Those figures are all tickets sold, not butts in seats. The discussion over the weekend was butts in seats. And BIS is where we are lacking. Take Saturday. They said 63,342 attendance. Number of people actually there probably wasn’t much over 40,000
I’d like to know how we stack up in the butts in seats category. There’s no doubt we’ve fallen down that category over the last few years, but it hasn’t always been so. Until we start winning, people aren’t going to drive 3 hours, spend $500, & sit in the hot sun to watch us play the EIU’s of the world.
Attendance has always included the players on the field, press, concessionaires, ushers, etc. Perhaps it shouldn’t but it has.
I’d just as soon have schools give two different numbers–tickets sold & tickets used. The “attendance” figures they announce are misleading. They’re only accurate when a team is filling the stadium. We haven’t done that in a while. However, we did at one time.
I’ve told this story before but it applies now. You always had the option of turnstiles to count people but we never did when I was working in SIO. So when it came time to come up with an attendance figure, Butch or Rick would look around, eyeball the crowd, include a fudge factor for ushers, concessions, security and media, and then someone in the pressbox’s birthday would be the last three digits. As an October baby, my birthday was ineligible, although I guess they could have put a 0 after the comma for October. Of course, crowd eyeballing doesn’t work when you have an upper deck invisible from the press box, so that would have had to go away in the 80s when the WUD was built. And now with scanners the counting process is automatic, except for the people with passes who don’t get scanned.
It’s easy to know the number of passes issued. There aren’t many–at least relative to attendance. Just add those to the tickets scanned. There is no reason at all to refuse to go with the scanned ticket number as attendance. (I suppose there might be some games where people are admitted without a ticket, but I don’t think we allow that at Razorback games. We’ve had some “band days” in the past for some of the rent-a-win games. I don’t know if those kids had tickets or not. Even if they don’t, they’d be easy to account for.
As long as the NCAA lets schools report tickets sold instead of BIS, that’s what schools will do. No point in us reporting BIS if no one else does. I would prefer that both figures be available, but at this point they aren’t.
No doubt about that. However, now that the whole practice has been so publicized, I’m surprised they’ll even give an “announced” attendance. No one will buy it. We have been pretty open about it in baseball, though. They announce both the tickets sold & the actual attendance. (I assume it is actual instead of estimated. They usually wait until about the 7th inning to announce & by then the scanner totals are in. I don’t know if students present a ticket or not.)
Razorback fans show up to watch good teams, whether that is the home team or whether it is in hopes of seeing the home team pull an upset. The attendance figures are strictly for tickets sold. The better indication of whether people show up, in my opinion, is percentage of capacity filled. The football stadium is too small to ever crack the top 15 and baseball is too big (and too popular) to ever fall below the top 10, barring a multi-year downtime like we have not seen here in decades.
I have seen stadiums filled to the brim in every sport I’ve covered the past few years, whether it be the soccer stadium for big out of conference games, the softball stadium for the NCAA regional or the track center for the SEC meet. Not every game, but for many, including for some bad Arkansas teams.
One of our photographers, who is originally from Kentucky, told me earlier this year, “If Arkansas had a chess team, it would draw 1,000 people to a big match. The fan support here is unlike anything I’ve ever seen.”
I guess the outliers are gymnastics, volleyball and women’s basketball, which play in arenas much too large for their sports. All of those would benefit from a multi-use facility that could seat around 5,000, which was proposed in the facilities master plan several years ago.
The figures they gave the Board of Trustees two years ago before the project was approved was 76,212 – starting at 72,000 (and nobody I know believes that was the exact capacity), adding 4,800 or so new capacity (including the SRO area) and subtracting 600 seats in the East Outdoor Club which were replaced by Founders Suites. Is that where it wound up? Who knows?
I did see that discussion, Matt, although I never got to read the WSJ story due to the paywall. There is no doubt that our fans show up when we’re winning. The point of my thread Saturday night is that if we’re not winning, or if the opponent is not a “big name”, they don’t show up. Thus the acres of empty aluminum Saturday afternoon.
The UA pregame notes from Saturday said capacity 76,000. Which doesn’t surprise me. If anyone knows the actual capacity, they aren’t saying.
