As the college football season draws nearer, schools across the country are seeking ways to improve the fan experience.
Typically these conversations involve such amenities as Wi-Fi connectivity, concessions, access to bathrooms and in-game entertainment options — but North Carolina State is set to launch an enhanced heat plan to keep fans cool and comfortable when they come out to cheer the Wolfpack at Carter-Finley Stadium.
In a press release, the school outlined elements of its heat plan and described new enhancements ahead of the 2019 football season. Among enhancements are an increased number of complimentary water stations, bottle-filling stations near water fountains, expanded misting stations, four air conditioned buses, shade tents and sunscreen stations. Each of the amenities will be located at various locations throughout the concourse on days when the enhanced heat plan is activated.
NC State said that it will enact the enhanced heat plan on days when the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) reaches 82 degrees.
A number of amenities intended to help fans cool off are a part of regular operations at Carter-Finley. Two Rex Healthcare stations are always available to fans, one of which is air conditioned. Fans are permitted to bring in one bottle of water per person, and “dunking stations” filled with iced water for fans to dunk in handkerchiefs or hand towels are available throughout the concourse.
As heat safety for student-athletes draws more attention, operators of outdoor sports venues should also be wary of environmental impacts on fans, particularly amid dangerously hot temperatures.
We discussed heat safety on the first episode of The Athletic Business Podcast. Click here to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, or listen below.