SI: Unexcused Absence: Why Is College Football Attendance Tanking?

MaxyJR1

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IMO the #1 issue is the expansion of the conferences. It created more non rivalry games that are not worth the price and further travel for away fans.

People want to attend the opener, the big rivals, and the best opponent games. The rest of the games don't have the same feeling.
 

MaxyJR1

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It's been hashed many times but the moment the guy with the red hat was allowed to make a 2 hour event last 3.5 hours, that was it. There is only so much that one can do to occupy themselves during the extra 90 minutes that television has dragged out.

To compete, then the LIVE experience has to offer something that can't be captured on television.
1. Tailgating
2. College party atmosphere
3. In game entertainment during the commercial breaks
#1 is competitive games. A high % of College games are over by halftime. In the NFL any team can be beat on any week. Until the P5 programs break off and create a 64 team league this will continue.
 

Ron Johnson Super Fan

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Too expensive
Too many TV timeouts
Ridiculously difficult to physically get into the venues
Too many other things to do on a fall Saturday
It’s ridiculously difficult physically to climb Mount Everest. Getting physically into the stadium I would rate as something closer to inconvenient.
 

Plato

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If you really want to see the game TV is the way to go. If you want the experience of being present go to the game.
The TV time outs are maddening enough at home but excruciating sitting in the cold with the sun setting.
 

BilldGopher

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It's been hashed many times but the moment the guy with the red hat was allowed to make a 2 hour event last 3.5 hours, that was it. There is only so much that one can do to occupy themselves during the extra 90 minutes that television has dragged out.
The first thing I do at the end of a series is to see whether Red Hat Guy let's them play or not. Only anecdotal but it seems to me that TV is letting the game progress one or two times more a game than a few years ago.

Fact is though there is no flow to a game any more. Because Minnesota has been mostly a ball control offense since Mase (can't really count the lost years in this), if there's no injury or spearing call (on the other guys) we do as fans get to enjoy 6-8 minute stretches of football that a lot of teams don't produce.

Back to the article it was really focused on the kids, which was fine. Most interesting nugget to me was the role cupcake games, and/or just dominant programs, with the accompanying W is potentially a detractor to the newer generation (and maybe the Boomers too). Of course the cupcake Ws are needed to make it into the bowl season. Maybe de-emphasize total wins and just focus on conference victories or "quality" victories in the future to get more "competitive" games on the field?
 

BroncoRedux

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There is much more going on at the stadium than the football game. I so enjoy the band, the cheer squad, the camaraderie of the fans, etc. You cannot duplicate that with the big screen. In fact, did you know that the U's band were at the Outback Bowl? I guess you caught a glimpse on television, I'm not sure?
 

BilldGopher

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There is much more going on at the stadium than the football game. I so enjoy the band, the cheer squad, the camaraderie of the fans, etc. You cannot duplicate that with the big screen. In fact, did you know that the U's band were at the Outback Bowl? I guess you caught a glimpse on television, I'm not sure?
The main camera setup for most of the bowl shots, plus where the sound mic was located, was directly over and behind us in the south-western end zone...which was where the Band was located too. Auburn's band was directly across the field and was an easy pic. This greatly affected what showed up on TV.

What this meant at the game itself for us is that we could hear them very well but our band was muted. I'm assuming that the converse was mostly the same for them...they could hear our band well and their's not so well. I do believe though they were higher in the stands that the Gophers were, so that probably made them a little easier to hear on the east sideline where Auburn was located. I'm also guessing the Gopher fans along the rest of the west sideline sections could hear the Maroon and Gold just fine too.
 

Whytetale

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Security at Raymond James for the Outback was pretty smooth for me. All I had to do was just have my cell phone out.
 

Some guy

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I
Attendance is dropping in almost all sports. Gameday experience has gotten too expensive and the tv viewing experience has gotten very good. I think we will see a plateau or even a drop in ticket prices over the next few years.
i also could see a drop.
As ticket revenue becomes a smaller percentage of the revenue pie the immeasurable value of a full stadium for slightly less profit is at some point more valuable because of the intangibles of apparel, excitement, and free publicity from having a full stadium on TV

50k at 40 bucks is 2 million
30K at 83 bucks is 2.5 million

but is the extra 500k worth it to have an empty stadium when you collected 40 million in TVrevenue? How much money do you leave when nobody is at the game that you can’t measure?
 

