Fans who come into Autzen Stadium this year will certainly notice the changes made to the football program — namely new head coach Mark Helfrich — but they’ll also notice a slight difference when they get to their seats. On Friday, some new rules were put in place that expanded the limited dimensions for stadium seats, stadium chairs, and any seat cushions brought in by fans.
The new rules require that seats be no more than 17.5 inches wide and 13.5 inches deep. The originally proposed dimension for seat width was 17 inches, so the new rule in this area is only minor. However, the initial dimension for seat depth was 10 inches, which, of course, was 3.5 inches less than the new depth limit.
Senior Associate Athletic Director Craig Pintens told the Emerald that the new seat adjustments were almost entirely based on input from fans.
“Fan experience is very important to us,” Pintens said. “It was a direct result of fan feedback that we instituted the new rules.”
Pintens added that when the seat dimension issues were being discussed, fans were clamoring for one thing, in particular, more than the others.
“The width of seats was very important to them,” he said, “but depth was the biggest issue according to multiple fans we received feedback from.”
The cushion limitations were especially important to the University because of fan issues in the past. Several people with seats on Autzen’s long benches would bring in cushions that were larger than the spaces designated for individual people. While fans might be disappointed that they can’t bring extra-large seat cushions, the new rules will at least give them a little more space than they’ve ever had before.