Student section gives advantage at home

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    From goal line to goal line, TCU students will stand directly behind the football team’s opponent bench and boost Horned Frog spirit when the newly renovated Amon G. Carter Stadium opens its gates next fall.

    The ground-level student section, sections 120 through 128, will be located on the east side of the stadium, and although the student section was already located behind the opponents’ bench, the new section will be horizontal as opposed to vertical.

    “Basically, we were trying to create the best possible home-field advantage to help coach Patterson and the team,” Assistant Athletic Director for Ticket Operations Sean Conner said. “Coach Patterson, at his request, was wanting to try to help create that environment, so we’ve established a seating area for the students that goes from goal line to goal line.”

    The new section will create a “student-only area,” which was done to end complaints from other fans about students standing in their designated sections. But that would not be the only problem solved.

    Conner said complaints from students who were not able to view action on the field because of the accumulated crowd along the front were also addressed by the new seating arrangements.

    Those students standing in the front are oftentimes members of the  spirit organization HyperFrogs, a group that promotes crowd involvement by leading chants throughout the games.

    HyperFrogs president Chassity Peyton said she believed the new section would potentially help rally school spirit in general, as well as help the organization.

    “I would hope it would increase overall student spirit just because they know they’d be so close to the action and be motivated more to get to games and actually stay because they’re in such a good spot,” Peyton said. “It would really help HyperFrogs out, too, just expanding our group.”

    As TCU transitions into the Big 12 Conference, students have plenty to look forward to.

    Conner said facing tougher games and opponents would bring in more students who did not attend games in the past.

    The new section’s proximity to the opponents’ bench is also giving fuel to the fire of some Horned Frog fans.

    Freshman business major Jimmy Sweeney said he is known for wearing a green spandex body suit to major football games. He said he believed the new location would add to his already diligent taunting of opponents.

    “We try and have a lot of fun from where we already are, sort of poking fun at some of the players,” Sweeney said. “Having the opportunity to be even closer with probably more people trying to pile in there could be a lot of fun, and I think we could really have more of an effect on throwing off their concentration.”

    In the past, filling seats in the stadium has proven to be less of a problem than actually keeping them filled. Factors such as weather, a predictable outcome and even boredom have kept some students from staying the duration of the game.

    Junior sports broadcasting major Mike Buhtanic is also known for being concealed by a spandex body suit at football games. He said he hoped his peers would not only embrace the new stadium but also the bond that occured at the end of the games.

    “Everybody should stay for the whole game,” Buhtanic said. “There’s just no better feeling than at the end of the game when the players come up to the student section, and we sing the Alma Mater, and you sing the fight song and everything. It’s that camaraderie and that feeling of unity.”

    As for Conner, his advice to students was simple: “Arrive early, be loud and stay late.”