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Why Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns athletic director issued apology after win over Nicholls

Tim Buckley, The Advertiser, Sept. 12, 2021

Click here for game photo gallery.

UL athletic director Bryan Maggard issued an apology to Ragin’ Cajun fans for game-day experience issues – specifically concession stand problems – following Saturday night’s 27-24 win over Nicholls at Cajun Field.

A UL spokesman said Sunday that Maggard emailed the message to Ragin’ Cajuns Athletic Foundation (RCAF) members, season-ticket holders and members of the Young Ragin’ Cajuns Club.  

“Please know we are aware of the unacceptable inefficiencies within our concession services (Saturday) evening that included infrastructure issues which negatively impacted the speed of transactions, resulting in long lines and congestion causing fans to miss portions of the game,” Maggard wrote.

“Additionally, some patrons experienced menu item shortages that prevented them from purchasing products of choice. For this, we sincerely apologize, as that is not the level of experience our fans deserve, nor is it the experience we wish to provide.”

Some fans complained about waiting 20 to 45 minutes before being able to place food and beverage orders.

Other social media complaints included a much-too-loud public address blasting music and announcements that could be heard several city blocks away.

Fans answered Billy Napier’s call

Attendance for Saturday’s game, one of just three on a Saturday at home for UL this season, was an announced 25,147.

It was the largest crowd for a Cajuns home game since a 2018 season-opening win over Grambling.

Prior to the Nicholls game, UL coach Billy Napier made a public plea for fan support amid declining attendance since the Grambling game.

UL also announced general admission parking across the street from the stadium would be free – a direct response to fan complaints about parking fees in prior seasons.

Turnout appreciated

Afterward, Napier and Cajun players expressed gratitude for the turnout, including a higher-than-usual count of spectators in the student section of Cajun Field.

“I just want to tell the students and community how appreciative we are for showing up,” Napier said.

“The atmosphere, it was different,” added linebacker Kris Moncrief, who returned an interception 67 yards for a touchdown late in the third quarter. “It was special.”

Now the Cajuns hope the concession lines experience does not negatively impact attendance at Cajun Field, where UL plays host Thursday (7 p.m., ESPN) to Ohio of the MAC.  

“Rest assured we will be working diligently to resolve both the infrastructure and supply chain issues,” Maggard also said in his letter to spectators, “as your continued support and positive experience is of utmost importance to us.”