Organizers share prep for game days
Have you ever wondered what it takes to put on a huge event like a basketball game?
It involves much more than you may think. Game management is a job that requires preparation, communication and anticipation. The game you attend one Saturday night was months in the making.
Jordan Fetters, associate director of facilities and game management, sets up multiple games for different sports on a weekly basis.
“Preparation begins during the summer months but really ramps up about two months before each season,” Fetters said. “Before each season, we have a meeting with coaching staffs to go over game operations including game management, ticketing, marketing, communications, athletic training and media production departments. In there, we discuss anything that could come up during games and hash out the details.”
Fetters said they have bi-weekly meetings to talk about upcoming events and troubleshoot any issues they encountered at past games. During game weeks, Fetters also coordinates with referees and visiting coaching staffs to go over practice times and other important details.
There are many people involved, including four full-time employees, one graduate assistant and 30 student workers.
The most notable student workers at games are the Crazie Crew.
“We have a quick meeting about who will start chants, what cheers we will do and any new ideas we have that we want to try,” said Emily Gustafson, sophomore psychology major. “After that we do some set up, like putting the newspapers in the stands, and get ready for game time. Once the game starts, it is our job to make sure the crowd is staying hyped and we are cheering as loud as possible for our team.”
Game management requires forward thinking.
“You’re always collecting information and adjusting to improve the operation,” Fetters said. “There is always going to be something that pops up throughout the season unforeseen.”
Setup for game day starts the day before and continues until even the next day.
“Generally, the day prior to game day, we will setup the field or gym into a game-day setup with the bleachers, tables and benches out,” Fetter said. “On game day, once the teams arrive, we go over any important details with them and the referees. Once the game gets started, we make sure everything is running smoothly. Post-game, we will tear down and get the facility back ready so teams can practice the following day.”
Everyone involved in preparing for game days is striving to ensure the average student showing up to cheer can have a smooth, enjoyable experience.