The sports editor of the ADG’s column this morning is dedicated to ASU and the inevitable comparisons to the Hogs. He took a couple of digs at Jeff Long (now, of course, no longer here). But mostly he bemoans the the likelihood that the state’s “two largest programs” won’t ever play each other. Says ASU is building its own brand & selling tickets. To some extent that latter part is true. (That they’re mostly doing on the backs of taxpayers is another issue.) Regardless, I get tired of the complaint by so many that ASU is somehow program 1A in this State. It isn’t. By budget, by fan following, by record, by just about any metric it’s much more like UCA than it is the UA even despite our poor performances over the past 5-6 years. One would think ASU has won a BCS bowl.
I suppose our terrible showing against Coastal Carolina last year opens us up to lousy comparisons, but if we’re going to do that, we need to make similar comparisons for every year since, well, forever.
I’ll save some of you the time if you’re going to say it: I hate ASU & it’s rabid anti-hog fanbase. I’ve given neither much thought for quite a while, but here in the last few days we have to endure another “why won’t they play” debate & now A.D. Wally’s suggestion we play in WMS & charge $100/ticket. (Imagine, playing in a game that could gross $5.5M at the gate—well, at least for the first year. When has the UA ever done that?)
Wally just not know what we charge for lower level and club seating at RRS, lol. Of course, he’s never had to pay for a ticket. There aren’t 1000 people in this state that really give a crap about this game being played, they just like to bring it up when it is to their benefit.
My daughter attended a game there about 5 years ago with some friends who are ASU alums. She isn’t a huge sports fan & isn’t really aware of my antipathy toward ASU. I asked her how she enjoyed the game. She said she enjoyed it, “it was kinda like going to a high school game.” I suppressed my laughter. (BTW, she wasn’t talking about the quality on the field. She woudn’t know about that. She meant the atmosphere, etc.
No. I know of several people who’ve told me they just walked in without a ticket and sat where they wanted to. You can buy season tickets on family plans for about $5.00 per ticket. I haven’t checked the most recent annual statistics, but gov’t websites show their annual revenues from ticket sales are much less than ours for one game.
If the free market determined the success of their athletic program, it would have been shut down years ago. They have one donor who gave them about $5M or so a couple of years ago, but otherwise all their facilities are paid for by high student fees and tax dollars. Almost none from sports-generated revenue.
I understand the angst everybody feels about Wally. Most of his columns are less than good (and I’m trying to be kind). This column is not flattering to Arkansas and definitely not flattering to Jeff Long. But it’s not overly complimentary of Arkansas State. He says their games draw a crowd (all things considered), but at the end he says ASU should consider play Arkansas-Pine Bluff. And maybe they could do that in Little Rock or face UCA there. Not a great column, but I’ve read worse from him.
They sell about 8-10,000 season tickets each year. The days of walking in for free ended several years ago, about the end of the Roberts era. As to donations, Fowler gave $5M thru Liberty Bank a few years ago, and Allison has given $10M the past 3-4 years. First National Bank gave $5M for naming rights for the Convocation Center, so they have gotten some donations. Now, they do charge the students a ridiculous amount of fees to support their athletic department, but less than UALR who has no football program.
The prices vary per location, but assuming they play 5-6 home games per year, those are very low prices. I know they inflate their attendance figures, but if they average 2/3 full (about 22k attendance), I bet few pay the full price.
There’s no need to estimate how much they make. Their annual revenue for ticket sales is publicly available & doesn’t calculate to much per ticket. Either that or a bunch of people aren’t buying tickets at all.
Wally referenced a question from someone in the audience asking Jeff Long not to play a team from the SWAC because it put money into their competitors’ pockets. I doubt that argument is very strong because SWAC teams can usually schedule one P5 team per year. (So could UAPB.) That means the UA’s money isn’t especially beneficial to them. As a practical matter, I don’t like playing SWAC teams. They’re pretty low on the totem pole of NCAA football. I forget which SWAC team we played in WMS last year or the year before, but I don’t think we play such teams very often.
Just give CCM a couple of years to get things going and this talk will go the way of the dodo bird. Even in this new Injun Wolf golden age, who have they really beaten? Buncha directionals and nere de wells. Best of the belt some years. Whoopie!
In their first game after changing from Indians to Pink Puppies, they won at Texas A&M in 2008. Haven’t beaten a Power 5 team since, although Nebraska had a narrow escape last year (and ended up firing their coach too). They’re bringing back their series with Tiger High for four years from 2020-23. If Tiger High wants to play home and home at Jonesboro, that’s their problem.