Duck football fans who were feeling a little squeezed by new seat limitations at Autzen Stadium are getting a few inches of relief.
The final version of the new seat requirements, which went into effect Friday, states: “Stadium seats, stadium chairs or seat cushions brought by any person into any University (of Oregon) facility which serves as a site for intercollegiate athletic competition may not exceed the following dimensions: 17.5 inches wide by 13.5 inches deep, with a seat back height that does not exceed 19 inches. The seat cushion may not exceed 4 inches in height. The seat back cushion may not exceed 4 inches in depth.”
The new rules allow cushions that are 31/2 inches deeper and a half-inch wider than the initially proposed dimensions, which were 17 inches wide by 10 inches deep, with a seat back height of no more than 19 inches. The Register-Guard was unable to find any portable seat, chair or cushion that fit the initial proposal when it surveyed nine Eugene-Springfield stores with big sporting-goods departments in June, after the proposed change was announced.
Now that the official dimensions are deeper and wider, there are a few more options for seats that fans can bring into Autzen that fit the requirements, based on the earlier survey by The Register-Guard.
The new dimensions were determined largely based on input from fans, Senior Associate Athletic Director Craig Pintens said.
“We increased the dimensions slightly due to some fan feedback we received,” he said. “We felt we could adjust a little bit and still not affect the fans around them.”
The new rule aims to ensure unobstructed enjoyment of events and to keep the proper seating capacity, the university has said.
The UO said it needed to impose the limitations because fans were bringing in seats and cushions that took up more than the per-person space allotted on the long benches at Autzen.
Instead of bringing in their own seats or cushions, Duck fans also can rent a portable seat at Autzen on either a seasonal or game-by-game basis.
In 2012, fans spent hundreds of thousands of dollars renting seats from UO. A total of 9,210 people leased chair backs for the season from UO at a price of $35 each. Another 7,663 rented chair backs on a game-by-game basis, at $6 per game, for the season’s seven home games, according to UO procurement records.
The UO is hiking the season price to rent a portable seat to $50 for the coming season, but the game-by-game rental price will remain $6, according to the records.