Flatlining

A trend continues.

Home attendance at all major college football games declined for the sixth consecutive year, though once again at a smaller rate compared to some past seasons.

Football Bowl Subdivision crowds averaged 43,106 fans per game in 2016,downby less than 1 percent from 2015, according to a CBS Sports analysis of NCAA attendance data. The 2015 crowds also declined by less than 1 percent after a 4-percent drop in 2014.

This year’s average crowd was again the lowest since 2000 (42,631). Crowd sizes were down 7 percent since peaking in 2008 (46,565). Universities have tried with mixed results to keep fans in stadiums instead of watching for less money from the comfort of their home.

Better get moving on that improved Wifi experience, dudes.  And maybe turn the music volume up a notch while you’re at it.

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67 Comments

Filed under College Football

67 responses to “Flatlining

  1. 81Dog

    maybe they should try marketing the games to the people who actually want go there instead of the people who don’t want to go there. Instead, they’re just turning people who want to go there into people who don’t want to go there.

    On second though, just keep racheting up the rap music, stupid scoreboard commercials, ribbon board ads, and for gosh sakes, give us more TV timeouts so that you can bombard us with all the aforementioned “game day experience improvements” more effectively. And by all means, keep feeding us attractive home schedules against teams like ULL, App State, Nicholls State. Sure, every other year we end up going about a month without a home game, but who cares? People love trying to get to Athens 3 weeks in a row in September when it’s 10000 degrees to see teams from the FCS, don’t they?

    PS: oh, and jack up prices for tickets and contributions, make parking more expensive and less accessible, and please make concessions even harder to navigate. Don’t worry about the bathrooms, I’m sure everyone is fine with the current state of affairs!

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    • Chopdawg

      Someday, maybe, the CFB PTB will realize that games with only handfuls of fans in the stands don’t make for good TV.

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    • Bulldog Joe

      Or perhaps the Georgia athletic director could show some appreciation for those who support the program by telling the truth every once in a while.

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    • Gaskilldawg

      I bi-annually make the trip to the Auburn game and the contrast in game day attitude between Auburn and UGA/Athens is striking. The difference between Sanford capacity and J-H capacity is only about 6,000 but the diffence in the size of Athens/Clarke County and the City of Auburn is significant. Auburn does not have the infrastructure and law enforcement/traffic management capacity that ACC has, but rather than viewing the football spectators as a nuisance Auburn embraces the paying guests and makes an effort to make attending the games there enjoyable.I have been going to games in Auburn since 1965 and I have always been treated with more hospitality by law enforcement, university staff, ticket takers, ushers, and such as a rival fan than I often get in Athens as a UGA fan.

      Auburn wants me to return and spend money every other year. UGA wants me to spend money every year but be as inobtrusive as possible.

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  2. CB

    Have the Who and Phil Collins always been played at home games or is that kind of recent, like over the last decade? I don’t recall those songs being played in the 90’s, but I was a kid so I could have missed it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • At least since 2001. Can’t quite remember back further than that.

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      • CB

        I’ve always had a suspicion that whoever is in charge of music is stuck in the 80’s. They’ve trended more towards hip hop over the last few years which is a huge plus for me. Not sure if it helps with overall attendance, but, while great songs by great artists, Baba O’reilly and in the air tonight never felt like football songs to me. While I’m at it neither does a Nickelback cover of Elton John’s Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting.

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        • lakedawg

          You did notice that they did play less of the c. rap that has one word over and over for 5 minutes at a time, mainly limiting it to half time. That was caused by many of us old timers who contribute money and buy tickets and enjoy “music” that has words you can understand.

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          • CB

            I contribute money, wear my pants below my butt, and often attend games with pretty white women. Also, I’ve got broads in Atlanta.

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        • RugbyDawg79

          Man a lot of us Love Baba O’Reilly , of course I am an old guy -maybe just let The Redcoats play

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          • CB

            I like the song just doesn’t feel like football to me

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            • Chi-town Dawg

              I’m a 1980s grad who loves that music, but agree with CB about the musical selection. I’d also add that Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond has never got me fired up. However, I don’t think the music is the reason for declining fan interest. In addition to all the valid reasons outlined above by 81Dog, I’d also add the lack of a fun tailgating experience. Ever since Adams shutdown pre-game tailgating on North Campus, the atmosphere has never been the same. Even though there’s been a limited effort to try and bring it back, just like after the MLB strike, it will take a long time for fans to return.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Chi-town Dawg

                I’d also like to know what our actual attendance has been the past 2-3 years as opposed to the number of tickets sold. Sure we sell out all of the home game tickets, but based on the eyeball test, it certainly looks look we’ve had more and more no shows disguised as empty seats each year.

