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Letter from Wren. We can do better!


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Just now, NT80 said:

This isn't their first rodeo.  They knew what the attendance was projected to be.  This group has been through big games at Apogee before....

Very true…just looking for a silver lining to cling to in this MG darkness we are covered in at the moment. WB did the right thing by at least acknowledging it was terrible and giving us something to at least make up for it with extra tickets for a game this upcoming year.

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Blah, blah, blah… 

Most of this could/should have been anticipated before hand. “Why wasn’t it?” is my question. 

Most of this stuff wasn’t an issue in the past, so why did they drop the ball to make it an issue now?   
 

I still like WB a lot (like a lot, a lot), but his luster is beginning to wear off with me. He’s been great for all sports except the biggest one that I care the most about and it’s starting to show on and off the field now. Hope he can turn this ship around. 

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6 hours ago, meangreenJW said:

I think this is a bit of oversimplification. I've seen dozens of posts from other athletic departments about similar issues this year and last. Most businesses (athletic departments included I'm sure) have experienced massive turnover. Don't know about you but I've experienced service issues at restaurants, airports, hotels, pretty much everywhere post pandemic. Added to this is the athletic department uses several 3rd party contractors on game day (parking folks are a 3rd party, ushers/event staff are mostly 3rd party as well, perhaps concessions is too) I would imagine there's been massive turnover for those companies. I'm trying to think back but I think the was the first really big crowd since COVID. Not here to make excuses, because I was pissed myself at waiting 40 plus minutes to get to my parking. I think owning the mistake was the right move for the ath dept and working to make it better was as well. Fans can and should expect better. But saying "this isn't their first rodeo" is oversimplifying the situation a bit IMO. 

There is the real issue.   A company (or Athletic Dept) is only as good as the weakest link.  Wren is a great AD, but the service and level of commitment to NT and fans falls off at each level below him.  Contractors don't care about your experience.

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1 hour ago, NT80 said:

There is the real issue.   A company (or Athletic Dept) is only as good as the weakest link.  Wren is a great AD, but the service and level of commitment to NT and fans falls off at each level below him.  Contractors don't care about your experience.

Every athletic department in the country uses contractors for gameday.

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Maybe the school should/could hire students to work game day . Someone who has some pride in there school. There are a lot of students who would love to make 15 to 20 dollars an hour on a Saturday. That is what the public pools in Denton pay high school students to work a few hours a day.

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8 hours ago, emmitt01 said:

I gotta say, aside from the on-field product, I didn’t really have any issues Saturday.  Just the same, I respect Wren for trying to increase the value of the fan experience by listening to those who did.  

My only real issue was trying to get into the Blue Lot with only one guy scanning tickets and the bottle neck with traffic coming in from from three directions. Very frustrating. Also, with no internet reception, there needs to be periodic FB scores from around the country. I like to know about other games as well.

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10 hours ago, NT80 said:

This isn't their first rodeo.  They knew what the attendance was projected to be.  This group has been through big games at Apogee before....

Just like every other industry, I’d bet the answer is simple: staffing troubles. 

and I’ll bet they’re fixing it by pulling people from other departments to work on game day. 

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I’m a season ticket holder for both football and basketball and donate to the MGSF and I have yet to get this email. Checked all junk mail files too. Wouldn’t you think you would send it to everyone who attended last week? I am glad to see stuff being done but even small things like this can be annoying. 

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Reading through the letter it boils down to:

1.  Better parking experience.  I don't think I've ever been to a significant sporting event where the parking experience was good.  I attended the Dallas/Washington game in DC last year with my daughter and it was a disaster.  We allocated 3 hours before game time to get to our seats.  At one point we moved no more than 40 feet in an hour.  When we finally did park, it was another 45 minutes to get through the gates.  I asked a local fan and he said it's this way every game day.  When everyone wants to arrive at the same time, it's going to cause a backup.  With our setup, it's inevitable.  As fans, we can help by arriving earlier and enjoying the pre-game activities.

2.  Hub Club and Suite level experience.  I don't know how you drop the ball on this one.  How hard is it to keep the bathrooms stocked and ensure that a relatively small subset of the fanbase have an experience commensurate with the expense.  Easy fix.

3.  Mow the grass.  Really?  Another swing and miss.  Not sure if this is an AD responsibility or something facilities is supposed to take care of, but how about running through a simple checklist of things that need to be done before game day.

