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College Football’s Growing Problem: Empty Seats
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Bearhawkeye Offline
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Post: #1
College Football’s Growing Problem: Empty Seats
From the WSJ

Quote:College Football’s Growing Problem: Empty Seats
Announced attendance dropped 3.2% in football’s top division last season, but schools’ ticket scans show even fewer fans in stands

By Rachel Bachman
Aug. 30, 2018 9:00 a.m. ET

When Minnesota hosted Nebraska at TCF Bank Stadium last year, the game featured charismatic new Golden Gophers coach P.J. Fleck, a home team fighting for a bowl berth and a big-name opponent. The announced attendance was 39,933—an OK crowd for a crisp November day in Minneapolis—but it didn’t tell the whole story.

Only 25,493 ticketed fans were counted at the gates, 36% lower than the announced attendance and about half of the stadium’s capacity. More than 14,000 people who bought tickets or got them free didn’t show up.

College football has an attendance problem. Average announced attendance in football’s top division dropped for the fourth consecutive year last year, declining 7.6% in four years. But schools’ internal records show that the sport’s attendance woes go far beyond that.

The average count of tickets scanned at home games—the number of fans who actually show up—is about 71% of the attendance you see in a box score, according to data from the 2017 season collected by The Wall Street Journal. In the Mid-American Conference, with less-prominent programs like Central Michigan and Toledo, teams’ scanned attendance numbers were 45% of announced attendance...
 
08-30-2018 02:25 PM
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RealDeal Offline
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RE: College Football’s Growing Problem: Empty Seats
I didn't realize anyone actually released their number of tickets scanned. I thought those were supposed to be top secret.

Honestly though with the advancement of technology the home experience has become so good it's hard to ask someone to spend a lot of money to see less of the game and have to wait for concessions/bathroom etc. To me it means a lot to be on campus and hear the fight song as the team runs out on the field but besides the 5 football and 10 basketball games I go to each year I don't have much desire to go somewhere as a casual fan.
 
08-30-2018 02:36 PM
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Bruce Monnin Offline
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RE: College Football’s Growing Problem: Empty Seats
Trend will continue as ticket prices stay high, television coverage gets better and better. Free, qualify wifi in stadiums might stem the tide a bit.
 
08-30-2018 03:15 PM
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marcuscan Offline
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RE: College Football’s Growing Problem: Empty Seats
Not CFB problem. It's a live sports, as a whole, problem.

Maaaaaybe MLS is the exception?




mc
 
08-30-2018 03:20 PM
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vabearcat Offline
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RE: College Football’s Growing Problem: Empty Seats
(08-30-2018 02:25 PM)Bearhawkeye Wrote:  From the WSJ

Quote:College Football’s Growing Problem: Empty Seats
Announced attendance dropped 3.2% in football’s top division last season, but schools’ ticket scans show even fewer fans in stands

By Rachel Bachman
Aug. 30, 2018 9:00 a.m. ET

When Minnesota hosted Nebraska at TCF Bank Stadium last year, the game featured charismatic new Golden Gophers coach P.J. Fleck, a home team fighting for a bowl berth and a big-name opponent. The announced attendance was 39,933—an OK crowd for a crisp November day in Minneapolis—but it didn’t tell the whole story.

Only 25,493 ticketed fans were counted at the gates, 36% lower than the announced attendance and about half of the stadium’s capacity. More than 14,000 people who bought tickets or got them free didn’t show up.

College football has an attendance problem. Average announced attendance in football’s top division dropped for the fourth consecutive year last year, declining 7.6% in four years. But schools’ internal records show that the sport’s attendance woes go far beyond that.

The average count of tickets scanned at home games—the number of fans who actually show up—is about 71% of the attendance you see in a box score, according to data from the 2017 season collected by The Wall Street Journal. In the Mid-American Conference, with less-prominent programs like Central Michigan and Toledo, teams’ scanned attendance numbers were 45% of announced attendance...

