The University of Alabama is tracking how long students stay at its Crimson Tide American football games in an attempt to keep fans in their seats from kick-off until the final whistle, the New York Times reports.
Alabama football coach Nick Saban has long complained that the student section at Bryant-Denny Stadium empties early, in large part because the team is so dominant that the result is rarely in doubt by the time the fourth quarter begins.
Saban did so again last weekend following the team’s 62–10 blowout win over New Mexico State.
Alabama has reached the College Football Playoff championship game each of the last four years, winning the national title twice.
To address the early departures, the university is rewarding fans who stay until the end of regular-season games improved access to tickets to the SEC championship game and to the College Football Playoff semifinals and championship game.
To do this, Alabama is using location-tracking technology from the phones of students who download the Tide Loyalty Points app, which is designed by FanMaker. Fans earn 100 points for attending a home game and an additional 250 points for staying until the fourth quarter.
The initiative has had a mixed reaction. “I think it’s stupid,” one student told the New York Times. “[If] it’s 100 degrees and, personally, I don’t think it’s safe. I’m not sticking around just to get loyalty points.”