A Closer Look at the Gopher Attendance

Gold Rush

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2018
New Mexico St. --- 41,291
Fresno St. --- 38,280
Miami (OH) --- 41,162
Iowa --- 48,199
Indiana --- 33,273
Purdue --- 31,068
Northwestern --- 32,134
TOTALS --- 265,407

2019
South Dakota St. -- 49,112
Georgia Southern - 41,021
Illinois -- 39,341
Nebraska -- 43,502
Maryland -- 44,715
Penn St. -- 51,883
Wisconsin -- 53,756
TOTALS -- 323,330

OK - these are just attendances posted on the game and I am not sure what the unpaid vs. paid attendances were but this gives you a rough idea over the last two years what the attendance was at TCF for the Gopher games.

The total attendance for 7 games in 2019 was 323,330 a 21.8 per cent increase over the previous year or an average of 8,274 per game. This was due primarily to the team's increased performance that increased the attendance, primarily toward the end of the year, but there are a few other factors. The first game vs. SDSU was a nice crowd of 49,112 but this was at least partially due to a nice crowd brought in by the opponents that boosted the totals. Georgia Southern also slightly higher than game 2 of 2018 but then you get a dip on the game 3, vs. Illinois. This is probably when fan interest was at the low ebb, after three closer than expected non-conference games. You get a little boost for the Nebraska game, probably due to the Husker fans travelling in pretty good numbers but then a funny thing happens. The Gophers are undefeated and fans start coming in. You get a bump up for Maryland and most of those extra fans are Gopher fans as Maryland doesn't bring in nearly as many fans. Then BAM - you get the two really nice crowds at the end.

This was a nice little bump in attendance, no doubt about it but the ticket office needs to put the pedal to the metal and come up with some nice package deals to keep the fans coming back. I thought with the nice victories over Wisconsin and Georgia Tech in the bowl game that we had a little buzz going into this year and you can see in the first two games we got a little bump, but not nearly as much as I had hoped. Winning is probably the best way to increase the fan base and get people excited to go to the games but hopefully we can keep this going and get even more fans in the seats for next year. These games are a lot more fun when we get a packed house filled with Gopher fans!!
 
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Jeshurun

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Lets say the average ticket price is $50 (seems low, but go with it)

Ticket revenue went up $2,896,150. PJ got a $1 million raise, his assistants got a $1 million raise and we're up $896,150. GIVE IT TO PJ!
Slush fund so our coaches don't have to return rental cars with a full tank on recruiting visits.
 

Panthadad2

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Having SDSU, Nebraska, Penn State and Wisconsin all at home really helped. I wouldn't be surprised if next year slips a bit with the only marquee games being Iowa and Michigan.
 

salzie

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2018
New Mexico St. --- 41,291
Fresno St. --- 38,280
Miami (OH) --- 41,162
Iowa --- 48,199
Indiana --- 33,273
Purdue --- 31,068
Northwestern --- 32,134
TOTALS --- 265,407

2019
South Dakota St. -- 49,112
Georgia Southern - 41,021
Illinois -- 39,341
Nebraska -- 43,502
Maryland -- 44,715
Penn St. -- 51,883
Wisconsin -- 53,756
TOTALS -- 323,330

OK - these are just attendances posted on the game and I am not sure what the unpaid vs. paid attendances were but this gives you a rough idea over the last two years what the attendance was at TCF for the Gopher games.

The total attendance for 7 games in 2019 was 323,330 a 21.8 per cent increase over the previous year or an average of 8,274 per game. This was due primarily to the team's increased performance that increased the attendance, primarily toward the end of the year, but there are a few other factors. The first game vs. SDSU was a nice crowd of 49,112 but this was at least partially due to a nice crowd brought in by the opponents that boosted the totals. Georgia Southern also slightly higher than game 2 of 2018 but then you get a dip on the game 3, vs. Illinois. This is probably when fan interest was at the low ebb, after three closer than expected non-conference games. You get a little boost for the Nebraska game, probably due to the Husker fans travelling in pretty good numbers but then a funny thing happens. The Gophers are undefeated and fans start coming in. You get a bump up for Maryland and most of those extra fans are Gopher fans as Maryland doesn't bring in nearly as many fans. Then BAM - you get the two really nice crowds at the end.

