An immensely popular sport, if you can keep it.

Georgia fans, you’re not alone:  read Billy Gomila’s piece about the steady decline of tailgating at LSU, and you’ll hear the same refrain we know so well, sung in a Cajun accent.

Hell, you almost get the feeling that the geniuses running college athletics are actively sabotaging their product.

The saddest part is a few years down the road, when the stadiums still aren’t filling up, those same people are going to proclaim themselves totally puzzled by the situation.

21 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

21 responses to “An immensely popular sport, if you can keep it.

  1. Gaskilldawg

    The current crop of ADs don’t worry about it. They claim credit for current revenues and the problems down the road will someone else’s problem. And, when shit hits the fan, they can say “In my day we had booming revenues!!”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Godawg

    Spot on article, lot of good rants in the comments. I especially liked: “And while I’m fired up, Faulkner was a shitty writer.” 🙂

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    • Got Cowdog

      That guy doesn’t like Faulkner ’cause Faulkner ‘s from Mississippi. It’s a thing in Louisiana. My high school English Teacher Grandmother hated him too. ” Mississippi trash” she called him.

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    • illini84

      The whole rant is worthy!

      I’ll be goddamned
      before I ever fork over a dime to some company LSU hired to set up a “tailgate” for me. That’s catering, not tailgating, and we ain’t Ole Miss, dagnabbit. And while I’m fired up, Faulkner was a shitty writer.

      But yeah, I’m probably giving up my tickets (had ‘em since 2002 season) after this year. My SEZ tickets (6 rows from the top before they added more stadium) cost me $214.64 each between ticket cost, TAF “donation”, and seat backs. That’s $430 per game for me and a friend or my wife to watch Georgia Southern. Sure, it’s also the same amount to watch Florida, but that’s usually a 2:30pm kick so we get to bake in the sun for 5 hours while CBS shows more Murder, She Wrote commercials. I hate to do it, but if there’s a game I really want to go to, the secondary ticket market exists for a reason.

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  3. Jeff Sanchez

    Dang, found this in the comments, and this is at Mizzou – MIZZOU!

    Be interesting to see how things down down after this great slate of home games in 2019. I think a lot of people are waiting until this season is over to cash out their chips.

    “I hope you don’t mind a voice from the perspective of another Tigers team
    I’m not going to pretend that Mizzou has the cachet of LSU football, but:

    My family were season ticket holders to Mizzou games from 1946 until 2016. Most of those years we had four seats, section I, row 52, seats 13-16. Seat 14 was exactly aligned on the south 40 yard line.
    In the late 1980s, when the team was in the fifth or sixth year of a streak of no winning records from 1984-1997, all my parents’ “points” for those years from 1946-1989 were erased.
    Mizzou in the early 1990s — still in years of losing records — started assigning “points” to “voluntary donations” to keep seats. My dad ran those through his business, but we eventually started paying $100, $200, $500 per seat for the “donation” to the school before we paid for the season tickets.
    We started out parking near the stadium, to the south, for an additional $50 per season. From 1998 to 2005, that went up from $50 to $500 and then in one year from $500 to $1500, for one non-guaranteed space — if you wanted to pitch a tent, better get there at 6 a.m. to find a spot near the woods, and if you show up and the lot’s full, so sorry, you’re Kansas’d.
    Fast forward to the winning years with us being one game away from the championship in 2007, and it got worse. Now they’re asking for $1000 per seat before you buy the tickets, and we start getting pushed further out in tailgating. This of course coincides with my dad getting older, and it getting harder to walk a quarter mile, then a half mile, then a full mile to the stadium; and the golf carts they use to carry people in only come around every hour or two to get people into it.
    So anyhow, in 2015 my wife and I have a kid, and my dad calls to see if he can get a break on the tickets, pointing out that we have a history dating back to 1946, to which the 18-year-old on the phone laughs at him and says they can get four times that much on the prices.
    And then we cancel, because fuck you, Mizzou.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Godawg

      I liked that story too. When they cancelled they should have enclosed a note: “I have also removed Mizzou from my estate plan.”

