Florida A&M University saw an uptick in attendance during the past weekend’s homecoming game. The rattlers’ broke their season-long losing streak with a win over Delaware State.
Athletics Director Milton Overton wants the attendance to continue.
“Winning does help, but you have to be prepared and ready for success, and that’s what we’re doing, and that’s what Dr. Mangum is allowing us to do—be innovative and creative and do some things that are different," he said. " So, we’re ready to win and we’re going to win and so we have to be ready for that to take advantage of it.”
Getting more people into the stands and selling more tickets is critical for FAMU, whose athletics department is millions of dollars in the red. University officials credit the uptick to more alumni engagement—something FAMU President Elmira Mangum has been criticized for not encouraging. Twenty-two thousand people attended the Homecoming game, a level that hadn’t been hit in four years.
The university also unveiled new corporate partners in Capital City Hyundai and Ford.
This year's homecoming also marked the re-opening of a revamped FAMU Way. The thoroughfare runs parallel to Gaines Street and has been redesigned through a partnership between FAMU and the City of Tallahassee.
And city of Tallahassee spokeswoman Michelle Bono says phase II of the project is now underway:
“This is the first step, we’ve opened just the first part of FAMU Way. We’re going to working on this project through 2019. So those of you who are just starting at FAMU will be here to celebrate when we end, but it’s a great partnership," she said.
Once complete, the second half of the street will stretch from the intersection of Railroad and Whanish Way to Lake Bradford Road. FAMU Architecture students designed a gathering space under the overpass. The City also partnered with university professors to create an historic record of neighborhoods that boarder the school.