USFL leaders celebrating the first week and working to better fan experience
Complaints arise due to parking and long lines to get in
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Millions tuned into the USFL’s return on Saturday night and thousands filed in to Protective Stadium over the weekend to check out the action for themselves.
“I was very excited. We had some estimates for what it could be for the opening weekend and I think the actual number surpassed that a little. So for us it was great,” said USFL Executive Vice President for Football Operations Daryl Johnston.
“Now how many do we sustain week to week. That’s the big thing for me. It is a great number for week one, but can we continue to add to it. That is when we know we have something sustainable. Something that is more than curiosity but that has hooked the viewer and keeps them coming back,” said Johnston.
The surge of people was larger than many expected and it did cause a few issues.
“I think all of us learned there are areas we can be better and one of the biggest ones is fan experience,” said Johnston.
It wasn’t just long lines to get in, but long waits for concessions that frustrated many ticket holders.
“We cannot have waits in lines. We cannot have issues with concessions. We cannot have issues with parking,” said Johnston.
BJCC leaders are also aware of the issues. Executive Director Tad Snider says they have been struggling to staff up for a while. He also believes another event at Legacy Arena further taxed the available parking. He noted this is not a new challenge, but due to the Stallions’ staunch support on night one, it will be something monitored closely moving forward.
BJCC board member Jimmie Stephens promises action in the weeks ahead.
“Normally when you have more people show up than you expect it is a good thing. It’s something we will address in our next board meeting and make sure it doesn’t reoccur,” said Stephens.
While both the USFL and BJCC stress the fan experience will only get better, both were pleased with the first weekend.
“The Birmingham fan base was into the game. Attendance was probably better than expected for the projected forecast. I thought all and all, Saturday was fantastic, and then we followed it up with very competing games on Sunday,” said Johnston.
The last of week one′s games was pushed to Monday night and if you wish to acquire a ticket for games in the weeks ahead you can click here.
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