      It’s all about dollars today and immediate gratification instead of building relationships and long-term support (which is where the really big bucks come from)

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    • Gaskilldawg

      The universities want us to think of them as being part of our families. They think of us as wallets.

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    • illini84

      One advantage of being an Illini, they are begging people to come to games. . .rightfully so.

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  4. Mick Jagger

    Ask NASCAR if this can’t happen

    Liked by 3 people

    • 79Dawg

      Professional golf (other than the Masters) is jumping up and down over in the corner saying “Look at me, look at me, I still exist too!!!”

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  5. Ruus2

    Eventually it will all be PAY per view. Which will suck but i will pay and stay at home . Love the Dawgs but i also love all good college football games.

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    • Tony Barnfart

      See, I think pay-per-view could be the path that rescues it all…….IF (big ‘if’) they do it right. What does that mean ? Move your revenue over to the consumer side vs. the advertisement side and drastically cut the TV timeout. I can’t speak for everybody, but I’d probably pay a significant amount of money to watch Georgia games with little to no TV timeouts (I know this is wishful thinking).

      The TV viewer experience will always increase with technology (think different camera angles / sound options) and Section HD isn’t going anywhere…..but the shorter, less interrupted games will boost in-game attendance. If Section HD is paying a little more (while everyone, TV and in-stadium have a better experience), I think you could see a downward pressure in ticket prices for less desirable seat locations.

      Basically, I think you have to eventually get to the point where the guy watching at home is paying about the same as the guy in the nosebleeds and all parties have a more uninterrupted experience.

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  6. MGW

    Even from a business perspective, they should look at game day as a loss leader or break even prospect at most. The fact that game days are so awesome is what makes tv so lucrative; millions of people watching feel like they’re a part of it even from home, and most of them have been a part of it in person before. That’s why they watch. You preserve that because that’s what makes the TV money so big, even though you don’t give a damn about your alums and fans.

    Squeezing every dime out today is jeopardizing tomorrow. Do you think it’s a bunch of well heeled donors who drive up those TV ratings? Do you think it’s even your alumni? No, it’s everyone else. It’s the people you used to secretly look down upon, but now for some reason feel comfortable so aggressively giving the stiff arm. There aren’t that many millions of college educated people to drive up those ratings even if every single one watched; it’s everyone else bringing that “value”. But even those folks who could rarely go to games in the first place and have little tangible connection to the university outside of just being from the state feel like they’re a part of the whole thing. Even alums and other college educated people earning decent livings are starting to feel alienated. Do you think the rest of these folks are going to stick around long once they feel that tacit rejection?

    These are blue collar people. They may never have names on buildings but, like it or not, you need them if the gravy train is going to keep rolling. And they’d all make perfectly good Falcons Jags Titans Saints or Panthers fans once driven away. Cater only to the super wealthy and otherwise gentrify and sterilize this sport at your own risk.

    And again, that’s not a plea to throw us a bone; that’s strictly a business perspective which, unlike theirs, accounts for the reality that the game’s popularity is fragile.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Bulldog Joe

    Last season, we tailgated in the parade ground. Had a great time and every available area from there to the stadium was packed. Getting in the stadium was a cluster****, but you expect that in Louisiana.

    I’m confident it won’t be like that for NW State, but by our observation the rules haven’t dampened their enthusiasm for tailgating.

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  8. Greg McGarity Jr.

    Everything’s fine, nothing to see here folks. Rest assured, we’re very happy with the way we allow you to tailgate at UGA. Now move along and get those 2020 Hartman Fund donations in as soon as possible!

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  9. Ryan

    Is there a sack McGarity site like the Adams one when I was in school? Seems like some good ‘ol online activism would garner steam since its seemingly all ADs at power 5 schools.

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