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Why is Sam Houston State's football attendance so low?
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Post: #21
RE: Why is Sam Houston State's football attendance so low?
(06-18-2022 03:45 PM)SMUstang Wrote:  People in the Houston area are either A&M fans, UT fans, or LSU fans. Even UH and Rice don't count for much and they are in Houston proper. SHSU has no shot.

As regards SHSU you are correct, but there are tons of UH fans in Houston. LSU is pretty much on a par with Rice and Baylor, mainly alumni fans.
06-18-2022 03:48 PM
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Post: #22
RE: Why is Sam Houston State's football attendance so low?
(06-18-2022 03:32 PM)johnintx Wrote:  
(06-18-2022 03:22 PM)DoubleRSU Wrote:  
(06-18-2022 03:09 PM)johnintx Wrote:  
(06-18-2022 02:36 PM)johnbragg Wrote:  Maybe, even in Texas, there's a finite supply of college kids who want to go to football games outside on Saturday. Between University of Houston, North Texas, UTSA, Texas STate, maybe the well is running dry.

There's some truth to that. I compare it to discussions on other threads regarding the MAC. It's been said that the students at a lot of those schools are fans of P5 schools first (Ohio State, Michigan, etc.). The same thing applies here. The students may go to Sam Houston, but their allegiances are to A&M and UT.

Let’s say there is some truth to that. A student attending SHSU is a loyal A&M fan. Every single game is played opposite of A&M? Why even go to SHSU if you’re not going to some of the football or basketball games?

10/9 SHSU hosted Lamar at 2pm and A&M hosted Bama at 7. Result - SHSUs largest home attendance of the season. Must have been all Lamar fans I guess?? Didn’t know a 1-9 team traveled so well? The Longhorns played against OU in Dallas that day at 11am. Kind of weird that Texas and Texas A&M had their biggest games of the year, the same day SHSU had their best crowd of the year. So students having “allegiance” to UT and A&M, isn’t the problem.

Students go to SHSU due to cost (lower), admission standards (lower than A&M, UT, and UH), and location (proximity to Houston metro). They're not going there for the sports.

That game vs. Lamar was family (or parents) weekend. Lamar is also a familiar opponent for them, right behind SFA and former rival Texas State. And, the weather was good that day. Still, the attendance was 9836. Barely a drop in the bucket, even with UT and A&M's biggest games of the year on the same day.

To my point, if most SHSU fans are Texas/A&M fans, they’re not going to attend a game versus Lamar in the middle of those big games. Especially since they’re probably fans because of their parents and family. Who would also not miss a big UT/A&M to attend a meaningless Lamar game with their kid who doesn’t care about it.
06-18-2022 03:50 PM
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Post: #23
RE: Why is Sam Houston State's football attendance so low?
(06-18-2022 01:27 PM)DFW HOYA Wrote:  
(06-18-2022 01:03 PM)ken d Wrote:  The other two 2022 FCS callups, James Madison and Jacksonville State, have averaged about three times as much as Sam Houston State over the past four seasons. Despite an undergraduate enrollment of about 19K and a location about an hour from Houston, one of the most populous cities in America, the Bearkats have averaged fewer than 7K at its home football games. In a football crazy state like Texas, wouldn't one expect more? What am I missing from this story?

Look at the regular season opponents that played at Bowers Stadium in 2021. Who's traveling to watch these games?

SE Missouri State (4-7)
Lamar (1-9)
Dixie St. (1-10)
Incarnate Word (10-3 but a very small fan base)

Sam's rivalry game with SFA drew 25,000 in Houston as a neutral site game.

Games againsst Jacksonville State and Eastern Kentucky, two co-participants in the WAC/ASUN challenge were also regular season games held at Bowers in 2021. The Incarnate Word game was an FCS playoff game; not a regular season game.

The game against Lamar @ 9,836 (70+% of Bowers capacity) was Sam Houston's best attended game of the season at Bowers as well as the best attended game during the 4 year period mentioned in previous posts.

