Clemson had a 29-game winning streak ended last night by LSU. They’ve won 29 straight regular season games and counting. Rabid fan base, highly successful team, certainly no problem with people staying home because they don’t think they’ll win a particular game.
How many home games have they sold out during that 29-game streak? Three. They didn’t sell out a single game during the entire NC season of 2018. They’ve even resorted to handing out free tickets to students who didn’t buy student passes to get butts in the seats. Part of their problem (a nice one to have) is that they blow out so many teams that students and a lot of other fans who do show up tend to leave at halftime, so second halves feature acres of empty aluminum.
Even Notre Dame didn’t sell out every game last season, and the Irish are pretty much an automatic sellout for about the last 40 years.
A Florida business professor had his students ask friends why they didn’t go to UF games. The reasons they found were blowout games, weather (can get a little toasty at Gainesville in September), no beer in the stadium – but the most common one was cost of tickets ($20 at Florida). Games being on TV wasn’t a major reason; neither was traumatic brain injury, or games being boring, or long TV timeouts (or ads and canned music playing over the Jumbotron/PA if you read this board much).
All of this, by the way, from an SI.com tour of college campuses last season:
Thanks for bringing this up Jeff. I’ve noticed a lot of empty seats the last couple of years for big programs buy just watching TV. If you look close you can see it. When Clemson does not sell out every game it’s certainly eye opening.
Over 10 years ago I was involved in NASCAR (our company was a lead sponsor for a team) and several races sold out quickly. We’re talking huge numbers of people. I’ve been to Talladega when every grandstand was full (or close to it). Today many tracks have torn down entire grandstands because folks don’t flock to races anymore. I stay in contact with our old team owners and they blame it on less marketing by the tracks because of the big TV money. But it’s more than that. People (for many reasons) are not going to live sporting events like they did in the past. I believe NFL attendance is declining also.
A four hour football game is just too boring for this younger generation; at the field or for the national championship. They prefer computer games…participants – rather than watchers.
Empty seats is becoming a common occurrence.
I haven’t read the article (yet) but I think when they say “price of the tickets” a built in part of that is “its on TV for free.” So being on TV is a reason, if not a stated one.
I am shocked at the lack of sell outs at Clemson. I would have bet a lot that a ticket would be hard to come by.
I would be interested to know how game length has changed over the years. Someone probably has that info somewhere.
Last Fall I recommended to the UA AD and his senior personnel a couple of suggestions to improve student turnout.
1: Improve seat location. When I was a UA student 40 years ago, the student section went from th 50 yard line into the EZ. I remember the band sitting at the 35 yard line. Today, the student section is mostly from about the 20 yard line to the EZ.
2. Promote UA athletics and the teams schedules where the non-athletic students can easily find them like the UAConnect portal.
Don’t assume everyone knows everything about the UA teams and their schedules. I knew some coeds who drove to College Station last season for the Aggie game!
Better seat location and improved promotion will result in increased student attendance.
Guy, when we were students it was a much smaller stadium. And they still have a pretty good view. My season tickets for years were next to the student section so I had essentially the same view. A lot of schools stick students in the end zone; UA doesn’t do that. They put big donors in the end zone instead. Promoting the schedule helps. Promoting in general helps, which Muss has realized for hoops.
A football game is 60 minutes, shouldn’t have to spend 4-5 hours of my day just to finish one game. I’ve gotten to where I can’t even watch them on tv anymore due to the frequency and duration of the commercials.
Arkansas games were between 3:15 and 3:30 in length last year. I think it’s the playoff games with longer halftime and more commercials that get long. I have not been to many 4-hour games.
I thought I remembered the time of the game, but just to make sure, I went back and checked:
Portland State 3:36
Ole Miss 3:17
Colorado State 3:29
San Jose State 3.34
Texas A&M 3:22
Miss State 3:05
W Ky 3:06
When the other team is running the ball in the fourth quarter, the clock doesn’t stop. That’s a factor in shortened games.
TV, especially SEC, is taking its toll on game attendance everywhere. High cost of attending the games, lousy parking, & convenience of watching multiple games at home also take their toll. Add to that low expectations for our team in recent years & day games that are miserably hot in Razorback Stadium early in the season. My son at UofA tells me that many fellow students do not attend games.
There was a time 40 yrs ago when we drove 9 hrs from Houston for a couple of games in Fayetteville each year but unlikely we would do that today. That is too bad since we miss the excitement of game day at the stadium plus always fun to visit & explore UofA campus, Dickson St, & the Ozarks. Unfortunately for Arkansas, unlike aTm & ut we don’t have huge nearby cities to fill our football stadiums.
Great info…thanks for sharing. Really shocked at Clemson that’s for sure!
My games are short w the DVR, no commercials, no injuries, no huddle if you really want to speed it up,
most college don’t huddle anyways. I haven’t noticed
Take in the next Hog game at Auburn…if you can find a seat.
Clemson has some of the same problem. Campus is fairly remote. Greenville is the nearest city of any size (68,000) and it’s 30 miles away.
There were plenty of empty seats across college football last season. The WKY on the hill was maybe half full!
There are exceptions like the Auburn game but not that many.
When I was at UofA, there were 13k students on campus & difficult to find tickets at Razorback stadium with 44k capacity. Now with 28k students, the stadium at 72k is half full. With NWA approaching 700k population, seems that more locals would want to attend the games & fill the stadium.
A lot of that population growth is from transplants who probably support other teams.
Hopefully enough of those transplants to NWA have kids who will go to UofA. A lot of kids here in DFW go there, including my son. Huge Razorback alumni following here.