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DrachenFire Offline
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manDUtory Attendance
Was hoping maybe someone else would have posted these to spur discussion from those of you not on Slack. I've been doing a, somewhat, deep dive into Drexel attendance that I would be happy to receive feedback on and/or other potential avenues to look into.

Here are links to the first two:
#1 - http://alwaysadragon.com/throw-down-the-gauntlet/
#2 - http://alwaysadragon.com/500-miles/

Have a couple of others in the process of being written. Not sure how long it will go.
01-24-2020 01:39 PM
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dan10 Offline
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RE: manDUtory Attendance
I read both prior to this posting and didnt disagree. We have had discussions on the zone and here I think about what drives attendance and ultimately I have always fallen on the winning fixes all. Hiroshima was always on the side of local games and local rivalries, but I never thought that mattered. Enough of those games had been played that never seemed to bump the attendance. Winning and a watchable product helps. Lots of marketing gets butts into the seats. Winning, gameday experience, product on the floor bring people back. The relationship between the DAC when it got large with the players on the court mattered. Both sides had buy in with each other, which made it fun, even when the wins were not always there. However Bruiser kept his teams competitive until post snub#2. That helped grow the fans a lot.
01-24-2020 03:29 PM
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J.B. Offline
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RE: manDUtory Attendance
I have read your analysis and I do have a lot to say about it. I will agree that Drexel clearly has an attendance problem that needs looking into. But I don't think that the historical numbers that you are using have much value to them. There has been so much inconsistency in how Drexel calculates their attendance numbers that I never know how accurate these numbers are. In some years, most recently, they've scanned every person's ticket. In some years, students didn't even have tickets and they just looked at ID's. So we have to take these historical numbers with a grain of salt, because I can say that many numbers are made up.

Also, I really don't know how many seats the DAC actually holds now, and how many tickets are available. Of the DAC's capacity, how many of those seats are taken up by the Pep Band?
I also don't know how accurate current attendance numbers are. For example...the first game that Drexel played after the full seating renovation was against SJU, and listed 2,509 as the attendance for a sold out game. Home opener 2 years ago had 2,504. But another completely packed game against Delaware on homecoming drew 1,788 despite the fact that the DAC was packed to capacity that day.
01-25-2020 02:17 PM
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J.B. Offline
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RE: manDUtory Attendance
Now in terms of what it takes for Drexel to get more fans into the DAC....

Obviously winning is key. Students and general fans will show up to see a consistent winner. We've seen it in the past and it will happen again. I agree with dan10, that I don't think that regional rivalries matter that much. I don't see a significant attendance boost if Drexel is playing conference games against Rider or Lehigh or Bucknell, vs. UNCW, Elon, or W&M.

But the biggest bone that I have to pick with this program is their lack of marketing to kids. They need to do a better job of getting local schools and groups into the DAC through national anthem singers and halftime entertainment opportunities. Get kids involved in the game and families will buy tickets and fill the seats. That is not happening this year. I don't want to criticize anybody who currently works in the department, because I know that they work hard. But our ticket/marketing department is two people. I almost think that Drexel doesn't care about attendance anymore, and they've done the math to figure out that the cost of marketing exceeds the amount of revenue that additional ticket sales could generate.
I'm disappointed that there's no kids performing on the court at halftime to bring people in. I'm disappointed that the band is playing the national anthem. I actually contacted marketing about my younger daughter who is a fantastic singer and also a girl scout to sing the anthem on girl scout day. I didn't get a response, which I take as a polite no. It's a shame because we would have brought in a lot of people for the game if she were singing.

So that's my vent on the attendance issues going on right now. If anyone from the Athletic Department is reading this and would like to call me out on my venting, you know who I am and I'll be happy to meet with you to discuss.
01-25-2020 02:27 PM
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fredsavage Offline
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RE: manDUtory Attendance
(01-25-2020 02:27 PM)J.B. Wrote:  Now in terms of what it takes for Drexel to get more fans into the DAC....

Obviously winning is key. Students and general fans will show up to see a consistent winner. We've seen it in the past and it will happen again. I agree with dan10, that I don't think that regional rivalries matter that much. I don't see a significant attendance boost if Drexel is playing conference games against Rider or Lehigh or Bucknell, vs. UNCW, Elon, or W&M.