For 2021, Lamar was 1-1 against FCS competition coming into the game. Lamar had defeated Sam Houston 2 of the previous 3 games. Even so, I suspect an even larger driver of better than the rest of the season attendance was a good promotion. The game vs Lamar was part of Bearkat Family Weekend. Another possible attendance booster is that Beaumont is 2 hours drive time away from Huntsville. The homecoming game was against Jacksonville State. Attendance for that game at 7,559 was just a little above the season average of 7,283)
(This post was last modified: 06-18-2022 04:09 PM by LUSportsFan.)
06-18-2022 03:53 PM
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Post: #24
RE: Why is Sam Houston State's football attendance so low?
(06-18-2022 03:46 PM)bullet Wrote:  Losing Texas St. and then the SFA game to Houston seems to have dropped home attendance. Less outstanding SHSU teams might draw an average of 10k or so 10 years ago. Texas St., SFA and Sam Houston had been together since 1931 in the Lone Star Conference. They moved up to Division I in the SLC together. Lamar was with them some of the time in the LSC and then also in the SLC.

Yep. Those three (SH, SFA, and Texas State) are pretty similar to each other. SFA is more isolated than the others, but they share histories and profiles. And they don't like each other.

I suspect Texas State's move to FBS is driving Sam Houston to do the same thing, even if to a different conference. Texas State is growing like crazy. They benefit from their location: near Austin, close to San Antonio, and within a reasonable drive from Houston.

Sam Houston doesn't benefit from location like Texas State does, but it's not exactly isolated, either. They haven't seen the benefit from winning at the highest level in FCS, so they're looking for the benefit of being part of FBS.

Sam Houston has a very good coach and is in a good location to recruit high school players and transfers to build quality teams. Ironically, it's probably easier for them to build a quality team than it is to build a fan base.
06-18-2022 04:01 PM
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Post: #25
RE: Why is Sam Houston State's football attendance so low?
(06-18-2022 03:53 PM)LUSportsFan Wrote:  
(06-18-2022 01:27 PM)DFW HOYA Wrote:  
(06-18-2022 01:03 PM)ken d Wrote:  The other two 2022 FCS callups, James Madison and Jacksonville State, have averaged about three times as much as Sam Houston State over the past four seasons. Despite an undergraduate enrollment of about 19K and a location about an hour from Houston, one of the most populous cities in America, the Bearkats have averaged fewer than 7K at its home football games. In a football crazy state like Texas, wouldn't one expect more? What am I missing from this story?

Look at the regular season opponents that played at Bowers Stadium in 2021. Who's traveling to watch these games?

SE Missouri State (4-7)
Lamar (1-9)
Dixie St. (1-10)
Incarnate Word (10-3 but a very small fan base)

Sam's rivalry game with SFA drew 25,000 in Houston as a neutral site game.

Games againsst Jacksonville State and Eastern Kentucky, two co-participants in the WAC/ASUN challenge were also regular season games held at Bowers in 2021.

The game against Lamar @ 9,836 (70+% of Bowers capacity) was Sam Houston's best attended game of the season at Bowers as well as the best attended game during the 4 year period mentioned in previous posts.

For 2021, Lamar was 1-1 against FCS competition coming into the game. Lamar had defeated Sam Houston 2 of the previous 3 games. Even so, I suspect an even larger driver of better than the rest of the season attendance was a good promotion. The game vs Lamar was part of Bearkat Family Weekend. (The homecoming game was against Jacksonville State.)

They got 8,200 for UIW for “Bearkat Family Weekend” in 2019. Coming off a mediocre 6-5 season, in midst of a 7-5 season. Basically, SHSU fans will only show up for BFW and SFA in Houston. No other weekends or opponents matter.
06-18-2022 04:02 PM
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Post: #26
RE: Why is Sam Houston State's football attendance so low?
They still have time to reverse course. It will be more difficult after July 1st!
06-18-2022 04:18 PM
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Post: #27
RE: Why is Sam Houston State's football attendance so low?
(06-18-2022 04:18 PM)TOPSTRAIGHT Wrote:  They still have time to reverse course. It will be more difficult after July 1st!
They're better off having empty stands in FBS than FCS. Just lie about the attendance figures every other year.
06-18-2022 04:24 PM
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Post: #28
RE: Why is Sam Houston State's football attendance so low?
(06-18-2022 04:24 PM)johnbragg Wrote:  
(06-18-2022 04:18 PM)TOPSTRAIGHT Wrote:  They still have time to reverse course. It will be more difficult after July 1st!
They're better off having empty stands in FBS than FCS. Just lie about the attendance figures every other year.

I made that statement because I would rather have someone else in that slot. There are/were better choices.