MplsGopher

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Plus more people is more parking and more concessions/alcohol sales.

The frustrating thing on those two is that I think the U of Minn gets to "see" that increased revenue, but the U athletic department's books are shielded from it, because those operations fall outside their purview. Could be wrong there, but would like to know the correct answer.
 

50PoundHead

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It is easier and easier to watch the games on TV (better equipment, clear picture, bigger screens, agreeable kickoff times, complimentary internet information, massively long breaks to get food, etc. etc.)

Meanwhile, it is harder and harder to enjoy a game in person (increased security hassles, game times not announced until a week ahead of time, uncomfortable required time outs with the red hat guy, sky high ticket prices, High concession prices for low quality food, limited replay info in stadium, poor wifi in many stadiums, inconvenient game times, etc. etc.)

With all this happening at the same time, there are questions why attendance is declining nationwide?
You forgot to mention too many fans standing up the whole game! And while you're at it, get off my lawn!
 

RodentRampage

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TV is a factor, and the game is getting more expensive, getting out of reach for a lot of people.
 

PMWinSTP

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Too expensive
Too many TV timeouts
Ridiculously difficult to physically get into the venues
Too many other things to do on a fall Saturday
It's my favorite thing to do on a Fall Saturday. Posted many times that the experience is what you make of it. Been to every game at the Bank and can count on one hand the times I didn't get into the stadium and to my seats. While I get to the stadium well before kickoff, I generally don't head in early unless there is a reason to do so.
 

GoGophersUMN

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If they keep prioritizing TV over the game in the stadium, people are going to keep watching on TV over going to the stadium. I assume the NCAA and most teams know that and have made a calculated decision.

I do greatly prefer being at the game and haven't missed a home game in 5 years but when the stadium holds 50k you need more people to prefer the stadium experience. Right now they're more focused on milking every last cent out of the people in the stadium than getting new people into the stadium.
 

MNVCGUY

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TV is a factor, and the game is getting more expensive, getting out of reach for a lot of people.
I love going to games but the simple reality is that it has gotten way to expensive to go to sporting events for a lot of families. We go to a few events a year because that is all we can afford to do as a family of 5.
 

salzie

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Plus more people is more parking and more concessions/alcohol sales.

The frustrating thing on those two is that I think the U of Minn gets to "see" that increased revenue, but the U athletic department's books are shielded from it, because those operations fall outside their purview. Could be wrong there, but would like to know the correct answer.
Parking is separate, not sure on concessions
 

FredCoxRocks

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Well, all of this talk should put the stadium expansion thread to rest.
I am torn. During some games I've attended I have said I wished I had just stayed home and watched. But then when I watch at home I say "dang, I wish I would have gone to the game". I am wishy-washy that way.
As a commenter posted earlier, if more and more games are like the PSU game, the fans will show. I wasn't there but heard from a lot of people who were and they said it was the best experience they had for Gopher football. For some it was there first time at TCF and said they want to go back as soon as they can.
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

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Well, all of this talk should put the stadium expansion thread to rest.
I am torn. During some games I've attended I have said I wished I had just stayed home and watched. But then when I watch at home I say "dang, I wish I would have gone to the game". I am wishy-washy that way.
As a commenter posted earlier, if more and more games are like the PSU game, the fans will show. I wasn't there but heard from a lot of people who were and they said it was the best experience they had for Gopher football. For some it was there first time at TCF and said they want to go back as soon as they can.

Some of my excitement was largely due to that, put on a show folks won't forget, and they'll come back. If we lost, not sure those folks come back anytime soon.
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

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I remember when this trend seemed to be creeping up, first on schools that weren't all that great but still drew fans were trending down.

You had fans of successful teams all "oh man fair weather fans" ... and these days we get a Saban 'rant' every year about attendance ....
 
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