allowing fans to move in-and-out of the arena – from the outer concourse into the bowl seating area, regardless of where their seats are located. Fans will also have free access inside the bowl area, to move around the inner concourse.

“Obviously, fans will be expected to sit in their assigned seats, but someone with a ticket in one section shouldn’t be limited from access to all of the services in the arena, or from visiting fans in other sections, including family members,” Wilson said.

“The primary function of our ushers will be to provide assistance and direction,” Wilson said. “They will help fans find their assigned seats, and they will be available if fans have any problems or concerns. The ushers will greet fans and offer assistance.”

Fans will be encouraged to approach ushers in the event of any seating problems or for directions to seating, rest rooms, concessions, the ticket office, and any other service provided in the arena.

The friendly, helpful greetings will begin outside in the parking areas, where personnel will greet fans and provide directions to specific parking lots. Most of the campus will feature free, open parking for visiting fans, while select lots will continue to be restricted to specific groups such as Athletics Association donors and media, along with additional handicap locations.

Once fans step through the doors and into Eblen Center, they will be met by personnel in the ticket office, ticket gates, concession stands and seating areas with the specific goal of offering welcoming greetings and assistance.

Fans visiting the concession stands will find a new addition to the arena that allows them to keep up with the action if they are waiting in line. Large television screens have been placed above the concession stands which will be airing the live telecast of the games.

Wilson said that several more aspects of home games have also been studied and will be fine-tuned before the season opens in early November. These include music played before and during the game, both over the P.A. system and from the Pep Band, some new wrinkles will be introduced for timeout activities that will feature fan involvement, and the location of the autograph tables will be mid-court following the final game of the night.

Season tickets are currently on sale for the 2013-14 Golden Eagle season, with a variety of ticket options and prices available.  To order tickets, or for more information, fans can visit or call the Athletics Ticket Office in Eblen Center at (931) 372-3940.

A schedule of the special events and promotions planned for the 2013-14 season will be announced soon, including County Nights, Youth Nights, Academic Excellence Night, and more.