Athletics open suite to university departments

Athletics has decided to offer an available suite to different departments at home football games by having Dr. John Crain randomly draw each one. File Photo/The Lion’s Roar

The Athletics Department and the Lion Athletic Association have decided to host a different university department in an unoccupied suite for each of the home football games in Strawberry Stadium this season.

“We wanted to offer the suite to groups on campus,” said Director of Athletics Jay Artigues. “Thought it would be great for different groups to have the opportunity to have that experience. Wanted different groups to have the opportunity to enjoy a game and experience a game atmosphere from a suite as a thoughtful gesture to hopefully increase morale.”

The selected departments in order are the Department of History and Political Science, the Office of Technology, the Department of Mathematics, the Division for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management.




“We have six suites, and in the past, all six have been rented out,” said assistant athletic director for marketing and development Tom Dawsey, . “We’ve either had corporate partners or individuals who have purchased those suites. This year, we have a new cabana area in our end zone, and one of our folks that have been in our suites decided to move down into the end zone. So, that suite became available.” 

Dawsey explained how unlike other universities, Artigues declines the option to have his own suite at home games.

“Most universities, the athletic director gets a suite with their home stadium,” said Dawsey. “Our athletic director likes moving around. He goes to the victory club. He goes into the stands. He stands down on the field. He’s very heavily in our operations as far as the game day management and the entertainment value. So, he didn’t really want a suite, per se, to sit in. So, at that point we came together, and he decided that he would like to allow different departments to use that suite.”

According to Dawsey, the Athletics Department depends on many different departments of the university.

“Quite frankly, the athletics department calls on academics, admissions, our physical plant,” said Dawsey. “We use so many different departments all on our campus. He thought that would be a good idea to allow different departments to use it throughout the season.”

President John L. Crain randomly selected the departments that are being hosted.

“We want to say, ‘Thank you,’” said Dawsey. “We want to thank the departments for what they do for us. We partner with a lot of them as far as our student athletes. We had an opportunity. This happened late in the year, so we really didn’t have a chance to sell it, per se. So, this was just a chance to say thank you to the different departments, and Dr. Crain really liked the idea.”