In Game Fan Experience In Recent Years


(Joe) #1

My first issue is ticketing/ticket pricing. Three years ago they had the flex voucher package. It was an even $100, and you had a voucher for every game if you wanted to, or you could bring other people to the game. it counted as a Season ticket for playoff reservations, and concession discounts. Then the next year they were vouchers that you had to turn in to the ticket office, and you didn’t get a discount. I was a bit miffed, but no big deal, and we still got second pick after season ticket holders but before the general public.

Last year my work schedule prevented me from going to too many games other than midweek games, so I didn’t get any package, but I remember being perplexed at the flex plan offering less tickets for more money, but there was also an $80 GA season ticket package.

I decided that’s what I was gonna do this season because my schedule cleared up. I was surprised to learn that it went up to $100 plus a $30 convenience fee. I called to complain about such a steep increase. When I asked why they said “That’s the price we pay for having a top 15 basketball program.” Really? I’m happy for the basketball team, don’t get me wrong. But if I wanted to help fund the basketball team, I’d be buying basketball tickets.

From a fan/spectator point of view, things have gotten slightly worse over the years. Concessions have gotten worse and worse. No more hamburgers, they’ve always been out of any food they were having a special on. They never knew how to put in the season ticket discount, and lines were extremely long because they had no idea what they were doing. I’ll leave it at that, and it seems they’ve addressed that by ending their relationship with Aramark.

They no longer show replays on the video board. Video in general wasn’t available around the park. There’s no longer any actual cameramen it seems. Correct me if I’m wrong, but other than the camera on top of the box, and the automatic ones behind each dugout, there are no cameras, and nothing in the outfield to watch the pitch from the traditional angle from behind the pitcher. Also, the actual numbers on the scoreboard are hard to read. I’d rather go back to a digital scoreboard, or a least a simulation of one with easier to read numbers.

They have very few giveaways compared to what I remember in previous years. They apparently had a free jersey night the Saturday against UNLV. But I saw zero ads, so I didn’t try to get there early. Also noticed they were all #18 which tells me they were just leftover stock from last year. To be fair, I could be wrong about that.

They used to have stat sheets for fans. Now they have the rosters, which show not much more than the player names and high schools. But if you want more info than that, you gotta look it up on your phone, or print a statsheet from home. I think they may have been a buck, but I would gladly buy one instead of having to waste ink before every game.

I get that a lot of these complaints are very minor. I’m a baseball fan, and will show up through thick and thin, even if there were no music, no give aways, no scoreboard, and no food, as long as there’s a game being played. That said, it seems I’m getting less bang for my buck every year. Am I the only one noticing these things?


#2

Nope it has slowly gone down hill that past few years. When you go to the games it has the feeling like Baseball is an after thought this year.


(Patrick) #3

I have a feeling that they needed money for the development center and have been cutting costs (or raising prices) in other places.

Hopefully, once that’s finally completed this summer (as long as it doesn’t get pushed back again), once Aramark is gone, and once the New ESPN+ contract kicks in, we’ll start to see some of the things we’re used to and things will get better.

But, I agree with everything you posted.


(Joe) #4

It felt like with the new Fertitta Center, and obviously their success, they put all of the effort and resources from the fan experience that baseball usually gets, and put it into basketball.


(Dustin K) #5

You should for sure send your complaints to Robert Boudwin as that is his job. I think he’s done well with football and basketball last year but sounds like baseball got the slack.


(Joe) #6

Thank you. Emailing him now.


(Joe) #7

Just emailed Robert. Basically copy and pasted my post, and edited it for professionalism.

Robert,

My name is Joe Driscoll. I’ve been a fan of Cougar sports for about 9 years now, and have been a baseball season ticket holder for three out of the past four years. I was told that you were the man to talk to about some comments that I had about the fan experience the last few years.

My first issue is ticketing/ticket pricing. Three years ago they had the flex voucher package. It was an even $100, and you had a voucher for every game if you wanted to, or you could bring other people to the game. it counted as a Season ticket for playoff reservations, and concession discounts. Then the next year they were vouchers that you had to turn in to the ticket office, and you didn’t get a discount. I was a bit miffed, but no big deal, and we still got second pick after season ticket holders but before the general public.

Last year my work schedule prevented me from going to too many games other than midweek games, so I didn’t get the season ticket package. But I do remember being perplexed at the flex plan offering less tickets for more money. Correct me if I’m wrong, but instead of 30 tickets, there were 20, and instead of $100, it was $120.