But the biggest bone that I have to pick with this program is their lack of marketing to kids. They need to do a better job of getting local schools and groups into the DAC through national anthem singers and halftime entertainment opportunities. Get kids involved in the game and families will buy tickets and fill the seats. That is not happening this year. I don't want to criticize anybody who currently works in the department, because I know that they work hard. But our ticket/marketing department is two people. I almost think that Drexel doesn't care about attendance anymore, and they've done the math to figure out that the cost of marketing exceeds the amount of revenue that additional ticket sales could generate.
I'm disappointed that there's no kids performing on the court at halftime to bring people in. I'm disappointed that the band is playing the national anthem. I actually contacted marketing about my younger daughter who is a fantastic singer and also a girl scout to sing the anthem on girl scout day. I didn't get a response, which I take as a polite no. It's a shame because we would have brought in a lot of people for the game if she were singing.

So that's my vent on the attendance issues going on right now. If anyone from the Athletic Department is reading this and would like to call me out on my venting, you know who I am and I'll be happy to meet with you to discuss.

kudos for sharing and for reaching out wish more fans reminded them fans actually do still care about dubb
01-25-2020 02:45 PM
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EvanJ Offline
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RE: manDUtory Attendance
About kids singing, does your daughter want to drink hot water before singing? In middle school, a girl wanted to drink hot water before singing, but the cafeteria had instructions that only teachers could get hot water. I don't know if wanting hot water before singing is common or how helpful it is, but I'm asking.
(This post was last modified: 01-25-2020 03:31 PM by EvanJ.)
01-25-2020 03:30 PM
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J.B. Offline
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RE: manDUtory Attendance
(01-25-2020 03:30 PM)EvanJ Wrote:  About kids singing, does your daughter want to drink hot water before singing? In middle school, a girl wanted to drink hot water before singing, but the cafeteria had instructions that only teachers could get hot water. I don't know if wanting hot water before singing is common or how helpful it is, but I'm asking.

LOL!, typical middle school story, where teachers follow the rules strictly and don't make exceptions for students who need it. My kids don't follow that. They do drink water before singing though. You're supposed to drink warm, not hot water though because really cold water can freeze the vocal cords.
(This post was last modified: 01-25-2020 03:40 PM by J.B..)
01-25-2020 03:39 PM
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hiroshimacarp Offline
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RE: manDUtory Attendance
I ennoyed the posts too. I do think it’s a bit hard to compare basketball attendance across decades. A lot has changed. I wasn’t alive back then but TV alone must have boosted interest now compared to back then. So it that sense our current numbers might be worse.

To be clear...wins will decide who shows up. I like local games just because they’re more fun. It gets the juices flowing when you play your neighbors and know some alums. You can get to the road games too.

Agree with jb about marketing. Did anyone else know last Saturday was mario’s Birthday? Outside of a card by the media room you wouldn’t have known it. My son was pumped to sign it and would’ve been pumped for anything else. They used to invite mascots like every other mascot birthday i’ve Been part of.

I don’t blame the marketing people themselves. I blame the people above them for not setting the bar any higher and probably not giving them the resources they need.
01-26-2020 07:51 AM
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dan10 Offline
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RE: manDUtory Attendance
This is disappointing to hear that many of those things dont happen any more. All of that is part of making the atmosphere and game worth showing up for. Creating a fun environment is what brings people in the door. The product on the court is then given an opportunity to sell itself at that point. In a sense, TV has hurt attendance in all sports at all levels. If you are paying for tv of some kind (including streaming) and have access to the games, what motivation do you have to shell out more money to see it in person. There has to be some vested interest to do so, which comes back to creating an environment and an appealing team. NFL combats this (MLB some as well) by blacking out the media area if the ticket sold don't meet % of capacity, which encourages people to attend in person otherwise they won't be able to watch. You can't really do that in college sports as you are trying to gain interest and you don't want to lose tv viewership. So that is where marketing has to come into play, from the student section to our actual marketing department. Need to make people aware of the games ahead of time, need to sell the product to locals. Make a big deal about games.

