First of all, congrats to the Bulldogs on their big 48-24 win over Idaho on Saturday. I think all Bulldog fans were excited about what they saw on the field and how the team represented the Central Valley.
Over the years, I think Pat Hill and the Fresno State Athletic Department have done a great job of elevating Fresno State Football to the national stage. “Anyone. Anywhere. Anytime.” That is how football should be played, in my opinion. But that’s a topic for another day. Despite catapulting the Bulldogs and the Red Wave onto the national radar, there is something the university could do to improve the overall fan experience and strengthen the football program’s identity within our community: away game viewing parties.
I love seeing how fans flock to their teams’ arenas to have massive viewing parties when their team is playing on the road; like during the NBA Finals. It’s magical that thousands of fans would crowd around arenas to cheer while watching their beloved team compete on huge video boards. These fans are highly invested in their team, and the team’s management has made it easy for the team to become part of the fans’ lifestyles.
I think that Fresno State puts on a good game day experience, but it can really take things to the next level by hosting large-scale Bulldog viewing parties when the team is on the road. Open up Bulldog Stadium complete with Bulldog Boulevard and concession stands, and invite fans to come watch away games on the video board. Or crack open the Save Mart Center and do the same thing. Free entry would be great, but fans would understand paying $2-$3 a head. The university could also relax the parking fees, or give part of the proceeds to a local charity.
Having Bulldog viewing parties will consistently make Fresno State Football accessible to all fans and strengthen the program’s identity within the community – combating that “fair-weather-itis” that typically hits us after losing a conference game. No more tracking down which restaurants and bars are showing the game. No more having to follow the score on the Internet. Nope! No more hassle. Everyone would know exactly where to go each week to see our boys in action.
Doesn’t it just make sense for the university to be doing this? Would you go to Bulldog viewing parties?