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Very interesting read here from CBSSports.com's Dennis Dodd.
Curious as to your thoughts ...
This post was edited by Gentry Estes on 1/22/2013 at 12:30 PM
In the era of HD TVs, smartphones and saturation coverage, schools find it hard to connect with fans. Dennis Dodd looks at ebbing attendance as schools and conferences hitch their financial wagons to TV contracts.
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Hollis blaming smart phones in the rain is a little silly (and by a little, I mean a lot). Technology as a whole, mainly entertainment systems at home, and the increase in ticket prices has a lot to do with it. If its nasty weather out, its not as enjoyable experience as staying home.
In terms of student section attendance, I'd venture to say that the crack down on 2nd hand market for student tickets has had a big effect in the last 5-10 years. Tickets are cheap so there is no real reason not to get them if they are available to you. Students then decide later if they want to go to the game or sell them. Students do also cram in to the lower section at 3 bottoms to 2 seats, leaving the upper section less filled.
In terms of bowl attendance, we often have better top to bottom matchups on a given saturday during the regular season than what we've been getting in the bowls of late. Start matching up the top teams against other top teams and you'll get some excitement. #4 vs unranked teams is a yawnfest.
Get rid of conference bowl tie ins and have some sort of draft. Would work great IMHO.
We're heading for an era of the have and have nots imo. The rich will continue to get richer while the middle and lower classes will struggle.
My guess is we'll see the NCAA restructure at some point and place teams in different tiers. Should Savannah St be competing with FSU? The answer is obvious yet more and more teams are making the leap into the top tier of college football and the quality of football, and attendance, has nothing to do with it. It's all about branding the University, increasing applicants to the school, and increasing corporate sponsorships. Check out the article from The New York Times if interested in reading more on the number of schools making this leap.
I thought several things in that article were "tailored", Mantei Te'o speak, to try and prove Dodd's point. Hollis' excuse that fans stayed away b/c they couldn't text is rich. The movie industry, a notorious anti-text industry, is projected to set a record with 10.8 billion in revenue in 2012. And to use Maryland as the poster program for declining attendance is really stretching things. Their record the past 4 years is 2-10, 9-4, 2-10, 4-8. And we're not talking about a football rich program here. How can anyone seriously use that program with their recent record as an example of college football's falling attendance.
Everyone knows the bowl system is an antiquated model. We now have what are in essence "bowl games" at the beginning of the season, during the middle of the season (Ga/Fla), and at the end of the season (Conference Championship Games). And the arrogance to say it's a reward for the players and fans is comical. Really, Vanderbilt is "rewarded" with back to back bowl games in their own city? You can put lipstick on a pig but it's still a pig. Throw in the 2 regular season games each school has added in the past decade, I remember when the Dawgs played a 10 game schedule, and you're really stretching the college fans buck. There's too many teams and too many games.
This post was edited by TwoDown71 on 1/22/2013 at 2:14 PM
UMass and a number of other institutions are taking the step up to big-time college football in the interest of national exposure, but there is concern that such a move will backfire.
I live in the Tampa Bay area and i have season tickets to go to the USF Bulls games in Raymond James Stadium. One thing I will do is give credit to the student section at their games. That section is typically at 80%+ attendance at every home game. Now the rest of the stadium is only 60% for a normal crowd.
Now one thing that must be taken into account has been the economy the last few years. More and more people have experienced loss of income, financial uncertainty, etc. That has a big impact on the attendance. Look at some of the pro sports and you can see their attendance in many areas is down. The Buccaneers only had 2 home games televised due to lack of ticket sales.
As for the bowl game tickets, I have gone to all UGA bowl games in the state of Florida the last 8 years. Not once did I buy my tickets from the school because I want to get the best seats possible. The schools ticket allotment is always in the corner and in the end zones. I want to sit on the side lines. So in order to sit there I buy my tickets from Stub Hub because the bowls sell those tickets to "members" ahead of time. Those people have typically no intentions of going to the games. They buy them to sell on sites like Stub Hub for a hefty profit. I would rather they give each school half the stadium and allow them to sell the tickets for fixed rates. I would rather give UGA $150 per ticket for an $85 face value than someone I do not know.
This post was edited by bassmaster67 on 1/22/2013 at 3:18 PM
The article shows the worst and best numbers for attendance. They should show the percentage of seats full! I would fair to say that most SEC teams have higher percentages of seats filled. I am hearing more fans are in support of College and high school sports. They actually like to see the players play full speed EVERY play! The game day experience is generally cheaper than at a pro game! Most fans are fickle....They dont want to go to games that are wet, to cold or to hot! The bowl games I have been to in warm places are usually well attended. The ones in cold areas are not.
I dont think technology is taken away from the attendance at college games.
It's a loaded question. Ask GT, Maryland, or Colorado fans if their excitement about their programs is high or low. Then ask any fan of an SEC team (even the Vandys, Ole Misses, and Kentuckys).
Most UGA fans should be responding that College Football hasn't peaked. Even when times were bad (6-7 season), fans were paying attention. Many complaining. Many trying to figure where things went wrong. Many looking at the building blocks to the future that were in place.
Is there a problem with attendance? In my opinion... not more than should be expected.
As has been pointed out, we now have big travel games at the beginning of the season, mid-season, and post-season. At least much more-so than 20 years ago.
As has been pointed out, it is a unique economy. Hard financial decisions have been made by almost every American household. And although budgets may have stabilized, spending has been much more responsible where one investment/purchase means that something else on the budget was cut.
Regarding student tickets... I have to admit that I was one of those bad students who bought tickets and would change my mind about attending because there might be a girl that might be at a party that I might get lucky with. It didn't take much to have me miss games in the late '90s. Warm Beer. Cold Women. Hangovers. Hard Rock. Is there a fix for that problem? I'm the wrong person to ask. I do like the idea of giving Freshmen a priority as it may invoke attendance as a priority in their weekly habits towards the future. Maybe, good attendance can be groomed.
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