With the football season fast approaching, Auburn fans already have something to cheer about.
In an attempt to promote school spirit, Auburn University has devised a point system called Auburn Ignited in which students are rewarded for regularly attending sporting events in the 2009-10 season. The reward: priority seating for the 2010 football season.
This year Auburn’s Athletic Department is encouraging students to attend all of Auburn’s sporting events, not just the football games. The goal is not necessarily to set as many attendance records as possible, but to shine a new light on Auburn athletics and change the perception that Auburn’s only sport is football.
Logan Plew, a junior in supply chain management, said that he is excited about the new points system.
“I attend every game or match that I possibly can anyway,” Plew said. “I think this is a great way to get more students to come out and show their support and school spirit.”
The way the system works is that Auburn’s sports are divided into three different groups, each group having its own point value.
For example, Men and Women’s Basketball and Baseball are in the first group, which is worth one point for attending. Men’s and Women’s Tennis, Soccer, Volleyball, Softball, Swimming and Diving, Equestrian, and Gymnastics all fall into group two, which are worth two points for attending. Finally, the last group includes All Auburn, All Orange events of which there is one per sport. Attending these games are worth four points.
In addition to receiving priority football seating, students who participate in Auburn Ignited are also eligible for a number of other rewards including Auburn memorabilia and even a grand prize for the five students who finish with the most points.
Cory Skipper, a sophomore in marketing, said that just attending the games and showing his school spirit is all the incentive he needs to attend Auburn’s many sporting events.
“I’m looking forward to getting priority seats, but I don’t really need a whole bunch of T-shirts or anything like that,” Skipper said. “These sports thrive on fan support and this is a great way to fill seats.”
Jordan-Hare Stadium is separated into student seats and general admission. Traditionally, Auburn’s SGA has given priority seating to fraternities and other on-campus organizations inside the student block.
The Athletic Department’s Eli Wilkerson said that these groups will continue to get their priority seating, but now these seats are also available on an individual level.
“There will be a section marked off in the student seats, next to the band and close to the field,” Wilkerson said. “This way these individuals can show up as late as 30 minutes before game time and still have good seats.”
Wilkerson also said that the number of available seats would be around 180 for the first year, with hopes of expansion.
The new Auburn Ignited point system, in addition to garnering fan support for Auburn’s many sports, is meant to give every student an opportunity to essentially sit wherever they want during the 2010 football season.
Plew thinks the system will have a huge impact on Auburn’s athletics.
“If more and more students keep coming out to show their support, I think the nation will find out real quick that Auburn is not just a football school,” Plew said.