A New Atmosphere in Sanford Stadium

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By Zack Sims

In February of 2014, the SEC changed a rule regarding playing music during games. The rule change allows SEC stadiums to play music through stadium speakers in between plays.

University of Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity told the Athens Banner Herald this was done to increase fan enthusiasm and enhance game atmosphere. Georgia fans got their first taste of this last Saturday as they watched Georgia beat Clemson 45­-21.

The addition of the music was quite noticeable as the traditional sounds of the band were sometimes replaced with more current songs blasting throughout Sanford Stadium. The effects of these songs were evident on the crowd.

“Whenever We Dem Boyz started playing the student section was getting really fired up and rowdy which doesn’t happen as much when the band plays,” said Sid Vaughn, a junior at UGA.

As the music played out of the stadium speakers, the crowd of over 92,000 could be seen singing and dancing to the songs. It seemed that McGarity’s goal for the new rule was accomplished during its first game in effect.

“It improved my overall game experience because it provided more entertainment than just the game,” said UGA senior Luke Baker. “You got to sing songs and dance with your closest friends which made the whole environment better for me.”

Although the music seemed to improve fan experience at the game, it still had to coincide with the traditions of the band. The Redcoats always play following a Bulldog touchdown or during a third ­down situation, and they did just that on Saturday.

“I thought the balance was really good,” said former Redcoat Jonathan Irby. “When we scored, the
the first thing we heard was “Glory.”

Even though the new rule takes away from the band’s playing time, band members still recognize the need for the stadium music, and enjoy what it does for the fans.

“Don’t get me wrong, we’ve got a few tunes or drum cadences that have significant crowd participation,” said Redcoat member Jonathan Ingram, “but most of the songs they played Saturday are popular hip­ hop songs that students and players know the lyrics to and I think they have a way better effect on the crowd than most of our marching tunes.”

In the next home game, Georgia will face Troy on September 20th at 12pm on the newly­ debut SEC Network.

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