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Countdown to Kickoff (79): BYU’s next upgrade at LES? Seats, space and sound, please

We’ve got to bring our resources. I wanna play it ‘til the time comes. Forget your string of divorces. Just go and throw your little hands up.

Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE | Sep 23, 2011; Provo, UT, USA; General view of LaVell Edwards Stadium during the NCAA football game between the UCF Knights and the BYU Cougars.
Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE | Sep 23, 2011; Provo, UT, USA; General view of LaVell Edwards Stadium during the NCAA football game between the UCF Knights and the BYU Cougars.

Back in August when BYU announced that LaVell Edwards Stadium was to undergo some renovations for the upcoming season, I’m sure there were a few fans who started to daydream about what grand remodel was about to take place.

Are they going to install a larger video replay screen? Maybe they’re going to adjust the entry points to the stadium so that getting in and out is that much easier? Could they be filling in the corners???

Ultimately the renovation won’t quite as robust as we might have hoped but it’s still a significant improvement that will impact the game day experience as a whole. There will be more space and freedom to move about the stadium and more bathrooms, which is never a bad thing at a sports venue. When we consider that BYU is a school that is well known for pinching pennies, it’s good to see that they’re willing to spend a little money to make changes.

That said, there is a lot more that can be done to improve our trips to Provo. Fully recognizing that BYU probably isn’t ready to fully invest in a massive rebuilding or overhaul, we have three reasonable requests that won’t break the bank for Tom Holmoe and company.

SEATS

In the year 2019 when it is usually much more comfortable and convenient to stay at home and enjoy the game seated in a couch while watching an HD screen, it makes ZERO sense why someone would pay decent money for a seat at LES that’s on a bleacher. It might be difficult or costly to make this happen for the entire stadium, but it’s a no-brainer that BYU should make EVERY seat in the east and west stands a chair seat. The last couple of times that I attended a game it was split between chair seats and bleacher seats. While my happiness is almost always directly tied to the outcome of the game, my seat option would also impact my post-game mood. Will adding chairs to every seat in the east and west sides reduce attendance? Oh it most certainly will! Will that be a problem for a BYU team that hasn’t consistently sold out home games in years? Probably not! If a smaller attendance figure means more comfort at games, SIGN ME UP.

SPACE

This suggestion goes hand in hand with the seat request. While BYU is adding chairs to the east and west stands, they should remove a few rows of seating so that there are a couple of extra inches for each row. BYU did this exact exercise with the Marriott Center and it improved the experience tenfold. The last BYU game that I attended I remember vividly how laborious it was to get to my seat and then leave if I needed to go to the bathroom or get down the field level so I could give the refs a piece of my mind. It was painful trying to step over everyone and get to the aisle. It doesn’t need to be anything drastic, but a few extra inches would mean the world to me and my knees.

SOUND

I don’t know that I’ve ever been to a BYU game and thought, “Oh baby this sound system is bumpin!” Heck, I never even thought it was even half-way decent. As far as I can remember the sound system at LaVell Edwards Stadium felt like it was pieced together with used speakers and wiring recycled from old church buildings. Based on my experience, all of the sound gets blasted out by the scoreboards on the north and south end zones. If you’re sitting in those sections you probably will need to get a cochlear implant in the next few years. If you’re on the east or west stands, it feels like the sound is coming from all the way down in Emery County. It’s something small but it can have a huge impact on the feel and emotion of a game. Investing in a sound system the equally distributes the music and PA to all parts of the stadium would be a gift from heaven and would probably prevent players from saying that they prefer playing games on the road.