I don’t know if they know anymore than we do, but when the game first came on Saturday they said 76,000. I think it was still the pregame show talking about the beautiful expansions to the stadium, but I thought they said the same thing
What about applying this same analysis to LSU (especially baseball). LSU’s fan count is always inflated because of the tickets sold. If you matched BIS number to both schools, I think we would be a lot closer.
The one thing I’ve feared for the last 10-15 years is out-of-state UA attendance. It’s gone up significantly, which means the majority our our alumni in the future will be out-of-state. Many people that I’ve done business with, have all gone back to Texas or Missouri, or Kansas, OK etc. after school. I believe some might travel back for games, but a larger portion of our fan base appears to be out-of-state students/alumni.
Does anyone know the statistics on in-state ua attendance over the last 15 years vs. out-of-state. Would really like to see that number.
I’m talking about attendance at the UA as out students become our alumni and BIS.
One of the problems UA has always had is that many alums have to leave the state to find work. Even with the growth of Walmart, Tyson, etc. that hasn’t changed. So it doesn’t matter much whether our alums grew up in Helena or Houston, a lot of them tend to leave after graduation. I’ve been back and forth on that, with two years in Tulsa and 14 years in Texas, and I’m about to be leaving the state again. Not by choice, but because the best job I could find is in North Carolina and you go where they pay you to go.
Having said that, what I can remember about enrollment trends is that there are still just about the same number of Arkansas kids enrolling at UA as always. The enrollment growth has been built on out of state kids coming in, but there hasn’t been any decrease in in-state enrollment. And, as I noted above, it doesn’t matter so much where you grew up, it matters where you go when you leave. My nephew is an example: UCA as an undergrad, then UAMS for his M.D., then he went to Atlanta for residency and is staying in Atlanta.
One trend that I’ve also noticed over the decades: Brain drain. We tend to get upset when a kid who runs a 4.5 leaves for Alabama or Auburn, but we also see a lot of kids with a 4.0+ GPA leave for Vanderbilt or Tulane or Virginia because they perceive they’ll get a better education there (look at any list of National Merit Scholars from Arkansas and see where they went). Some of them will come back to Arkansas to work (I have a good friend, a lawyer, who grew up in Little Rock, went to UVa and Georgetown Law and is now back working in Little Rock), but they may also wind up in Nashville or New Orleans or D.C. Those people lost to brain drain aren’t going to be buying RRS tickets either.
Excellent points. The brain drain is bad for Arkansas for many reasons, but it also affects attendance at Razorback games. It costs money to go to a football game even if the stadium is around the corner. People without degrees tend to have less of it than those with degrees. A working-class Arkansan can be a great fan, but not have the wherewithal to attend a game, especially if he wants to take his family. The farther away the stadium, the more expensive it is. Alums who live out of state, except the relative handful who live in Tulsa or Springfield, Mo, generally live too far to justify season tickets.
I no longer buy season tickets even though I still donate to the foundation. Six drives per year from LR just got to be more trouble to me than the cost was worth, especially with almost every game being on TV. Unfortunately, I got spoiled with the club seats so I don’t want to pay a lower price for bleacher seating–even on the 50 yard line. My wife won’t go at all anymore if it means sitting in the sun (or rain) on a hot or cold day. So it’s either premium seating or nothing for us.
I don’t know if I’ll ever order season tickets again, but I might if we start winning big & I start enjoying the game-day experience as much as I once did. Does that make me a bad fan? I suppose it does in the eyes of some, but I never believed I was obligated to be a fan at all. I simply am one–weighing the costs & inconvenience of a 200 mile drive to see something in person that I can watch for free on TV. I guess I have no “excuse.” Not sure I need one, though. Besides, I’ll continue to donate to the RF.
The only way to truly gauge the fan’s acceptance of the product on the field is with BIS. If everybody showed up and filled the stadium for every game we would probably still have CBB as a coach. I don’t know the stats against our fellow SEC teams but if they all had the same record we have endured over the last six years their stadiums would probably have a smaller percentage than we have showing up for many SEC teams… obviously a guess, but Hog fans hold on pretty tight while the SEC elite would take it hard if they lose year-to-year over an extended period of time.
I agree. Our attendance isn’t too bad in light of our record since 2012. At least fans are still buying tickets pretty well. I’m a bit disappointed in student attendance. I’ve noticed a lot of them have a tendency to leave at half-time, even for “big” games.