Last Saturday's inaugural game at Bright House Networks Stadium should have been a banner day for University of Central Florida and its fans. The stadium ran out of water. Not on the field, but in the stands.
UCF is admitting it made a big mistake for its first game in its new home; not enough water. Concession stands ran out during Saturday's inaugural game and the stadium wasn't built with any water fountains.More than 45,000 fans braved the 97-degree heat to see UCF barely lose to Texas, and had to do so without water. "Security precautions," otherwise known as the desire to make more money prohibited fans from bringing in their own water, and those that were lucky enough were able to buy $3 bottles. What about water fountains, you say? That would be a no-brainer, right?
Officials said next week's game would be different and that they would triple the amount of water available to fans. They said they never want to see the same situation happen again.
Bright House Networks Stadium was built with zero drinking fountains. The university took them out of the plan to keep the project under budget. The Citrus Bowl, UCF's former home, had 23 drinking fountains.
That didn't make the fans feel any better, though. Over a dozen people suffered heat exhaustion, and people were drinking from the bathroom faucets by the end of the game. It sounds more like a scene from Children Of Men than a college football game.
To apologize to the fans, UCF will hand out a bottle of water to each person attending this week's game against Memphis. But be warned, this charity will be limited to this game only. Then it's back to $3 water.