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            • Chopdawg

              I’ll take Songs Where The Title Ain’t In The Lyrics for 1,000 Alex

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      • Bulldog Joe

        Except I once had this nightmare about Coach Smart playing safety.

        Kids were dancing to Y.M.C.A. and The Macarena and Coach Donnan was losing his debut to Southern Miss.

        Weird.

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    • I think maybe it started in 2000. I know I remember In the Air Tonight before that UT game in 2000.

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    • Russ

      Not always. We used to have a live band, made up of students. It was pretty neat.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Attendance plus 23% at the U. of Miami. wonder why.

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  4. Debby Balcer

    I love our music In the Air tonight was not played this season but Teenage Wasteland and Saturday qweree. My daughter graduated from college in 2006 and she went to see The Who in concert. I do not enjoy rap and wish the band played more. The prwegame is fun.

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    • Debby Balcer

      Dang typos Saturday and it’s Saturday in Athens gets the stadium ready for kickoff. I like Kirby’s attack the day too. Too many of our fans are still strolling into their seats and miss this.

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    • Russ

      I’m probably the biggest Who fan out there, but what they have to do with Georgia football is beyond me. Some things just don’t need to be mixed.

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      • Debby Balcer

        What does any song except for the fight song and alma mater have to do with football?

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      • Bazooka Joe

        I used to like the Who, unfortunately listening to them lately shows that they (along with the stones, rush and a few others) should have hung it up quite awhile ago. They sound like crap now and have ruined it for me. Kind of like the old athlete that keeps playing well beyond his time…

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  5. RHSIV10

    For those of you who blame rap music for your declining interest in the games, give me a break. First of all, this is a COLLEGE football team. The music should at least somewhat reflect the music which COLLEGE students and football players listen to and want to hear. I am a student at the University and haven’t missed a game my entire time at the school. I can tell you for a fact that when certain popular rap songs are played, the students are definitively louder and the team responds with more energy. One specific example I can cite is the Clemson game in 2014 when a rap song was played after Todd Gurley’s kick return. Loudest moment I can remember as a student. It was not a coincidence that the music playing was rap. The students and team on the sideline responded incredibly enthusiastically to the music. This is not to say that a diverse selection of music is a bad thing, in fact I think everyone likes that they don’t only play one type. But when I read through this comment section and see multiple complaints about rap music, it sounds like the wine and cheese crowd which Georgia so often gets criticized for being. And to be honest if music playing intermittently between plays or during pregame is affecting your experience this much, you’re not focusing on the right parts of Saturdays in Athens. If a new genre of music comes along and takes over the culture by the time I am in my 40s or 50s and still going to games that I don’t enjoy, then I will advocate for it playing as loud as ever through the stadium for the benefit of the team and the students.

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    • JCDAWG83

      How about music coming from a COLLEGE band made up of COLLEGE students? If you want to listen to music popular with COLLEGE students, go to a bar or dance club in a COLLEGE town and listen to the music.

      You would probably be surprised at how loud a crowd of 90,000+ fans can be without piped in music of any kind.

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      • RHSIV10

        You would probably be surprised how many top recruits would then doze right on off. My top priority as a fan is watching a winning team. The band is nice and everyone loves them but they don’t move the meter for a majority of the players or the students (who by the way are the loudest group by far when they’re on). Deal with some rap and understand that it’s a recruiting tool as well. Sanford is consistently one of the quieter stadiums in the conference which puts us at a disadvantage. South Carolina is louder and they have a JV team lining up every Saturday. I challenge the older dawgs to stop having a stick up their ass about this and embrace the change, it’s not like it’s that big of a shift that should affect your game experience very much anyway.

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        • You nailed it. The “Bill King” crowd still wants to hear the same old shit because they think the money they pay means they should get to hear the same old shit.

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          • Bazooka Joe

            That guy is an idiot… (Bill King). I am surprised he is still around.

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            • Gaskilldawg

              I won’t call him an idiot, but I do note that his readers often ask idiotic questions. They will ask him questions about coaching, and he has no more information than I do about what goes on in practice, what the analytical staff has discovered about strengths and weaknesses of opponents and our staff’s conclusions about what best works against an opponent.

              Might as have a ouija board mailbag column in the AJC.

