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Tech Athletics promises smoother fan experience at future home games

Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 11:06 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - This past weekend’s game was almost everything a highly-anticipated home football game promised to be: an enthusiastic crowd, no capacity limits and a win for the home team.

But, it also came with frustrations. Though there’s no COVID-related restrictions, the pandemic still had an effect on the fan experience.

Long concession lines and an overwhelmed mobile ordering system were blamed on staffing shortages this weekend.

READ MORE: Texas Tech Athletics addressing ‘unacceptable’ concession delays

“It’s a trend that we’re seeing nationwide across the service industry and some of our other colleagues have already experienced it,” Robert Giovannetti, senior associate athletics director of external operations, said.

To prepare for the 55,000 attendees Tech Athletics booked around 370 concession workers, more than usual, to account for expected absences.

On game day it was a perfect storm: near capacity in the stands, but 130 no-show workers employed through the third-party company Spectra.

“We weren’t caught off guard by the number of people that were here, we planned all week for the number of that crowd, it was just out of our control on the day of the game,” Giovannetti said.

In addition to its full time staff, the company hires part time workers and non-profit groups.

They get a certain percentage of sales.

“I know that Spectra’s looking at those numbers to see is there something we can do to in this situation to make this better and more appealing to get the groups to come out. And I think also they’re going to look at what can we do for the temporary workers also to make it more appealing to them,” Giovannetti explained.

Other than that he says the atmosphere was unbeatable this past weekend.

He’s hoping Red Raider fans can keep the momentum going at the Jones.

“We hope that if somebody is upset about what happened last Saturday they give us another chance, right? We’re not just going into this blind. We understand what needs to be fixed,” he said. “We only get six of these a year. Six home games a year, so you want to make the best of them.”

The next home game is this upcoming Saturday 9/18 against Florida International.

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