This is sad.
The attendance at University of Akron home football games wasn’t just bad last year, it was the worst among all 125 NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision teams.
The Zips, who play at 30,000-seat InfoCision Stadium, reported drawing a total of 55,019 fans for six games, according to data the NCAA recently released.
It was the lowest number reported by the university since 2005, when the team attracted 54,464 and played at the decrepit, off-campus Rubber Bowl.
It’s also expensive. The stadium was built in 2009, at a cost of more than $60 million. And that’s not the only expense the school suffers.
… With the university subsidizing the football operations by about $8 million, it’s not good that fans and their much-needed cash are staying away from games.
That has forced the university — already making annual debt payments of $4.3 million on the stadium — to dip deeper into its own pocket to drive up attendance artificially.
The NCAA requires universities to average 15,000 fans in actual or paid attendance over a rolling two-year period to remain in Division I. In 2013, the school bought 56,710 tickets valued at $10 each.
I’m sure it seemed like a good idea at the time. Then again, with fans like these…
“I don’t know what it is about Akron,” LaBate said. “If you live in Columbus, you kill to go to an Ohio State game. It’s the way you grow up. That culture doesn’t exist in Akron. I don’t know why.”
… there are probably a lot of things that seem like good ideas. Maybe they need to think about adding WiFi.