So far I have seen no commitment to FBS level facilities, etc..
(This post was last modified: 06-18-2022 04:35 PM by TOPSTRAIGHT.)
06-18-2022 04:33 PM
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Post: #29
RE: Why is Sam Houston State's football attendance so low?
(06-18-2022 04:18 PM)TOPSTRAIGHT Wrote:  They still have time to reverse course. It will be more difficult after July 1st!

FBS back to FCS probably won't happen because SHSU has probably offered more scholarships to compete in FBS, but it probably should. As far as I know, only Idaho has gone that route.
06-18-2022 04:33 PM
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Post: #30
RE: Why is Sam Houston State's football attendance so low?
(06-18-2022 03:22 PM)_C2_ Wrote:  
(06-18-2022 01:46 PM)johnintx Wrote:  Demand, or lack of it.

It's an hour via freeway from downtown Houston (today via Google Maps with no traffic), and an hour via 2-lane road from College Station. Sam Houston competes with all of the sports and entertainment options in the Houston metro, plus those at P5 SEC Texas A&M.

Huntsville is a town of 45,000 people on the north edge of the Houston DMA. The primary industries are SHSU and the state prison. I'm not sure if the prison population is counted in the census. SHSU gets very little coverage on Houston local media, and only when they win. Instead of being a big fish in a small market, they're a minnow in a large market.

Outside of their alums and Huntsville locals, there's just not much demand.

Their annual game at NRG Stadium vs. SFA has been successful. Both schools have their primary alumni bases in Houston.

But they're ultimately competing for attention with the Houston pro teams, A&M, UH, and Rice. In addition, they're competing with local P5 teams playing on TV, such as UT. That will be a tall order for them as they move to FBS. They see FBS as a way to meet athletic and institutional goals. If they can pull that off, more power to them. It'll be a haul.

Excellent analysis, no need for me to even add much to it.

May I also add that the students denied a measure to further fund the athletic program. There just doesn't seem to be much school spirit.

JSU is an hour from Birmingham and 2 hours no traffic from Atlanta. Outside of that we are pulling from the metropolis of Anniston-Oxford oh and Gasden. JSU gets no media attention in Birmingham or Atlanta and has to compete with the Braves, and the other Atlanta teams and that’s before we talk about the real distraction Alabama and Auburn. For years we were filling seats against SEMO, Murray State, Tennessee Martin etc

So JSU is dealing with almost every one of the same factors but is filling seats.
06-18-2022 04:44 PM
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Post: #31
RE: Why is Sam Houston State's football attendance so low?
(06-18-2022 04:33 PM)TOPSTRAIGHT Wrote:  
(06-18-2022 04:24 PM)johnbragg Wrote:  
(06-18-2022 04:18 PM)TOPSTRAIGHT Wrote:  They still have time to reverse course. It will be more difficult after July 1st!
They're better off having empty stands in FBS than FCS. Just lie about the attendance figures every other year.

I made that statement because I would rather have someone else in that slot. There are/were better choices.

So far I have seen no commitment to FBS level facilities, etc..

My first cousin once removed is an iron worker. He was working on something up there at the stadium, but I don't remember what it was.
06-18-2022 05:18 PM
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Post: #32
RE: Why is Sam Houston State's football attendance so low?
(06-18-2022 03:24 PM)_C2_ Wrote:  
(06-18-2022 02:19 PM)bullet Wrote:  As pointed out, its only a little over an hour from Houston. Jax St. and JMU are kind of in the middle of nowhere, so they get the locals on top of alumni. And the students don't have as many options. In addition, SHSU does get some commuters from the northern part of the Houston metro. Had a friend who moved up to Conroe so he could commute while working part time. And Jax and JMU aren't quite triple SHSU, but closer to double.

I thought Jacksonville was close to Birmingham.

Approximately half way between bham and atl.
06-18-2022 05:27 PM
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Post: #33
RE: Why is Sam Houston State's football attendance so low?
I had a hard time seeing SHSU as a good candidate to move up to FBS and I think CUSA made a mistake by adding them. But what's done is done. Good luck to them.
06-18-2022 07:00 PM
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Post: #34
RE: Why is Sam Houston State's football attendance so low?
(06-18-2022 07:00 PM)HawaiiMongoose Wrote:  I had a hard time seeing SHSU as a good candidate to move up to FBS and I think CUSA made a mistake by adding them. But what's done is done. Good luck to them.

