Inside Operations: A Different View of The Game

On the third Wednesday of every month (a day early this week as they will have two blog posts this week), a member of the Facilities and Operations staff  will give a behind-the-scenes look at what’s going on around its area and the department. Over the course of every month, each department will be featured at least once. Coming Wednesday: Communications

When you attend a football game you more than likely show up, park your vehicle, maybe tailgate for a bit, walk in to the game, sit down watch the game and then leave to go home.   In order for the everyday fan to enjoy a game there a many things that need to happen that probably go unnoticed by most fans.

“Game Day” for the facilities and operations team actually begins the day before the actual game.  Our team drives over to the Dome for about two or three hours and sets up all signage, banners, and anything else that you see when walking through the concourse inside the Dome.  The team then comes back to the Dome to handle any last minute changes that may take place for the following day.  On the actual game day, our typical day begins six to seven hours prior to kickoff.

The team arrives at the Sports Arena to load up the truck with all equipment that is needed the day of the game and then heads to the Dome. Upon arrival at the Dome the team sets up all outdoor signage in the parking lots and outside of the gates that you see as you are walking into the Dome. Once this is complete we walk through the concourse to make sure all signage that was set up the day before is still in the correct place and that all vendors that are setting up do not have any issues.

Our staff is also responsible for ensuring that all teams and officials arrive on time and safely. One person from the facilities and operations staff is assigned to the visiting team as well as the officials.  These staff members are in direct communication with the visiting team and the officials on game day to assist with any issues that they have before, during, or after the game.

Most of you have seen us on the field, standing in the corners of the Dome with an earpiece and radio attached watching the game.  There is more than just watching the game going on though as each member of the facilities and operations staff is placed in a specific area to assist with any possible situation that may occur.  Each staff member is not just watching the game, but watching the crowd for any problems, making sure there are no obstructions on the field, as well as being a liaison for both teams and the officials in case there are any problems that come up.  They are in each corner on the field so a member from the facilities and operations team can get anywhere in the Dome in the matter of seconds.

Once the final whistle blows the day continues for the facilities and operations team. Our staff transports the officials back to the hotel and assists with getting the visiting team on the road. We then breakdown all signage and any other equipment that was set up around the Dome and pack it up for the next game which usually takes about an hour. When that is all said and done, a brief meeting to discuss any problems during that game takes place and then the team clears out and enjoys the rest up for the next event on the schedule.

Football game days are always exciting and challenging at the same time; which is why we in the facilities and operations team take pride in what we do and try to give our fans the best experience possible when attending games. We hope that you all continue supporting the Panthers, and if you ever have any questions or concerns on game day, please do not hesitate to ask one of us.

See you at the game!

–Steve Wojcikowski
Assistant Athletic Director for Facilities and Operations

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