4.  Video board.  I don't even know how that happens.  I mean really.  Instead of telling us you will make updates, how about filling us in on a root cause analysis.  Instead of continuing to display obviously incorrect data and embarrassing ourselves, either turn it off or display a default splash screen with our logo or something.  If you don't have a backup plan if/when it fails again, I recommend making one.

5.  Store merchandise.  No real message here..."as inventory becomes available."  When is that expected?  Could be this week or could be at the end of the season.   

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6 hours ago, Moobs said:

Blah, blah, blah… 

Most of this could/should have been anticipated before hand. “Why wasn’t it?” is my question. 

Most of this stuff wasn’t an issue in the past, so why did they drop the ball to make it an issue now?   
 

I still like WB a lot (like a lot, a lot), but his luster is beginning to wear off with me. He’s been great for all sports except the biggest one that I care the most about and it’s starting to show on and off the field now. Hope he can turn this ship around. 

Exactly where I'm at. 

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1 hour ago, keith said:

Reading through the letter it boils down to:

1.  Better parking experience.  I don't think I've ever been to a significant sporting event where the parking experience was good.  I attended the Dallas/Washington game in DC last year with my daughter and it was a disaster.  We allocated 3 hours before game time to get to our seats.  At one point we moved no more than 40 feet in an hour.  When we finally did park, it was another 45 minutes to get through the gates.  I asked a local fan and he said it's this way every game day.  When everyone wants to arrive at the same time, it's going to cause a backup.  With our setup, it's inevitable.  As fans, we can help by arriving earlier and enjoying the pre-game activities.

2.  Hub Club and Suite level experience.  I don't know how you drop the ball on this one.  How hard is it to keep the bathrooms stocked and ensure that a relatively small subset of the fanbase have an experience commensurate with the expense.  Easy fix.

3.  Mow the grass.  Really?  Another swing and miss.  Not sure if this is an AD responsibility or something facilities is supposed to take care of, but how about running through a simple checklist of things that need to be done before game day.

4.  Video board.  I don't even know how that happens.  I mean really.  Instead of telling us you will make updates, how about filling us in on a root cause analysis.  Instead of continuing to display obviously incorrect data and embarrassing ourselves, either turn it off or display a default splash screen with our logo or something.  If you don't have a backup plan if/when it fails again, I recommend making one.

5.  Store merchandise.  No real message here..."as inventory becomes available."  When is that expected?  Could be this week or could be at the end of the season.   

Well said.

IMHO, the only one that should/could have been an issue is #5.  The other four issues should have been planned out in advance.  They have had all summer to prepare.  They dropped a big 💩.

The merchandise issue I can see because I have run into this issue trying to secure merchandise for events and the facility I manage.  There are limited options out there.  My question would be, why does a store like Rally House have such a large selection?  Get them in there to run the store.  Voertman's isn't going to cut it.

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3 hours ago, tmjerm said:

Every athletic department in the country uses contractors for gameday.

But you still need to have agreement and controls in place. There should be clear conditions lined out in the agreement. You can outsource all you want, but come gametime "they" represent UNT

 

30 minutes ago, TheColonyEagle said:

He not only addressed the issues and took ownership but he laid out what he is specifically going to do about it. 
 

well done. 

He took "paper" ownership and that's all he can actually do at this time. It does not mean everything will be corrected this week, but there should be measurable improvements for each event. Time will tell show if he is serious.

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Well.

Well, "it's not their first rodeo" may seem like an over simplification but it's not their first rodeo. You only have one chance to make a good first impression and I don't care home much WB tries to sugarcoat shit the debacle [both on and off the field] Saturday reflects poorly upon his department.

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1 hour ago, UNTLifer said:

Well said.

IMHO, the only one that should/could have been an issue is #5.  The other four issues should have been planned out in advance.  They have had all summer to prepare.  They dropped a big 💩.

The merchandise issue I can see because I have run into this issue trying to secure merchandise for events and the facility I manage.  There are limited options out there.  My question would be, why does a store like Rally House have such a large selection?  Get them in there to run the store.  Voertman's isn't going to cut it.

I get #5 being an issue last year, but there's no excuse for how poorly it was stocked on Saturday. Hardly any kelly green apparel, low end Nike polos and hoodies, and tiny hat selection. I'm guessing Voertman's was awarded the contract late in the game and simply wasn't prepared to deliver. At this point, don't expect much improvement. Maybe they'll get their shit together next year...

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