I agree across decades is tough, however in my time as a student we were always given a ticket. The first year or 2 it just had to be shown to walk in (if you didnt have a ticket they had a bunch there and you just showed ID and they handed you one), after that it was scanned. So that means there is at least a decade tickets have been scanned even for students. So how numbers have been figured is anyone's guess, for sure. With that said, in the old CAA we were helped tremendously by visiting fans. ODU, Mason, JMU, VCU all traveled well. Delaware has generally traveled well for our games too. Take those people away after realignment and it makes our situation look that much worse, even if it never really changed anything. In the end we need to find creative ways to get people to show up (locals and students) and build a game atmosphere that makes them want to come back. Make it fun. The students are how you build an alumni base and build the future. Winning will always be #1 in Philadelphia with so much going on to choose from, but you can make a game worth attending despite that.
01-26-2020 08:21 AM
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EvanJ Offline
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RE: manDUtory Attendance
(01-26-2020 08:21 AM)dan10 Wrote:  NFL combats this (MLB some as well) by blacking out the media area if the ticket sold don't meet % of capacity, which encourages people to attend in person otherwise they won't be able to watch.
NFL games are on the same channel in many markets, and another game can be substituted for a blacked out game. I've never heard of MLB blackouts due to lack of attendance, and I don't see how it could happen because those games are on RSNs who most of the day don't have live games and rely on MLB games. A few months ago I read about a TV provider (I think Dish Network) losing RSNs. In disputes, the channel normally tells the TV provider to pay what the channel wants or customers who want the channel will change providers. In this case, the provider decided that RSNs have low enough ratings that the provider was okay with permanently dropping the RSNs, which is scary for sports fans. In general, sports channels charge providers a lot, so people who get many channels and don't watch sports are helping pay for people who watch sports. It varied by market, so I'm not saying Dish would drop YES, SNY, or NESN, but they would consider dropping RSNs with less popular teams. MLB teams get money from their RSN, so they get money from their fans whether they attend or watch on TV. NFL teams get money from the NFL's contracts, and I don't know if teams with higher TV ratings make more money from TV. When teams aren't helped by higher TV ratings (maybe they get helped 1/32nd with money divided equally) and are helped by revenue in their stadium, of course they want to sell out.

I don't know if foreign TV revenue is distributed like domestic revenue. In England, exactly one NFL game is on TV whenever the NFL plays. All night games are televised, albeit it's in the middle of the night in England, whereas two of ten to thirteen day games are televised. The more night games a team has, the more games they will have on TV in England. They also have a version of NFL RedZone (I don't know if it's the same as in the US). One week the English channel that showed RedZone went from RedZone to a Nets game (I don't remember who they played) to RedZone.
01-26-2020 09:30 AM
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Timer Offline
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RE: manDUtory Attendance
(01-26-2020 07:51 AM)hiroshimacarp Wrote:  Agree with jb about marketing. Did anyone else know last Saturday was mario’s Birthday? Outside of a card by the media room you wouldn’t have known it. My son was pumped to sign it and would’ve been pumped for anything else.

...and a LARGE signature it was! Laughed when i saw it.
01-26-2020 10:05 AM
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RE: manDUtory Attendance
(01-26-2020 09:30 AM)EvanJ Wrote:  NFL games are on the same channel in many markets, and another game can be substituted for a blacked out game. I've never heard of MLB blackouts due to lack of attendance, and I don't see how it could happen because those games are on RSNs who most of the day don't have live games and rely on MLB games. A few months ago I read about a TV provider (I think Dish Network) losing RSNs. In disputes, the channel normally tells the TV provider to pay what the channel wants or customers who want the channel will change providers. In this case, the provider decided that RSNs have low enough ratings that the provider was okay with permanently dropping the RSNs, which is scary for sports fans. In general, sports channels charge providers a lot, so people who get many channels and don't watch sports are helping pay for people who watch sports. It varied by market, so I'm not saying Dish would drop YES, SNY, or NESN, but they would consider dropping RSNs with less popular teams. MLB teams get money from their RSN, so they get money from their fans whether they attend or watch on TV. NFL teams get money from the NFL's contracts, and I don't know if teams with higher TV ratings make more money from TV. When teams aren't helped by higher TV ratings (maybe they get helped 1/32nd with money divided equally) and are helped by revenue in their stadium, of course they want to sell out.

As far as MLB I was more referring to MLB TV that has come along. It blacks out your local areas media area, I believe regardless of attendance. Which is a way of saying you have to go to the games. Yes I realize the regional networks have them still. Thus why I said MLB combats it some.
01-27-2020 07:23 AM
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J.B. Offline
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RE: manDUtory Attendance
(01-27-2020 07:23 AM)dan10 Wrote:  
(01-26-2020 09:30 AM)EvanJ Wrote:  NFL games are on the same channel in many markets, and another game can be substituted for a blacked out game. I've never heard of MLB blackouts due to lack of attendance, and I don't see how it could happen because those games are on RSNs who most of the day don't have live games and rely on MLB games. A few months ago I read about a TV provider (I think Dish Network) losing RSNs. In disputes, the channel normally tells the TV provider to pay what the channel wants or customers who want the channel will change providers. In this case, the provider decided that RSNs have low enough ratings that the provider was okay with permanently dropping the RSNs, which is scary for sports fans. In general, sports channels charge providers a lot, so people who get many channels and don't watch sports are helping pay for people who watch sports. It varied by market, so I'm not saying Dish would drop YES, SNY, or NESN, but they would consider dropping RSNs with less popular teams. MLB teams get money from their RSN, so they get money from their fans whether they attend or watch on TV. NFL teams get money from the NFL's contracts, and I don't know if teams with higher TV ratings make more money from TV. When teams aren't helped by higher TV ratings (maybe they get helped 1/32nd with money divided equally) and are helped by revenue in their stadium, of course they want to sell out.

