That’s exactly why we asked.
Last week, we told you we wanted to create new game-day traditions at Commonwealth Stadium and directed you to give us suggestions. Nearly 100 emails, more than 130 comments on our original post and countless social media responses later, we’ve gotten plenty of them. Clearly, this is a topic that matters as much to you as it does to us.
Our first idea for a new tradition was to move the playing of “My Old Kentucky Home” to between the third and fourth quarter. Based on your feedback, we have taken that off the table.
A handful of you liked it, but the majority wants something with more energy before the start of the fourth quarter. That’s what we’re going to do.
Many of you have also written in that you’d like to see more former player and celebrity involvement in our game-day traditions. Others have said they want to see the band used in innovative and fun ways and more still have said they want our traditions to be interactive.
We have an idea for the break between the third and fourth quarter that fits the bill on all fronts. We’re going to tweak it throughout the summer and save it for the season opener on Aug. 30. Stay tuned.
Back to “My Old Kentucky Home,” you may not want it to be played before the fourth quarter, but your feedback tells us the song is still a very important part of game day.
Currently, “My Old Kentucky Home” is played during pregame immediately before the national anthem by the band, as well as postgame. Many of you have suggested the team should sing the song with the students and band postgame, but before we decide that, we need to know when you want the song to be played.
Cast your vote in the poll below and tell your friends to do the same. Note that this vote is for football games only, not basketball.
“My Old Kentucky Home” and the break before the fourth quarter were far from the only topics covered in your feedback over the last week. Let’s talk about some of the others and a few other items of note:
- Incorporating Kentucky’s rich horse tradition came up often in your feedback. We are looking into a few ideas for how this can be executed safely and in a way that adds to game day.
- In a bit of exciting news, a change to Southeastern Conference bylaws will allow video, audio and music between downs for the first time. We plan to take full advantage of that.
- We have been paying attention to the fact that you want to stay updated on other games throughout the country. We are planning to move the continuous loop of game scores to a more visible section of the ribbon board and we are identifying ways to package highlights from other games to be shown on the video boards.
- Many of you wrote in to suggest a live wildcat mascot should come to games. As cool as this would be, wildcats are very shy animals. A large, cheering crowd would be dangerous and potentially life-threatening to the animal, according to experts.
- Lots of fans clamored for more fighter jet flyovers on game day. In recent years, securing approval for a flyover has become more difficult, not to mention cost prohibitive. We are exploring the possibility of a flyover at some point this season, but it is not feasible on an every-game basis. We are also working with the Kentucky National Guard and other first responder organizations to find ways to honor them throughout the year, including video shout-outs from Kentuckians serving overseas.
- The national anthem has been another popular topic. We are exploring booking live anthem singers this season, as well as working to determine where the anthem fits best into the Wildcat Marching Band’s pregame routine.
- Speaking of the band, many fans have requested the band be mic’d up during games. In fact, the band is already mic’d up and its music is played through speakers on the field. It is not possible to use the end-zone speakers due to delay and there are no speakers throughout the seating bowl to extend audio reach.
- We are working on creating more fun activities for families and children in the Wildcat Refuge outside Gate 9 as well as more effectively educating fans on where the area is. Construction will make it difficult for us to have these kinds of activities on the concourse in 2014, but doing so in 2015 and beyond is a possibility.
- Music. If you’re reading this and wondering why we haven’t discussed game-day music selections yet, rest easy. Due to the importance of this topic, we are going to address it separately later this week.