I remember reading that the GA season ticket package was $80 in 2018, so I decided that’s what I was gonna do this season because my schedule cleared up. I was surprised to learn that it went up to $100 plus a $30 convenience fee. I called to complain about such a steep increase.

When I asked why they said “That’s the price we pay for having a top 15 basketball program.” I’m happy for the basketball team, don’t get me wrong. But if I wanted to help fund the basketball team, I’d be buying basketball tickets.

From a fan/spectator point of view, things have gotten slightly worse over the years. Concessions have gotten worse and worse. No more hamburgers, they’ve always been out of any food they were having a special on. They never knew how to put in the season ticket discount, and lines were extremely long because they had no idea what they were doing. Multiple times they were busy having side conversations, often with foul language and complaining about their job/coworkers/supervisors in front of customers. I’ll leave it at that, and it seems that issue has been addressed by ending their relationship with Aramark.

Another complaint I have had, no longer show replays on the video board. Video in general wasn’t available around the park. There’s no longer any actual cameramen it seems. Correct me if I’m wrong, but other than the camera on top of the press box, and the automatic ones behind each dugout, there are no cameras, and nothing in the outfield to watch the pitch from the traditional angle from behind the pitcher.

Also, the actual numbers on the scoreboard are hard to read. From most of the fans I’ve talked to, they feel the same way. I’d rather go back to a digital scoreboard, or a least a simulation of one with easier to read numbers.

There were very few giveaways compared to what I remember in previous years. They apparently had a free jersey night the Saturday against UNLV. But I saw zero ads, so I didn’t try to get there early. Also noticed they were all #18 which tells me they were just leftover stock from last year. To be fair, I could be wrong about that.

They used to have stat sheets for fans. Now they have the rosters, which show not much more than the player names and high schools. But if you want more info than that, you gotta look it up on your phone, or print a stat sheet from home. I think they may have been a buck, but I would gladly buy one instead of having to waste ink before every game.

It feels like, to me personally, with the new Fertitta Center, and obviously the basketball team’s success, the school has put all of the effort and resources from the fan experience that baseball usually gets, and put it into basketball.

I get that a lot of these complaints are very minor, and I’m not sure how many of these are your responsibility. I’m a baseball fan, and will show up through thick and thin, even if there were no music, no give aways, no scoreboard, and no food, as long as there’s a game being played. That said, it seems I’m getting less bang for my buck every year. Prices are going up, and the value is going down.

I hope to hear back soon, and see improvements next season at the ball park.

Thank you for your time,
Joe


(Lurker) #8

This is not in game experience related but for those that cant make the games, the social media updates are fantastic. Good videos,updates, pictures.


(Joe) #9

Agreed. I have season tickets, so rarely miss a home game. But the only reason I even have the twitter app on my phone is to follow along with away games, and the rare ones I can’t make it to in person.


(Joe) #10

I actually got reply that seems genuine.

Hi Joe!

Thanks for taking the time (and caring enough) about our Cougars and University to share and put down in writing your perspective, experiences and concerns with me. I mean this sincerely when I say without passionate fans like yourself who care deeply, none of this works. I have forwarded your various concerns to the appropriate staff for their consideration and information. I have done my best to address your comments below and some of the answers I know. We went through some marketing staff changes mid-season for baseball this year and I myself along with some other key leadership staff are still relatively new to the University. This is not meant as an excuse, but more as a thank you for educating me/us to your position and understanding of your experience with UH baseball. My cell is listed below should you want to discuss any questions or concerns further. Answers I can speak to in bold below:

Robert Boudwin

My first issue is ticketing/ticket pricing. Three years ago they had the flex voucher package. It was an even $100, and you had a voucher for every game if you wanted to, or you could bring other people to the game. it counted as a Season ticket for playoff reservations, and concession discounts. Then the next year they were vouchers that you had to turn in to the ticket office, and you didn’t get a discount. I was a bit miffed, but no big deal, and we still got second pick after season ticket holders but before the general public.

Last year my work schedule prevented me from going to too many games other than midweek games, so I didn’t get the season ticket package. But I do remember being perplexed at the flex plan offering less tickets for more money. Correct me if I’m wrong, but instead of 30 tickets, there were 20, and instead of $100, it was $120.

I remember reading that the GA season ticket package was $80 in 2018, so I decided that’s what I was gonna do this season because my schedule cleared up. I was surprised to learn that it went up to $100 plus a $30 convenience fee. I called to complain about such a steep increase.

I’m not sure of the history here on the above three, but appropriate staff will take your comments under review.