SHSU and Jax St. are both awful. Both states are already saturated with FBS schools.

But then CUSA didn't have many choices.
06-18-2022 07:18 PM
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Post: #35
RE: Why is Sam Houston State's football attendance so low?
(06-18-2022 07:18 PM)bullet Wrote:  
(06-18-2022 07:00 PM)HawaiiMongoose Wrote:  I had a hard time seeing SHSU as a good candidate to move up to FBS and I think CUSA made a mistake by adding them. But what's done is done. Good luck to them.

SHSU and Jax St. are both awful. Both states are already saturated with FBS schools.

But then CUSA didn't have many choices.

A desperate conference added two desperate teams. Simple as that.
06-18-2022 07:51 PM
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Post: #36
RE: Why is Sam Houston State's football attendance so low?
(06-18-2022 07:18 PM)bullet Wrote:  
(06-18-2022 07:00 PM)HawaiiMongoose Wrote:  I had a hard time seeing SHSU as a good candidate to move up to FBS and I think CUSA made a mistake by adding them. But what's done is done. Good luck to them.

SHSU and Jax St. are both awful. Both states are already saturated with FBS schools.

But then CUSA didn't have many choices.

Jacksonville State has some clout, they've been good in FCS for a while and pulled some FBS upsets.

But yeah, Sam has a special year (Spring) football title in FCS and not much else.
06-18-2022 08:21 PM
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Post: #37
RE: Why is Sam Houston State's football attendance so low?
(06-18-2022 08:21 PM)_C2_ Wrote:  Jacksonville State has some clout, they've been good in FCS for a while and pulled some FBS upsets.

But yeah, Sam has a special year (Spring) football title in FCS and not much else.

Sam Houston is the second winningest FCS program of 2010s behind North Dakota State. That’s a fact.

Multiple semifinal appearances, three title game appearances since 2010 (including one title as you mentioned). Say what you want about attendance but the football program is one of the most successful at the FCS level since 2010.
(This post was last modified: 06-19-2022 02:02 AM by TexasTerror.)
06-19-2022 02:02 AM
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Post: #38
RE: Why is Sam Houston State's football attendance so low?
(06-18-2022 04:01 PM)johnintx Wrote:  Sam Houston doesn't benefit from location like Texas State does, but it's not exactly isolated, either. They haven't seen the benefit from winning at the highest level in FCS, so they're looking for the benefit of being part of FBS.

Sam Houston has a very good coach and is in a good location to recruit high school players and transfers to build quality teams. Ironically, it's probably easier for them to build a quality team than it is to build a fan base.

Agreed on second point about being able to put together a quality program. Between location, track record of coaching staff (and the last decade of program) and transfer portal - set up fairly well to do so.

Re comparisons to TXST, remember that Sam Houston enrollment has essentially doubled over course of last two decades. Was around 11,000 in 2002 and now double that. For much of the first decade of this century, Sam saw its enrollment grow more rapidly than any four year institution in state. Campus has had solid leadership and investment in academic programs, growth and the like. Increased student fees (minus last vote which was a confluence of two major athletic department issues at the time) has helped fund the department when coupled with the continued enrollment gains.
06-19-2022 02:09 AM
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Post: #39
RE: Why is Sam Houston State's football attendance so low?
I guess my view of their football attendance is glass half full, because I’ve looked their basketball attendance, where they had a packed house of ~185 at a game this season.
06-19-2022 06:19 AM
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Post: #40
RE: Why is Sam Houston State's football attendance so low?
(06-18-2022 01:03 PM)ken d Wrote:  The other two 2022 FCS callups, James Madison and Jacksonville State, have averaged about three times as much as Sam Houston State over the past four seasons. Despite an undergraduate enrollment of about 19K and a location about an hour from Houston, one of the most populous cities in America, the Bearkats have averaged fewer than 7K at its home football games. In a football crazy state like Texas, wouldn't one expect more? What am I missing from this story?

Maybe they report more accurate attendance numbers than most?

Let's face it, at most schools of SHS's level, attendance is pretty darn low. What is the actual attendance at many MAC games? Or CUSA games?
(This post was last modified: 06-19-2022 08:43 AM by quo vadis.)
06-19-2022 07:03 AM
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