Actually, Toledo and Central Michigan are two of the "higher profile" programs in the MAC. Good thing they didn't show the attendance numbers of schools like Miami, Eastern Michigan and Kent State. Those are truly embarrassing.
 
(This post was last modified: 08-30-2018 03:40 PM by vabearcat.)
08-30-2018 03:39 PM
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geef Offline
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RE: College Football’s Growing Problem: Empty Seats
I expect to see a quickening trend of college football stadiums installing notches.
 
08-30-2018 03:51 PM
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Banter Offline
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RE: College Football’s Growing Problem: Empty Seats
(08-30-2018 03:20 PM)marcuscan Wrote:  Not CFB problem. It's a live sports, as a whole, problem.

Maaaaaybe MLS is the exception?




mc

MLS or soccer in general is great because you get 45min of uninterrupted entertainment. I love UC football, and try to get to at least one game a year, but football games, and especially college games are just too long. Being able to watch from the comfort of home is just a better experiance.
 
08-30-2018 07:21 PM
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mptnstr@44 Offline
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RE: College Football’s Growing Problem: Empty Seats
If atendance is dipping I wonder if it is alums or Joe fan who isn't an alum or both.

As an alum I enjoy being back on campus, eating at places I remember from my days at UC, etc. running into people I know.

Joe fan does't have those same long-time connections to campus to bring him out from the comfort of his couch, widescreen, frig and no line bathroom.
 
08-30-2018 08:51 PM
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dsquare Offline
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RE: College Football’s Growing Problem: Empty Seats
The entire conference realignment and tv revenue fiasco is not helping matters. They're hurting rivalries and alienating fans. It's not good for the game whether it's fball or bball.
 
08-30-2018 09:35 PM
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TubaCat Offline
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RE: College Football’s Growing Problem: Empty Seats
I'd love to see Pitt's numbers. They might be the worst offender in the P5 about fake attendance. Miami FL is another serial offender.
 
08-30-2018 10:16 PM
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natibeast21 Offline
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RE: College Football’s Growing Problem: Empty Seats
(08-30-2018 07:21 PM)Banter Wrote:  
(08-30-2018 03:20 PM)marcuscan Wrote:  Not CFB problem. It's a live sports, as a whole, problem.

Maaaaaybe MLS is the exception?




mc

MLS or soccer in general is great because you get 45min of uninterrupted entertainment. I love UC football, and try to get to at least one game a year, but football games, and especially college games are just too long. Being able to watch from the comfort of home is just a better experiance.

It’s all sports. The Columbus crew attendance is way down from the past. Hell the blue jackets have a much bigger fan base. Now idk about all MLS teams but if it was growing so large why would FC be building a 25k stadium. And why was there average attendance 22-23k vs UC 28k in our worst year in a long time.

FC did it right to build a 25k stadium so it always looks full on TV.

Idc what sport it is it’s all about premium seating/boxes and tv revenue.

And in general the interest in all sports is way down. I have even noticed I don’t follow sports the way I once did.
 
08-30-2018 11:05 PM
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Banter Offline
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RE: College Football’s Growing Problem: Empty Seats
(08-30-2018 11:05 PM)natibeast21 Wrote:  
(08-30-2018 07:21 PM)Banter Wrote:  
(08-30-2018 03:20 PM)marcuscan Wrote:  Not CFB problem. It's a live sports, as a whole, problem.

Maaaaaybe MLS is the exception?




mc

MLS or soccer in general is great because you get 45min of uninterrupted entertainment. I love UC football, and try to get to at least one game a year, but football games, and especially college games are just too long. Being able to watch from the comfort of home is just a better experiance.

It’s all sports. The Columbus crew attendance is way down from the past. Hell the blue jackets have a much bigger fan base. Now idk about all MLS teams but if it was growing so large why would FC be building a 25k stadium. And why was there average attendance 22-23k vs UC 28k in our worst year in a long time.

FC did it right to build a 25k stadium so it always looks full on TV.

Idc what sport it is it’s all about premium seating/boxes and tv revenue.

And in general the interest in all sports is way down. I have even noticed I don’t follow sports the way I once did.

The Columbus Crew attendance is an outlier based on their current situation, and the trends in the MLS. The Jackets, and the NHL draw well. The Bluejackets are at the bottom of the attendance figures, but they still are listed at 91% capacity and averaging over 16,000 per game.

I find the dropping attendance figures to be a football problem and not a sports problem. It seems both the NHL, NBA, and MLS do a good job of putting butts in seats, but the pace of play and amount of stoppages make for such a better experiance.
 
08-31-2018 06:43 AM
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ucbandguy Offline
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RE: College Football’s Growing Problem: Empty Seats
An issue that might be addressed is "dead time" in games.

One of my pet peeve's is the TV time outs and the length of the games. It is bad enough when I am sitting at home. In Nippert, it just drives me nuts.

Most college games used to be completed in less than 3 hours. Now, 3 hours 15 minutes seems normal, often stretching to 3 and a half hours. We shouldn't be surprised that so many students get bored and leave at the half.

A small part of the issue is the trend to passing and playing on the boundary, causing more clock stoppages than games. Quicker tempos often lead to more (short) clock stoppages, but I suspect this is a minor factor.

I don't see any immediate cure for it. We need the TV money and TV needs advertising minutes.
 
08-31-2018 06:51 AM
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Def Berkkat Offline
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Post: #14
RE: College Football’s Growing Problem: Empty Seats
(08-30-2018 07:21 PM)Banter Wrote:  
(08-30-2018 03:20 PM)marcuscan Wrote:  Not CFB problem. It's a live sports, as a whole, problem.

Maaaaaybe MLS is the exception?




mc

MLS or soccer in general is great because you get 45min of uninterrupted entertainment. I love UC football, and try to get to at least one game a year, but football games, and especially college games are just too long. Being able to watch from the comfort of home is just a better experiance.

Other than some guy laying on the field acting like he's just been shot by an M60 every 30 seconds.
 
08-31-2018 08:43 AM
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BigDawg Offline
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RE: College Football’s Growing Problem: Empty Seats
(08-31-2018 08:43 AM)Def Berkkat Wrote:  
(08-30-2018 07:21 PM)Banter Wrote:  
(08-30-2018 03:20 PM)marcuscan Wrote:  Not CFB problem. It's a live sports, as a whole, problem.

Maaaaaybe MLS is the exception?




mc

MLS or soccer in general is great because you get 45min of uninterrupted entertainment. I love UC football, and try to get to at least one game a year, but football games, and especially college games are just too long. Being able to watch from the comfort of home is just a better experiance.

Other than some guy laying on the field acting like he's just been shot by an M60 every 30 seconds.

LOL...Yeah but the clock still runs. Now some of that gets added to stoppage time. But the games are typically over in 2 hours max.

I will say having to hire a babysitter for football games suck, plus depending on the game time, it can kill your whole day since you may not be able to do anything before or after. So I get it. Plus if you have kids in sports, that can be a major hurdle as well. Not to mention the stupid don't announce times until 10 days in advance stuff. I know quite a few people that don't get season tickets because of that. They are afraid they will miss half the games. Some say they will just buy some individual tickets, but many don't as other things come up. Just a lot of little things and none of that stuff is going to change anytime soon.
 
08-31-2018 08:53 AM
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Banter Offline
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RE: College Football’s Growing Problem: Empty Seats
(08-31-2018 08:43 AM)Def Berkkat Wrote:  
(08-30-2018 07:21 PM)Banter Wrote:  
(08-30-2018 03:20 PM)marcuscan Wrote:  Not CFB problem. It's a live sports, as a whole, problem.

Maaaaaybe MLS is the exception?




mc

MLS or soccer in general is great because you get 45min of uninterrupted entertainment. I love UC football, and try to get to at least one game a year, but football games, and especially college games are just too long. Being able to watch from the comfort of home is just a better experiance.

Other than some guy laying on the field acting like he's just been shot by an M60 every 30 seconds.

Try actually watching soccer some time...you may enjoy it.
 
08-31-2018 08:58 AM
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Def Berkkat Offline
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Post: #17
RE: College Football’s Growing Problem: Empty Seats
(08-31-2018 08:58 AM)Banter Wrote:  
(08-31-2018 08:43 AM)Def Berkkat Wrote:  
(08-30-2018 07:21 PM)Banter Wrote:  
(08-30-2018 03:20 PM)marcuscan Wrote:  Not CFB problem. It's a live sports, as a whole, problem.

Maaaaaybe MLS is the exception?




mc

MLS or soccer in general is great because you get 45min of uninterrupted entertainment. I love UC football, and try to get to at least one game a year, but football games, and especially college games are just too long. Being able to watch from the comfort of home is just a better experiance.

Other than some guy laying on the field acting like he's just been shot by an M60 every 30 seconds.

Try actually watching soccer some time...you may enjoy it.

I have... and I don't. Sorry.
 
08-31-2018 09:13 AM
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ucbandguy Offline
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RE: College Football’s Growing Problem: Empty Seats
The other part of the empty seat problem is the mystery (TBD) game times.

I get it, TV money drives most everything. But for most games, kickoff times should be rather easy to schedule, at least through mid-season. (November, at least for contenders, I understand.)

I ask you, is there any good reason that the Ohio U, UCONN, and Tulane games don't have a scheduled start time? Do TV execs have some reason to think that holding us in suspense will drive up their ratings?

I mean, Tulane is our Homecoming. Why can't we get that game time set, and if TV wants a different start time - let them "buy" the time change from the University?

This is part of the reason I don't get season tickets anymore. It is difficult to make plans. I don't know if I will be available to do something that Saturday morning or evening.

If I am thinking about traveling to an away game, how should I plan my driving, flights, or hotel rooms? For some games it won't matter much. For others, it will - big time.

I think it may negatively affect TV ratings on some away games also. If I know a game I want to watch is on in the evening, I won't let my wife schedule anything over that (usually). But if I don't know, I can't block out that time slot.
 
09-02-2018 04:27 PM
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doss2 Offline
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RE: College Football’s Growing Problem: Empty Seats
(09-02-2018 04:27 PM)ucbandguy Wrote:  The other part of the empty seat problem is the mystery (TBD) game times.

I get it, TV money drives most everything. But for most games, kickoff times should be rather easy to schedule, at least through mid-season. (November, at least for contenders, I understand.)

I ask you, is there any good reason that the Ohio U, UCONN, and Tulane games don't have a scheduled start time? Do TV execs have some reason to think that holding us in suspense will drive up their ratings?

I mean, Tulane is our Homecoming. Why can't we get that game time set, and if TV wants a different start time - let them "buy" the time change from the University?

This is part of the reason I don't get season tickets anymore. It is difficult to make plans. I don't know if I will be available to do something that Saturday morning or evening.

If I am thinking about traveling to an away game, how should I plan my driving, flights, or hotel rooms? For some games it won't matter much. For others, it will - big time.

I think it may negatively affect TV ratings on some away games also. If I know a game I want to watch is on in the evening, I won't let my wife schedule anything over that (usually). But if I don't know, I can't block out that time slot.
I think it hurts also that for some conferences geography means nothing. ACC has UL, how close to the Atlantic is UL? WVU in B12.


The worst is our AAC. Distance from Tulsa or SMU to UConn or USF.
 
09-02-2018 10:46 PM
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digibrink Offline
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Post: #20
RE: College Football’s Growing Problem: Empty Seats
Felt like there were just as many UC fans in the Rose Bowl as UCLA. 1/4 of the bowl was empty directly across from us.
 
09-03-2018 12:56 AM
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