It’s always wrong
I tend to agree. Don’t announce it until it’s fixed.
That scanned ticket number is under for every game. That 8,000 number yesterday was a joke, I’ve seen lots of regional game crowds not as large as that one yesterday, and be called 10,000.
Watching on TV (or rather the live stream), they announced 11,080 or something like that. I thought that was accurate. It was obviously a huge crowd. Easily overflowed the seating capacity.
I agree we need to stop the “ticket scanned” announcement. We know it undercounts. Some of the old eyeball estimates might have been high, but I think they’re more accurate than the scanned number. The scanned number ought to be the floor for those debbie downers who always look for the worst outcome. I’ve been attending games in RRS & WMS for decades. I know what they’re seating capacities are. I can a pretty good idea of what the attendance is by looking for empty gaps in sections. Then you subtract some amount for the fact that people spread out some when the stadium isn’t packed.
I doubt the previous announcements on those in park were correct. Also the actual sold tickets is the number the NCAA uses. Does not really matter either way.
Which is one more reason not to announce scanned tickets. I’m sure some people squawked about transparency, and it has been obvious for years that the announced crowds at BWA, particularly for nonconference, were way too high (same applies for midweek games at Baum), but why put out a second number that is incorrect in the other direction?
For some reason, I don’t care.
I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it. I don’t see it as an important issue. I guess they don’t have to put it out, but it would eventually be discovered.
But they do have to use scanners. It eliminates people using tickets twice and it allows fans to print the tickets, and resales from official sources.
I would guess if the scan number exists, it can be FOIed. Most everything can be obtained. So they give it out.
The number of scanned tickets was not announced prior to the Wall Street Journal article last year that showed discrepancy between announced attendances and the numbers that were known internally. Arkansas’ new administration wants to be transparent and announces both numbers.
I had a conversation with someone about the crowd sizes the other day when the Saturday attendance was announced as 8,800-plus. If that number is tickets scanned, does it take into account students or people who enter the park with passes, like the youth groups who clean up the stadium after the game? That could be several-hundred people who aren’t reflected in the attendance number.
I’m sure it does not count those, Matt. Of course, we all know about all the stories from the football games last. People who were let it when the scanner didn’t record their ticket, but the gatekeeper let them in anyway.
I have no problem with using scanners. It’s a good idea. However, it wouldn’t hurt if they said something along the lines of “x tickets scanned, y tickets sold, z persons who attended the game without scans.” Or maybe just some acknowledgment that scanned tickets undercount the actual attendance.
Is it a huge deal? No. However, it is a matter of pride to have huge crowds. If we’re undercounting our actual attendance while other schools don’t, it just seems to undercut that achievement. Tickets sold might be a uniform way to do it, but we all know there are lots of games with “no shows.” I’m not crazy about huge overcounts, either.
Let’s think about this for a minute:
The number of tickets scanned is a firm number. It may not (actually, certainly does not) represent everyone who comes in the ballpark or account for mis-scans, etc. But then again, it’s not reported as total attendance. It’s reported as number of tickets scanned. It is a firm, comparable metric, even if it’s less than the number of people who walked through the gate.
The number of tickets sold is also a firm, comparable metric. And, it too fails to represent the number of people actually in the park for a given game. A lot tickets get bought and not used, especially the sponsor tickets. The tickets sold number is not reported as total attendance either (nor should it be).
But, you say, you want a total attendance number. That doesn’t exist in a firm, verifiable format. It’s an estimate. And while the UA athletic department may do a really good job of estimating the numbers here, do you trust the, say, Auburn athletic department to do the same?
That’s when the media prefer actual, firm numbers to report.
“Tickets sold” is a more “positive” number because it’s always going to be more than the scanned ticket number. It can also be very misleading on bad weather days or weekday games.
“Scanned tickets” also appears to be inaccurate based on mis-scans and, perhaps, how student and group tickets are handled.
There’s no perfect solution.
You’re correct. However, it seems to me we need to stop calling those numbers “attendance.” We can give two numbers: 1. ticket sold 2. tickets scanned. All we have to do is acknowledge neither number represents attendance.
go back to the “actual estimated attendance” that they were announcing.
I thought that was closest to the right number.
I have been to games at LSU more than once where the listed attendance was greater than actual listed capacity, and see empty seats in several places in the stadium. Rick Schaefer said several years ago that when they announced attendance figures for games, Arkansas, as well as other schools, would count everybody, including ushers, vendors, people working parking and traffic, everything.
In Arkansas’ case, that’s probably true about the estimates. Not every athletic department can be trusted to make an effort to be so accurate.