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Fan conduct, team response commended in survey


CHARLOTTE - Game day around the NFL is a special time for football fans, and the Carolina Panthers are doing their part to keep fans safe and satisfied according to the results of a recent survey of fans.

The Panthers were among three teams cited in the survey as top-performing clubs, exceeding the NFL average in every key measure in the fan conduct report.

"Creating a fan-friendly and family-friendly stadium environment is very important to everyone in our organization," Bank of America Stadium operations manager Scott Paul said. "These results are a great tribute to our guest relations and security folks who work so hard to make a great game-day experience for our guests."

Ninety-one percent of those surveyed have a positive perception of fan behavior inside the stadium, and 90 percent feel the same about fan behavior outside the stadium on game day. When a fan-related issue does arise, 80 percent of those surveyed feel that the organization is proactive in its response, with 69 percent saying the response exceeded their expectations.

Key Fan Behavior Measures NFL Average Panthers
Awareness of Fan Code of Conduct 76% 82%
Perception of Fan Behavior OUTSIDE the Stadium 87% 90%
Perception of Fan Behavior INSIDE the Stadium 83% 91%
Team/Stadium Response OVERALL Perception 72% 78%
Team/Stadium Response Exceeded Expectations 44% 69%
Team/Stadium Response Proactive in Addressing Situations 67% 80%

"That tells me that everybody involved with the Panthers responds the best they can," said Lance Emory, the Panthers' new director of security. "That's important to me, that the fans feel like we're doing what we can to help maintain an atmosphere where they enjoy the game."

Keeping fans happy and out of harm's way is a team effort. Emory, who has an FBI background and has worked security for Super Bowls as well as recent games in London, is taking over as director of security for Gene Brown, who is retiring after holding the post for the entirety of the Panthers' existence.

They, along with security personnel and guest relations staff that total nearly 1,000 on game day, are a part of the Panthers' equation for success. The other constants in the Panthers' approach, according to Brown, are Panthers Owner/Founder Jerry Richardson and the Panthers' rabid but reasonable fan base.

"Most people don't know this, but Mr. Richardson was one of the driving forces behind the implementation of the NFL code of conduct," Brown said, referencing the fan code of conduct the NFL released in 2008 that individual teams tweak to suit their needs. "Mr. Richardson felt like there was a need across the league for that kind of code, and that plays into our program here.

"Plus, our fans are great. We haven't had as many challenges as some others have had."

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