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        • PTC DAWG

          I agree, some just like to complain about hippy rock music…or whatever my parents called what I was listening to in the mid to late 70’s. We used to have James Brown in the arena, he wasn’t in the band nor was he even a student…I guess folks complained about that too.

          Play on my grass, that is what it’s there for.

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      • Gaskilldawg

        When I was a COLLEGE freshman at UGA in 1973 I much preferred to listen to The Rolling Stones play “Sympathy for the Devil” than listen to the Redcoat Band play “Sympathy For the Devil,” even though I was a COLLEGE kid and the Redcoats are a COLLEGE band of COLLEGE students in a COLLEGE town.

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    • Chopdawg

      I’m a ’75 graduate…but one of the best moments I’ve experienced in Sanford was the Auburn blackout game, between the third & fourth quarters, when the whole place did the Soulja Boy.

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      • Raleighwood Dawg

        I agree. Class of ’86 here. I remember making fun of the Soulja Boy song when it first came out, but it rocked the house the evening of the Auburn blackout game!

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    • 81Dog

      I’m sure your life experience growing up on the mean streets of East Cobb, or maybe Alpharetta, or where ever, certainly allows you to relate to rap, which no doubt says all those things you want us old people to know about yo’ feelins. I appreciate that your struggle is real, yo, and I urge you to stay strong and keep fighting the power.

      Or maybe you’re just another snowflake who thinks he’s all hard because he listens to that vile rap shit while he fires up the bong in his pricey townhouse in Athens, lamenting the lack of a Whole Foods. If you think the student body is who’s footing the bill for everything you enjoy about the game day football experience, and thus, the ones to whom everyone should be catering, perhaps you don’t quite get the idea of market economics. This is perhaps understandable, because people have been praising every little move you all make for your entire lives. Why should this be any different?

      If you want to listen to rap music at home, or in your car, on on your I-whatever until your ears bleed, or anyone else wants to, have at it. The folks who are paying the freight for everything over there at Sanford on game days pretty much hate it, and while it’s not the only thing they don’t enjoy, having it blasted at them at concussive decibel levels certainly making it easier to just quit writing the checks. You’ll probably get it 20 years from now, when Dog only knows what kind of stupid shit the next generation of snowflakes will be listening to that YOU would rather drive a screwdriver into your brain than listen to for another second. If I’m still alive, I will be laughing my old ass off if they end up making you listen to some stupid but relatively harmless shit like 80s disco.

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      • I am not sure you get it. If older folks don’t play music the younger crowd likes, there will be no older folks down the road to play music the younger crowd likes. This is not rocket science.

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      • RHSIV10

        Yeah, ok. Millennials are all pieces of shit every one of us, you’re right. No understanding of economics or how the world really works in any way. Sort of like your lack of understanding of how recruiting works and that the money you’re paying goes to a University who is attended by, guess who, millennial students. Find somewhere else to spend your money if you’re disappointed and outraged that the students of the University whose football team it is have a say in something like music selection. I’m sure the program can go on without you.

        You’re also missing the point which is that, our individual musical taste aside, the players like rap. You know, the ones we want to be fired up on gameday. That’s should be the primary consideration here.

        I’m no huge rap junkie by any means but the level of ignorance you’ve shown in your condemnation of the genre and the anger you clearly have towards something as simple as a musical genre are staggering.

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        • 81Dog

          ah, I get it now. It’s ok for you to condescendingly lecture us old people who don’t understand the delicate nuances of rap music, or anything else that happens in relation to the college football process, but Dog forbid anyone snark back at you in the same tone, only probably more effectively used.

          I always thought college was a place for people to learn things, but apparently you’re wasting your time, as you already know it all. I guess Jere should just let you run the marketing for the athetic department, because clearly, how hard could it be? Kudos to you and your finely tuned ability to separate truth from mere opinion. Or maybe you’re just another kid who thinks he’s right about everything because he’s always been told he’s right about everything. Wait until you grow up, you might be in for a shock.

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          • Gaskilldawg

            Wow.

            I did not read into his original or responding post any attempt to explain any nuances about rap. Instead, I just read an opinion about what recruits like to hear at games in response to your opinion that the UGA AA should not play urban over the sound system.

            Perhaps his opening clause contains, “give me a break” was intended to be condescending, maybe it was not, and I respect you enough to not question your reading of that remark.

            In any event, in my opinion everything you wrote in your December 16th at 1:15 pm post is exactly on the money with the exception of the quibble over the 4 or 5 times per game they play urban music instead of Journey. I appreciate your insight and contributions to this board but in my opinion this argument is a little overdone.