As far as MLB I was more referring to MLB TV that has come along. It blacks out your local areas media area, I believe regardless of attendance. Which is a way of saying you have to go to the games. Yes I realize the regional networks have them still. Thus why I said MLB combats it some.

The MLB.TV blackout isn't about getting people to go to the games. It's about protecting the carriage rights of the Regional Sports Networks. The RSN's spend billions to carry the games, in regional markets and would screw them over if people used MLB.TV as an alternative to signing up for cable.

The days of not carrying home games to help boost attendance is a thing of the past. Teams like the Brooklyn/LA Dodgers and Chicago Blackhawks have been known to rarely ever televise home games because the owners really thought that TV killed attendance. In Philadelphia from 1976 to 1997, most Phillies/Sixers/Flyers home games were televised on PRISM, which was a very expensive cable subscription network that was a combination of HBO and an RSN, while most of the road games were on free TV. PRISM paid the teams a lot of money for the rights to carry home games. But I don't think that attendance was ever affected by PRISM.
(This post was last modified: 01-27-2020 12:32 PM by J.B..)
01-27-2020 08:01 AM
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EvanJ Offline
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RE: manDUtory Attendance
(01-27-2020 08:01 AM)J.B. Wrote:  The MLB.TV blackout isn't about getting people to go to the games. It's about protecting the carriage rights of the Regional Sports Networks. The RSN's spend billions to carry the games, in regional markets and would screw them over if people used MLB.TV as an alternative to signing up for cable.
Yes. If you get the RSNs, the blackout doesn't affect you, but there are downsides:

1. If you are a fan of a team in a different market, you can't watch your team on their RSN when they play a local team. For example, Red Sox fans in New York can only watch Red Sox vs. Yankees games on YES (or broadcast Channel 11 for a minority of games with the same announcers as YES). Those games will be blacked out on MLB.TV. I had that downside when I went to my sister in Omaha. The Royals beat the Red Sox. A s a Yankees fan, I wanted to watch the Red Sox lose. I had MLB.TV, but I don't know if my sister got the Royals RSN, and I didn't ask, so I could only listen online (audio doesn't have blackouts) to a game I could have watched in New York.

2. In some places, games are blacked out on RSNs you can't get, meaning that it could be impossible for you watch your favorite team legally regardless of what you pay. For example, six teams are blacked out in Las Vegas. I don't remember the teams, but it's safe to say they are the five California teams and Arizona. I would think it would be important to the Dodgers and Angels to get their RSNs available in Las Vegas. I don't know why an RSN would want a blackout in a city that can't get that RSN, but there are blackouts.

In some places, you aren't near a team, and you can only get an RSN if it's available far away. For example, if you are in Plentywood in northeastern Montana, your nearest teams are Minnesota 10 hours 20 minutes away and Colorado 11 hours 3 minutes away.
01-27-2020 09:16 AM
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dan10 Offline
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RE: manDUtory Attendance
Gotcha. You guys know much more about how those all work than I do. I just knew it black out local markets, didnt realize it was solely because of the RSN's. Makes sense.

Back on topic. Winning brings people in naturally. Marketing gets people in the door as well. The atmosphere and product on the court brings people back for more. It has to be an event, not just a basketball game. From the student side, making it fun brings people back. Losing makes it harder but not impossible. The DAC Pack grew despite plenty of losing. The leaders being involved and making it fun and personable helped tremendously. '11-'12 finally rewarded those students, at least until the quarterfinal game, which helped kill the momentum for a not culture-rich program like ours. Following up success with more losing hurts stability, but good leaders can overcome much of that.

Schools like UNCW have enough of a history of success to lure people back. Despite their awful run the past couple seasons, they have still gotten people to show up. I also fully understand there is less going on in Wilmington than Philly, that's where the marketing has to be stronger on our end to overcome some of that. Point is, it is not getting any easier to get butts in the seats. Doing nothing and relying on winning will work but it wont help grow the fan base into returning and building that culture of fans. TV games and local availability is certainly a good first step
01-27-2020 11:22 AM
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hiroshimacarp Offline
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RE: manDUtory Attendance
(01-26-2020 10:05 AM)Timer Wrote:  
(01-26-2020 07:51 AM)hiroshimacarp Wrote:  Agree with jb about marketing. Did anyone else know last Saturday was mario’s Birthday? Outside of a card by the media room you wouldn’t have known it. My son was pumped to sign it and would’ve been pumped for anything else.

