Aug. 18, 2004
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
While Joe Glenn and his Cowboys continue to improve on the field, improvements to enhance the fan experience away from the field, are being instituted, Athletics Director Gary Barta announced Wednesday.
Construction on the stadium's upper west side is nearing completion. Among the improvements are wider aisles with railing, and increased handicapped seating that includes "companion" seating for that area.
One of the most notable game-day improvements involves Pepsi's Cowboy Tailgate Park. The popular pre-game activity is being moved across Willett Drive adjacent to the west side of the American Heritage Center directly across the street from the Arena-Auditorium. In conjunction with the new Tailgate location, a Pedestrian Mall is being established that will involve the closing of Willett for the three hours prior to gametime.
"Because of the increasing popularity of tailgate park, we were running out of room at the previous location," Barta said. "The new area gives fans much more room to enjoy vendors and activities that make the park a fun experience. Closing Willett during that time will make it easier, and safer for fans to walk to the area from their parking lots."
Willett will resume regular traffic patterns at kickoff, and remain open following the game. Fans should park in their usual, favorite parking lots.
The Athletics Department has instituted a new, and easier method for stadium entry. A bar code has now been included on all game tickets, and ticket attendants will scan each ticket. The system will not only expedite entry to the stadium, but will allow for increased points of entry.
"Most of the major venues throughout the country utilize this system because it makes ticket purchasing and stadium entry much easier for fans," Barta said. "As part of our new system, fans may order on-line, print their tickets at home, and bring those tickets for entry. We are excited about the system because it makes coming to see the Cowboys much easier."
In addition, War Memorial's busiest entry, Gate Five, at the northwest corner (between the adminsitration building and the Rochelle Athletics Center), has been expanded to allow more points of entry.All other gates will utilize the new system as well. Gate Three at the southeast corner of the stadium will continue as the UW student gate.
To better accommodate handicapped fans, a total of 75 additional handicapped parking spaces have been created in the Hill-Crane (HC) lot adjacent to Grand Avenue. A shuttle service will be provided from that lot to the stadium. A fan must have the regular blue handicapped pass in order to purchase those spaces in Hill-Crane.
Another new feature for this football season will be the availability of Cowboy car flags which may be purchased at the entry of every parking lot. Fans may show their support for the Cowboys by purchasing a flag for $10 from a parking attendant at any of the stadium lots. Fans with this special flag in view will receive a dollar discount on game day at any stadium parking lot throughout the home season.
"Will Call" will remain at the north side of the Arena Auditorium, but the "Player Pass/Guest" gate has been moved to the east side of the Rochelle Athletics Center affording easier access for player families and guests.
"We are excited about the direction Joe Glenn and the Cowboys are taking the football program," Barta said, "and we want to make game-day a fun and pleasurable experience for our fans. These changes are just the beginning of what we plan to do in and around the stadium over the next few seasons."
The Cowboys open the season Saturday, Sept. 4, hosting Appalachian State University. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. The remainder of the home schedule: Sept. 25, Mississippi; Oct. 2, Louisiana-Monroe; Oct. 9, San Diego State (Homecoming); Oct. 30, Air Force, and Nov. 13, Utah.
Recapping the changes: