After long lines marred a soccer game between the USA and Guatemala earlier this month, operators of the Nissan Stadium – home to the NFL’s Tennessee Titans – have pledged measures to improve the venue’s entry process.
As reported by John Glennon at The Tennessean, the Titans’ head of facilities and game-day operations, Bob Flynn, detailed plans to increase the number of entries through the stadium’s gates and to ramp up numbers of security personnel working on the gates.
“We’re upgrading everything we can – instead of 90 (entries), we’re going to try to push it to 115 or 120,” Flynn said. “We’re going to have more of those open than we’ve ever had open.
“We still only have 10 gates. I can’t create 12 gates, but we’re having more chutes to get through there, which means there will be more wanders and scanners there as well.”
Long lines at the stadium entry, concession queues and bag reclaim had drawn significant criticism for the event, which attracted a crowd of 44,853 to the game on July 3.
“From the standpoint of 45,000 soccer fans in here – which is 16,000 more than we’ve ever had – it was a great night,” Flynn said. “And US soccer wants to come back here again, which is a good thing.
“But from my standpoint, I left not feeling good about it because I saw the lines. It’s not what we wanted. I wanted people to come in here, to cheer on the game and enjoy the night and not walk away saying, ‘Hey, that was a great night, but the lines were terrible’.”
Flynn went on to explain that a major contributing factor to the concession-stand lines was that a significant number of contracted workers – approximately 100 of 300 hired for Aramark, the stadium’s concessionaire company – did not show up to work that night as expected.
“It’s a killer when you have a third of your prospective staff not make it,” Flynn said. “That’s what resulted in all the lines. That’s your result. Instead of being fully staffed at all your concession stands, we weren’t and it was not a good experience for our guests.”
Flynn said the Titans have no plans to cut ties with Aramark, which became the organization’s official food-and-beverage concessionaire in April of 2014.
“We have confidence in them,” Flynn said. “They did a good job at the CMAs and at the Rolling Stones. We didn’t have any issues there. So we believe it just didn’t work [at the soccer game]. But we have confidence they’re going to get it right.
“I don’t want you to think we’re taking it lightly, though, that it didn’t work on one night. Because we want every night to be the right night.”