...and a LARGE signature it was! Laughed when i saw it.

we let him go over there on his own and that was the result. he was only "remotely supervised".
01-27-2020 12:32 PM
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J.B. Offline
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RE: manDUtory Attendance
Here's a perfect example of the marketing issue that Drexel deals with....
A few years ago, Drexel and Penn played back to back seasons over winter break. Both programs are mid-major programs in the same city, just blocks apart. Both programs were struggling at the time.

12/22/15 - Drexel beats Penn 53-52 in OT in front of 1,334 at the DAC
12/28/16 - Penn beats Drexel 75-67 at the Palestra. 3,836 show up for that game.

From what I heard from people who went to the Palestra game, Penn made a strong effort to fill seats for a game over break. Drexel clearly did not put in much effort for the game that they hosted. They must have just assumed that Drexel/Penn would sell itself, which it clearly did not.
01-27-2020 12:42 PM
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RE: manDUtory Attendance
(01-27-2020 12:42 PM)J.B. Wrote:  Here's a perfect example of the marketing issue that Drexel deals with....
A few years ago, Drexel and Penn played back to back seasons over winter break. Both programs are mid-major programs in the same city, just blocks apart. Both programs were struggling at the time.

12/22/15 - Drexel beats Penn 53-52 in OT in front of 1,334 at the DAC
12/28/16 - Penn beats Drexel 75-67 at the Palestra. 3,836 show up for that game.

From what I heard from people who went to the Palestra game, Penn made a strong effort to fill seats for a game over break. Drexel clearly did not put in much effort for the game that they hosted. They must have just assumed that Drexel/Penn would sell itself, which it clearly did not.

.........or they just don't care

your example is like drachens...the few people who do still care (fans) are starting to make a stink and highlight examples and data

hold. people. accountable. for. doing. their. jobs.
01-28-2020 09:59 PM
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DrachenFire Offline
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RE: manDUtory Attendance
(01-25-2020 02:17 PM)J.B. Wrote:  I have read your analysis and I do have a lot to say about it. I will agree that Drexel clearly has an attendance problem that needs looking into. But I don't think that the historical numbers that you are using have much value to them. There has been so much inconsistency in how Drexel calculates their attendance numbers that I never know how accurate these numbers are. In some years, most recently, they've scanned every person's ticket. In some years, students didn't even have tickets and they just looked at ID's. So we have to take these historical numbers with a grain of salt, because I can say that many numbers are made up.

Also, I really don't know how many seats the DAC actually holds now, and how many tickets are available. Of the DAC's capacity, how many of those seats are taken up by the Pep Band?
I also don't know how accurate current attendance numbers are. For example...the first game that Drexel played after the full seating renovation was against SJU, and listed 2,509 as the attendance for a sold out game. Home opener 2 years ago had 2,504. But another completely packed game against Delaware on homecoming drew 1,788 despite the fact that the DAC was packed to capacity that day.

I mean, if you're going to write about it, you have to be able to use something to try and back up your words. Those numbers are the only publicly available ones, and they match the eye test well enough to look at some different causes. DAC capacity is listed as 2509 with the chairbacks, it was 2532 with the old bleachers. I don't know how much I trust that number, but again, it is the publicly available figure. I'd assume the Pep Band would be a part of the 1000 seat student section. Really, all they have to do is fill 1500 seats (minus the home and away comps). I'll be sure to share all the data I have once I'm done with the series for all to look at. The obvious big reason has been mentioned, but I think there were a few adjustments that occurred with bad timing that has also contributed.
01-29-2020 11:18 AM
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RE: manDUtory Attendance
What's the average percentage of seats for a student section? You're saying it's 1,000/2,509 = 39.9 percent. The Mack Sports Complex provides seating maps for every section except the seven student sections. I counted each row, added them in Excel, and got 3,998. The problem is that with the capacity decreased to have kids' activities, the capacity is now 4,223, which is only 225 higher, and the seven student sections combine for way more than that, so Hofstra made a mistake. I'm going to ask Hofstra fans about that. Even with the mistake, I can tell that the student sections combine for way under 40 percent.
01-29-2020 04:47 PM
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