This was a nice little bump in attendance, no doubt about it but the ticket office needs to put the pedal to the metal and come up with some nice package deals to keep the fans coming back. I thought with the nice victories over Wisconsin and Georgia Tech in the bowl game that we had a little buzz going into this year and you can see in the first two games we got a little bump, but not nearly as much as I had hoped. Winning is probably the best way to increase the fan base and get people excited to go to the games but hopefully we can keep this going and get even more fans in the seats for next year. These games are a lot more fun when we get a packed house filled with Gopher fans!!
I believe you're using paid tickets

The Purdue game last year was under 20K in seats.
 

short ornery norwegian

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I would much rather see the actual turnstile count. If Joe Businessman has 4 season tickets, throws them in a desk drawer, and no one uses them, those seats are counted as "tickets sold." but there is no one sitting in that seat on game day.

yes, attendance appears to be up. Next challenge is to sell out every conference game. then, sell out the non-conference games. then, build up a waiting list for season tickets. Make every home game feel like PSU or WI. (in terms of fan excitement). that is the ultimate goal. this season was one step closer to that goal.
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

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I would much rather see the actual turnstile count. If Joe Businessman has 4 season tickets, throws them in a desk drawer, and no one uses them, those seats are counted as "tickets sold." but there is no one sitting in that seat on game day.

yes, attendance appears to be up. Next challenge is to sell out every conference game. then, sell out the non-conference games. then, build up a waiting list for season tickets. Make every home game feel like PSU or WI. (in terms of fan excitement). that is the ultimate goal. this season was one step closer to that goal.
Some folks .... not saying who would do such a thing ... get all their tickets scanned anyway ;)
 

Gold Rush

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Well - let's just take this as a step in the right direction. I think in the past we have relied on the opposing team's fanbase to bring in a good crowd, but this last year starting with the Maryland game or so the Gopher attendance started to come around nicely - and a lot of this was Gopher fans, too. Hopefully, a lot of people had fun and want to go back again next year!
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

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Well - let's just take this as a step in the right direction. I think in the past we have relied on the opposing team's fanbase to bring in a good crowd, but this last year starting with the Maryland game or so the Gopher attendance started to come around nicely - and a lot of this was Gopher fans, too. Hopefully, a lot of people had fun and want to go back again next year!
A NYD bowl game win would IMO be pretty huge in that regard.
 

Plato

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Atmosphere and home game advantage depend on butts in the seats.
NE uses the attendance to falsely flaunt a consecutive full stadium record let us not do the same to falsely boost butts in the seats. That is the true determinant of fan enthusiasm.
 

Schnauzer

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I think they screwed up the turnstile count enough (at least in the last two games) to make it a bit irrelevant. Hordes of people walking through without getting tickets scanned. I saw it with my own eyes, and assume this wasn't just happening at my usual gate.

A couple thoughts regarding attendance: I have long thought that the Metrodome messed up the way a lot of Minnesotans look at attending football games. The lack of tailgating and the warm dry dome created a "normal" where people show up just in time for kickoff and leave in time to beat the traffic, regardless of score. Through the first 9 seasons in TCF, I found that there were a lot of no shows when the weather wasn't perfect. This reached its peak last season. These last two games this season, with packed houses during a chilly day and then a downright awful weather game may have taught people that they can indeed dress appropriately for fall weather in Minnesota AND attend an outdoor sporting event. Very few people left early. We'll see if these last two games finally break the Metrodome habits.

There is still work to be done regarding pregame atmosphere. I often have looked at area maps and the only option I see to add a very large first-come-first-served tailgate lot would be doing something with the grain elevators NE of the Stadium. I think the U needs to get away from trying to offer something similar to Viking football. It won't work. Instead, highlight what is DIFFERENT about college football and a TCF Bank Stadium experience. Lots of local bars within walking distance. Not enough, but more tailgating than what the Metrodome can offer. Etc. These are the things that reduce the need to win every game to keep people coming back.