            Peace.

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      • Gaskilldawg

        Kind of unnecessarily harsh there, 81. I like a lot of urban music not because as a 62 year old white guy I relate to the mean streets of English Avenue where Wiz Khalifa filmed “We Dem Boyz,” but because I like the sound. Maybe that makes me a snowflake, too.

        I get you do not like urban music, but I as a Hartman Fund contributor and season ticket purchaser I disagree that “pretty much” all of us hate it.

        Face it, it they played nothing but Luke Bryan maybe I would post stuff about people living in bucolic Alpharetta or East Cobb listening to him while trying to relate to the travails of farming or ranching. UGA AA is never going to be able to select music that 100% of those in attendance loves.

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      • PTC DAWG

        You need some GRASS to play on.

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    • Gaskilldawg

      Agree totally.

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  6. Big Shock

    I flew across the country in October to see some family and take my 7 year old to a UGA game. He watched the dawgs lose to Vandy. Not sure why he’d ever want to come to another game. I blame future attendance declines on Jim Chaney.

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    • Trbodawg

      I flew across country in October to see my Dad and to take my girlfriend’s 11 year old to his first UGa game on his birthday, October 1st. He watched the dawgs lose to Tenn. He was ecstatic and devastated all in about 1 minute. He can’t wait to go back. Different game, Different experience.

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  7. 86BONE

    Can you say “65” Smart TV”….pun intended

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    • Macallanlover

      The primary reason, no doubt about it. Many others, but availability and ease of watching at home or a pub is numero uno.

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      • Bazooka Joe

        Exactly, big screen, replays, other scores, fridge, clean bathroom with no waiting (maybe…), no DUI, no getting home at 3am after a night game (or leaving the house at 8 for a noon game).

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  8. Mayor

    I also think they are simply ruining the football experience for some. Lousy home game schedules, poor product on the field, the stadium is too loud and the music and videos that have little or nothing to do with football.

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  9. The music does not bother me, hell when I was in college my music bothered all the older folks.
    Number 1 reason I gave up tickets, stay at home and watch on TV. No 5 hour trips, no crappy traffic, and last but not least, I am getting too old for that traffic, trip, and crowds.

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  10. Oh yeah, all that travel to watch Div 1 play FCS schools. I can go twenty miles down the road and watch a top ten Div. 2 team. And it is a hell of a lot cheaper.

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  11. Free beer will do it. Otherwise ADGM may need to go to his well tried condoms.

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  12. Gaskilldawg

    The McGarity and similar types solution to having compete with the watching at home on television experience is to make in the stadium more like watching on television: commercials! Folks at home get to watch commercials, so let’s put commercials on the message ribbons and scoreboard! Just like watching from your BarcaLounger, so maybe next week you will get off your BarcaLounger and get to Sanford!

    Seriously, the CFB PTB should enhance the things that watching from home could never provide, such as embracing tailgating and picnicking on the beautiful campus and by offering interesting games to attend rather than half the home schedule being “rent a win” games.
    I realize there will always be a cupcake on the schedule, but the best time to play a cupcake would be at night, when the atmosphere in the Stadium is naturally better, than at noon, in the heat of early September.

    UGA’s football game day approach is to figure out what is more convenient to the UGA AA on game day rather than what is convenient to the fans giving the UGA AA money. Thus, Hartman Fund regulars having to literally walk three miles round trip up and down Athens hills to get to and from wear they have to park.

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  13. Home schedule isn’t weak enough. Footbaw games aren’t that important anyway. We need more neutral site games for the important things like golf and drinking.

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  14. 69Dawg

    It’s not the music it’s the volume. I gave up my season tickets four years ago. Not because of the music but because of age and distance traveled. I love to come to Athens but it really is too small a town to handle a crowd of 93,000. The stadium was built in 1929 and I swear the bathrooms on the concourses are the same size as when built. Anyway the PTB have to realize that the older the money the older the fan. If I lived in Athens or even north Georgia I would still be there but not from Florida. I watch it on TV and in the case of this year I don’t even DVR the games. The product on the field will effect the ticket sales more than anything on game day. Kirby can recruit his way for the first few years but he better coach them up and win or he will be gone in 5 years.

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  15. The music has nothing to do with my complaint about the game experience (other than it doesn’t have to be at eardrum-bursting levels). It has everything to do with traffic, parking, bathrooms and concessions. In other words, the infrastructure to support 93,000 people gathering in one place is awful. Between that and the incessant TV timeouts, it makes going to games more difficult every season.

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