Georgia football: how the Sanford Stadium experience improved in 2018

ATHENS, GA - OCTOBER 15: A general view of Sanford Stadium (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GA - OCTOBER 15: A general view of Sanford Stadium (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) /

Georgia football won’t return to live competition “between the hedges” until the G-Day Game in April. Many changes and adjustments were made to the stadium going into the 2018 season.

Georgia football has now won 13-straight games in Sanford Stadium after completing its second-year undefeated between the hedges. But the product on the field isn’t the only important part about attending a game at Sanford Stadium. The University of Georgia made many improvements to the stadium this year, many of which had a positive impact on the fan experience.

Fast lines at concessions stands

I can’t speak from experience on this one, but I did notice my brother and uncle returning from the concession stand much faster this year than in year’s past. That’s probably because of the new way the Stadium handled lines, making people waiting to order food wrap around and wait for a cash register to open. Whereas fans used to choose a line when they walked up and had to live with the choice if another line moved faster.

Other changes, such as having more premade food and having some stands feature tables of premade food to grab after paying at the register, instead of waiting to receive food after paying, made the concession lines go by much faster. When the lines move faster, customers are happy and they can return to their seats to cheer on the Dawgs much sooner.

New big screen

How nice is that new screen? It’s not the largest screen in the SEC, but at least we didn’t almost lose to Austin-Peay (Auburn installed the SEC’s largest screen in 2015 and beat Jacksonville State 27-20 in OT in their first home game). The new screen was able to show a larger picture of the game and display more information. Coupled with the team’s elite production staff, every Georgia football game feels like a major sporting event, not just the top-25 matchups.

Artwork around the stadium

Sanford Stadium is one of the oldest stadiums in college football and Georgia football is one of the oldest programs in the south. There’s a lot of history around the stadium and the Bulldog program. That history was honored in several ways this past year through artwork. Several walls in the stadiums corridors featured paintings of great moments. The walls around the concession stand closest to my section featured the “Hobnail Boot” play and Kevin Butler’s 60-yard field goal.

The most interesting works in my opinion can be seen at gate 6 on the large, square columns holding the ceiling up. Each column recognizes a different decade in Georgia football history with a player wearing the most recognizable attire of the decade, the team’s record and a few more facts. They were all interesting and I regret not stopping by every one to look at them. In fact, I regret not walking around the entire stadium to see what else had been painted.

Smaller tickets

This one seems odd, unless you’re like me and you collect tickets. Especially if you’re waiting for that year when Georgia does finally win the National Championship and you attended every game. You want to display those tickets. But recently, it’s been hard to keep those tickets in good condition because of their size. Since 2009, the tickets had been getting bigger and bigger, and they’d get folded in some way in your pocket or wallet.

But this year, the school shrunk the size of the tickets down to where they used to be, around a half-inch more narrow than the 2017 tickets. That made them easier to take care of during games, and they could return home in good condition, ready to be framed with the rest of the season tickets.

Next. 30 best players of the Mark Richt era. dark

Did you attend a game at Sanford Stadium this year? What changes did you notice that you felt were welcome? What changes were made that you didn’t like. And what issues have persisted through the years that you wish the school would finally address. List them in the comment section, on our Facebook page or on Twitter and your comments may be featured in an upcoming story on Dawn of the Dawg.