Zulgad: Gophers’ challenge is getting fans back into The Barn after miserable season

bga1

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Bingo! I've been preaching this for years. The acquisition costs to bring in a new season ticket holder, or bring back a former one, are so much more than keeping an existing one. And as has been discussed ad nauseam, the Gophers are the worst local sports team in town at marketing, season ticket holder treatment, etc. I buy a few single game tickets to Wolves and Twins game each year and the treatment and outreach I get from them blows away the Gophers and we've had tickets in our family since 1971. And the long-term Twins and Wolves season ticket holders that I know get treated like royalty.

My biggest worry, is what I've seen in this thread from Jamiche's post. It's the long-time season ticket holder, die-hard fan who reaches his/her tipping point. They say they aren't going to get season tickets next year, but will "buy a handful of single game tickets" - which they often do year one. But they realize watching games at home isn't as bad as they thought, they then fall to 2-3 single game ticket attendees the next year, and before you know it, a long time season ticket holder turns into a casual fan who attends a game or two a year if the schedule allows.

I've seen this happen to a good 8-10 people for Gopher football and basketball who I would describe as a "die-hard" Gopher fan (attends a road game, posts on GH, hates a rival, etc.) and after 2-3 years, they are only attending 1-2 football games and maybe 2-3 basketball games a year. These are fans that a few years prior planned their entire calendar around Gopher games.

A subtle drop in season tickets year over year isn't dramatic, but an aggregate drop over the years should have the U in "crisis mode" in an attempt to turn it around.

Go Gophers!!
The lure of staying home and just watching games on TV for free in a challenging economy is pretty strong for a lot of people. Parking is difficult at the U, the winter weather gets tough and the non-conference games are often lousy. Students don't have extra cash for the tickets- they are already borrowing to the hilt to go to school.

One prize you get for attending is being part of the spirit of the game if the crowd is good. So when the crowds start declining as the team is losing the atmosphere gets stale. We need a team that has a nice run in the tournament to revitalize things. The students have to be attracted back first and then the rest of the fan base. Bump tuition 25 bucks (no one would notice) and give each student 2 "free tickets"- one to a non-conference game and one to a Big Ten game. I'd love to see 4000-5000 students at each game.
 

nooram

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Tonight, Gopher VB match will have at least 5000 fans (starts at 7 pm). They should let those people into Williams after the match is done (hopefully, around 830 after a successful sweep). Might double our attendance for the evening.
 

jamiche

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I hope you don't think this is new. I picked random years skipping a few between season hoping to catch different coaches non-conference schedules,

2016-17 home game schedule: Lou-laff, U texas arlington, Mount St. Marry's, St. Johns, Arkansas, NJIT, Georgia southern, Northern Ill, Long Island U, Arkansas st
2008-09:Concordia, bowling green, Georgia st, Eastern washignton, North dakota st, virginia, Cornell, south dakota st, southeastern louisiana, High point
2000-01: North Carolina greensboro, georgia, Morris Brown, bethune Cookman, Louisiana Tech, Dartmouth, Centenary
1996-97: Steven F Austin, West virginia, St. Johns, Alabama st, Long Island U, Mercer.
1990-91: Robert morris, Augusta state, northern Ill, Santa Clara, Oregon State, Cincinati, Virginia(only ranked team I've found so far)
1986-87: Eastern Michigan, Austin Peay, whitchita st. tennesee tech, murray st.
1982-83: US international (before professional?), marquette, Indiana st(admittedly decent back then), montana state,
1978-79: Idaho, Loyola, southern florida, south carolina, houston, Georgia tech(before they joined the acc).

My point is we only play against 1 or 2 good named school per year. the difference is in the total number of games that are played. there are a lot more non conference games now than before. So while it seams like we had better home schedules before in reality we just had fewer games.
Of course it's not new. I was at most of those games. The difference is the cumulative effect of the losing, the athletic dept's disinterest in the fans, the inverse correlation of pricing to scheduling, huge TV's, watered down B1G, coaching discontinuity, more entertainment options, etc.

I look around the place and I see apathy. It doesn't have to be that way.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Holy Man

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The lure of staying home and just watching games on TV for free in a challenging economy is pretty strong for a lot of people. Parking is difficult at the U, the winter weather gets tough and the non-conference games are often lousy. Students don't have extra cash for the tickets- they are already borrowing to the hilt to go to school.

One prize you get for attending is being part of the spirit of the game if the crowd is good. So when the crowds start declining as the team is losing the atmosphere gets stale. We need a team that has a nice run in the tournament to revitalize things. The students have to be attracted back first and then the rest of the fan base. Bump tuition 25 bucks (no one would notice) and give each student 2 "free tickets"- one to a non-conference game and one to a Big Ten game. I'd love to see 4000-5000 students at each game.
I'm not sure "free" tickets would do the job, either. I know I haven't heard directly that price is a factor in student attendance. I think winning will make the difference, but I also think there is a major generational shift in attitude toward sports. I just don't see this generation being nearly as interested in games as a way to use valuable leisure time. In my day, I went to (and still do) games with people I wanted to socialize with and I like the game, thus giving me a patience level with bad basketball that exceeds the general population. There are fewer die hards now and the current crop of college kids have a boatload more entertainment options than we did, for good or ill. Winning will alleviate the short term problem, but I am not sure anything can change the downward trajectory of every game fans. There just aren't enough of us who love the game and the Gophers to keep it filled up through thick and thin.
 

Bad Gopher

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Per Chad:

During an otherwise mundane economics class Wednesday at the University of Minnesota, the school’s cheerleaders and marching band stormed in through the back door of the large lecture hall, pom-poms out and horns blaring.

Distracted, the few hundred students in the large classroom almost missed men’s basketball coach Richard Pitino and captain Jordan Murphy enter through the front doors.

The band played the school’s rouser, the cheerleaders danced and Pitino asked students to come see his team play.

http://www.twincities.com/2016/11/17/with-attendance-down-pitino-makes-personal-pitches-to-umn-students/

Go Gophers!!
I saw that after I'd posted. It's a good start!
 

A-Town Owl

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Another reason to come to tonight's game: there will be a number of 5 star recruits in attendance. Give them a reason to want to play for the U! Get the barn loud!

It's a Friday night, the opponent is decent, and the Gophers are undefeated. If you still don't want to check out the game, I don't know what to tell you.
 

BballJones

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Another reason to come to tonight's game: there will be a number of 5 star recruits in attendance. Give them a reason to want to play for the U! Get the barn loud!

It's a Friday night, the opponent is decent, and the Gophers are undefeated. If you still don't want to check out the game, I don't know what to tell you.
Who will be in attendance?

I will be there, but I'm like a 0.5 star. And that's on a good day.
 

Cayman

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Tre Jones, Matt Hurt, and Jalen Suggs.
Also 4 star 2019 PG Tyrell Terry, 2018 Jarvis Thomas who has a handful of high major offers, and some 2017 kid Jack Hutchison who looks like he's a mid or low major recruit.
 
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