Kelly/Shorts Stadium will have a new look in 2014 as Central Michigan rotates the student section and team benches.
Students will now cheer from the east side of the stadium, behind the Chippewas bench. Previously located from section L to U, the student section will now run from section U to AA with the band remaining in section V.
“We were ready to do it,” said Director of Athletics Dave Heeke. “We regularly talk about adjustments to our stadium and it falls in line with our natural ticket renewal process and needed to decide what our stadium configuration would be so we could market different kinds of ticket packages.”
The east side was home to the students and team for more than 30 years before making the transition in 2004.
It also means the students will now be on the opposite end of the press box, so when CMU is featured on TV or online, the cameras wont see the visiting section and general admission. Instead, it’ll see the students and band who are most involved in the games.
Sections L to T will now be dedicated to general admission seats and visiting fans, while season ticket holders will not be affected.
“The location of students on the east side has been a long tradition here,” Heeke said. “It will help the energy and atmosphere in the stadium, but also provide a television audience with a look at the tremendous support our students give our program.”
The move will also give the students a better look at the action, unlike in recent years when action was in front of the students for only half the game.
“We’ve given premium seating to our most loyal fans,” Heeke said. “Our students are No. 1 and then our season ticket holders. We’ll offer some special packages for those end zone seats.”
The Chippewas will be hosting six home games in 2014 against Syracuse, UT-Chattanooga, Ball State, Miami (Ohio), Ohio and instate-rival Western Michigan.