It was nice to see the attendance spike at the end of the season. The Wisconsin game showed a lot of people that season tickets might not be such a bad idea when they can be had for a price that is the same that they payed for only one game, in a blizzard. The Penn State and Wisconsin games (especially Wisconsin) showed the public as well as the students that perhaps they can't count on a cheap seat being available should they decide to go with 24 hour notice. It might also push the 700 or so e-ticket holders to step up to season tickets. It will be very interesting to see how big the movement is in season ticket sales.
 

Plato

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The Aministration should just walk the blocks around the WI stadium a few hours before kickoff to see how every open space is used to party. The City of Madison and the city police seem to make an effort to encourage this atmosphere which carries over into the stadium.
I have been to Madison for every MN game since the early 90s until they were held over Thanksgiving and I have never been accosted or abused in any way, to the contrary.
It may well be as a relative of my wife's whose lake cabin is in WI said to me that folks in WI just have more fun. And that feeling may never be duplicated at the U football games.
 

Panthadad2

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The Aministration should just walk the blocks around the WI stadium a few hours before kickoff to see how every open space is used to party. The City of Madison and the city police seem to make an effort to encourage this atmosphere which carries over into the stadium.
I have been to Madison for every MN game since the early 90s until they were held over Thanksgiving and I have never been accosted or abused in any way, to the contrary.
It may well be as a relative of my wife's whose lake cabin is in WI said to me that folks in WI just have more fun. And that feeling may never be duplicated at the U football games.
Tailgaiting was very good this year at several lots around the stadium especially later in the season. All you had to do was walk around. The frats and sororieties were going at it hard early on too. It was nuts the past two games.
 

BilldGopher

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If a way can be figured out for Minneapolis to benefit then at least they'd be neutral to a more robust tailgating environment.

Not sure what that would look like but AD Coyle and the Prez should be thinking about it.
 

GDMFT

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Atmosphere and home game advantage depend on butts in the seats.
NE uses the attendance to falsely flaunt a consecutive full stadium record let us not do the same to falsely boost butts in the seats. That is the true determinant of fan enthusiasm.
I found this article regarding Nebraska sell out streak. I knew they were not filling the stadium bit these numbers surprised me a little. Not sure if they are not scanning all tickets going through the hates or not.
 

Gold Rush

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A few things - granted you would much rather have the fans in the seats, but if we are just counting the paid attendance even with 70,000 more in paid attendance, at 50.00 a ticket that's a very nice extra 3.5 million in revenue for the year. Also, the attendance boost means more revenue for the U of M in parking, concessions and most likely things like athletic apparel as well. Then you get the intangibles like free advertising and more people interesting in attending the school in the future. And with the basketball and hockey team not doing so well with their attendance numbers, this year was a huge help for the entire athletic department.

This should not be seen as a once in a lifetime boost for the athletic department. The U really needs to work on sustaining this by coming up with good ideas to continue to keep the fans coming back. Granted, a lot of this will depend on PJ Fleck's ability to keep the success continuing on the football field, but since interest appears to be building, this should be a much easier task than years past. They need to work even harder to fill up the stadium with Gopher fans!!
 

Plato

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I found this article regarding Nebraska sell out streak. I knew they were not filling the stadium bit these numbers surprised me a little. Not sure if they are not scanning all tickets going through the hates or not.
If seats are not sold to the general public they are sold to rich boosters at a discount. They try to give them away or just throw them in a drawer. That is how NE keeps their "sold out" streak. It is pretty pathetic but they have little else going for them these days.
Remember the days when corporations would buy unsold Viking tickets so the games could be shown on TV?
 

dpodoll68

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Thanks for the thread on attendance. I was told that we'd have to "significantly" cut prices in order for the stadium to ever be full again. Please advise.
 
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