Some Disney magic might do Texas some good

Posted January 29th, 2014


Based on Texas athletic director Steve Patterson’s ambitious agenda items, it appears we will finally get an answer to one of the biggest questions regarding Texas athletics:

Is Godzillatron too loud?

If the athletic department received a dollar for every complaint its received about the Royal-Memorial Stadium speakers being too loud, then Texas would have absolutely no problem reaching Patterson’s desired goal of $200 million in annual revenue.


That’s why hiring the Disney Institute to come in and look around the Texas athletic department facilities makes for a brilliant idea.

Anyone who has ever been to a Disney theme park can attest the place is usually spotless. Why is that? The Disney Institute believes you actually should measure the total amount of steps between trash cans. There’s a trash can every 27 paces.

I was fortunate enough to sit in on some presentations by the Disney Institute over the last few years. Everything they do is viewed through the eyes of the customer.

Take parking, for example. As one presenter said, “It’s been a long day, Mom and Dad are tired, the kids are tired, everyone is mad at each other. And then, you go out to the parking lot and…you forgot where you parked the car.

“Now, this isn’t our problem, but it’s suddenly become our problem,” the Disney presenter said.

Disney’s approach was to turn the parking lot into a grid. When you arrive at the park, you are told where to park and they mark the cars off the grid as the lot fills up. They jot down which row was filled by what time.

So instead of having to remember whether you parked in the Donald Duck lot or the Goofy lot, they know if you arrived at the park around 10:30 a.m., they can guide you to the general area where your car should be.

Also, they stress employees should never point at things with an extended index finger.

For example, if someone asks where are the restrooms, the person opens their arm and uses the index and middle finger connected to show the way. A single index finger point is considered rude, the Institute believes.

Every school official wants their fans to have an incredible experience at their event. Texas football games should be no different.

It’ll be interesting to see what sort of changes are made at Royal-Memorial Stadium and the Erwin Center as Patterson gets more comfortable asserting himself.

Maybe, for some of you, the music may finally get turned down. If new coach Charlie Strong can improve the team’s on-field product, it might be worth cranking up the noise full blast.

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