When I asked why they said “That’s the price we pay for having a top 15 basketball program.” I’m happy for the basketball team, don’t get me wrong. But if I wanted to help fund the basketball team, I’d be buying basketball tickets.

Not sure exactly who they are, but please know that is not the position or official comment on UH Athletics. We are not skimping on any of our sports to take care of others. We do our best to evaluate each sport separate and make appropriate and proportional decisions for each independently of each other.

From a fan/spectator point of view, things have gotten slightly worse over the years. Concessions have gotten worse and worse. No more hamburgers, they’ve always been out of any food they were having a special on. They never knew how to put in the season ticket discount, and lines were extremely long because they had no idea what they were doing. Multiple times they were busy having side conversations, often with foul language and complaining about their job/coworkers/supervisors in front of customers. I’ll leave it at that, and it seems that issue has been addressed by ending their relationship with Aramark.

You concern has been passed on. It is often hard to predict exact food demands especially when a special is offered especially at an outdoor facility where attendance fluctuates with weather and many other factors. We will continue to do our best here.

Another complaint I have had, no longer show replays on the video board. Video in general wasn’t available around the park. There’s no longer any actual cameramen it seems. Correct me if I’m wrong, but other than the camera on top of the press box, and the automatic ones behind each dugout, there are no cameras, and nothing in the outfield to watch the pitch from the traditional angle from behind the pitcher.

To my knowledge since coming to UH a year ago we do not have the ability at our baseball facility to show live shots nor replays on our video board with our current technology.

Also, the actual numbers on the scoreboard are hard to read. From most of the fans I’ve talked to, they feel the same way. I’d rather go back to a digital scoreboard, or a least a simulation of one with easier to read numbers.

Noted and passed along.

There were very few giveaways compared to what I remember in previous years. They apparently had a free jersey night the Saturday against UNLV. But I saw zero ads, so I didn’t try to get there early. Also noticed they were all #18 which tells me they were just leftover stock from last year. To be fair, I could be wrong about that.

We had a mid-season staff change here and it could have been better promoted and communicated to fans. Our bad. It did go out on Twitter as some fans arrived early having seen that.

They used to have stat sheets for fans. Now they have the rosters, which show not much more than the player names and high schools. But if you want more info than that, you gotta look it up on your phone, or print a stat sheet from home. I think they may have been a buck, but I would gladly buy one instead of having to waste ink before every game.

The sheets I believe you are speaking about are available at the marketing table just inside the front gate and then behind home plate the remainder of the game. I create them based upon what is given to me by the Sport Information Directors.

It feels like, to me personally, with the new Fertitta Center, and obviously the basketball team’s success, the school has put all of the effort and resources from the fan experience that baseball usually gets, and put it into basketball.

I get that a lot of these complaints are very minor, and I’m not sure how many of these are your responsibility. I’m a baseball fan, and will show up through thick and thin, even if there were no music, no give aways, no scoreboard, and no food, as long as there’s a game being played. That said, it seems I’m getting less bang for my buck every year. Prices are going up, and the value is going down.

I hope to hear back soon, and see improvements next season at the ball park.

None of your complaints are view as minor to us, but more as valuable feedback from our fans and supporters. Our students, faculty, staff, professors, alumni and fans all have a stake in what we do and while it is virtually impossible to please ALL of them 100% of the time with different desires and perspectives, it is certainly something we strive to do daily 365. Thank you again for taking time to share with me. GO COOGS!!! -Robert Boudwin


#11

I went to a game last year and I felt like I was in a Library. What happened to the crazy student section? Did they get 5 starred?

Also, there used to be a lot more sun bathing. Just throwing that out there…


(VancouverCOOG) #12

…More sun bathing would be great!!!


(Joseph A Martin Jr) #13

I went to every football and basketball home game with season tickets. In the past I would attend select baseball games especially on Sat/Sun but I must say this is the first year I failed to attend any baseball games. Just seems the last few years my willingness to travel from NW Houston down 290 to watch a 4 hour college baseball game has waned. Especially when I own my own business and close at 6:30 PM. and am nearing 61 years old. Making that usual 1 to 1 1/2 hour drive to Cougar field 3 or 4 tiles in a week just didn’t thrill me. So like some above I followed this years team through social media and theses type message boards. Maybe in five years when I retire I will be recharged to make baseball games again.


(Patrick) #14

Haven’t seen many students at the game unless they have a relationship with the players.


(Joe) #15

The NCAA made some rule changes that actually shortened the game. Most 6:30 games we’re out before 9:30.


(Joe) #16

Sadly, it seems this year it’s mostly been player family and friends, and a few die hards.