“Is it worth the $20-per-ticket price?”

I’m not going to pretend this piece has all the answers to the question why college football appears to have an attendance problem, but I will say the geniuses who run college athletics ignore the students who will become the alumni base they need to sell tickets to in ten to twenty years at their peril.

23 Comments

Filed under College Football

23 responses to ““Is it worth the $20-per-ticket price?”

  1. DawgPhan

    I was more than happy to donate/buy tickets, donate to Terry and Grady, and this was all while I was a new alum and wasnt making anywhere near what I make now.

    But they decided they decided the emotional connection that I had with the University was better monetized and turned it into a business transaction.

    At that point I decided UGA didnt need my donations anymore.

    Liked by 4 people

    • jtp03

      I work for a nonprofit and am genuinely curious why you feel that way?

      Like

      • Chi-town Dawg

        Let’s see… raise the annual donation requirement every few years, raise ticket prices every 2-3 years despite (this year notwithstanding) a terrible home football schedule and even though UGA’s total cost of attending a game is one of the highest in the country already, set-up a separate/preferred (McGill) fundraising arm for big money donors, expensive concession prices with long wait times, eliminate tailgating at the Reed Hall quad and then bring it back on a pay-to-use tailgate package, kick RV and car parking off campus, so the parking lots can be used by the athletic department with a donation fee required to park. These are just off the top of my head and I’m sure there are other reasons. I love UGA, but we’re nothing more then a bunch of wallets to them as DawgPhan points out.

        Liked by 1 person

        • jtp03

          Well I was really asking more about why he stopped giving to terry and Grady. I know why for the AA. That’s the same set of reasons I let my Season tickets lapse a few years ago. But I still give to UGA foundation.

          Like

  2. I was lucky my first year I was eligible to purchase season tickets. The stadium had an expansion, and the university waived the contribution requirement and gave us a step-up option over a couple of years. Now the price of admission including the contribution with the quality of games makes season tickets for new alumni practically unreachable. It’s hard to miss something you never had. Throw in all the game day experience issues with traffic and parking. There’s a bubble that’s slowly leaking, and the powers that be must just assume the TV people will replace the lost revenue.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Good read. These AD’s are so obstinate, that the students could come in their office, describe this issue to their face and they would still clamor for better “connectivity” (cell, wifi) to solve the issue. All the while continue raising student prices and charging athletic fees as a line item each semester/quarter, and scheduling 12p games due to tv (and cupcakes). (I hate to credit Clemson for anything, but good for them for giving 1,500 free student tix to each game.) In the end, Mickey’s $ means more to the AD / reserve fund / bottom line than future fan support, until it corrects itself, which is not likely soon. Therefore I fear it is sadly only going to get worse in the next decade. I hope the aging fan bases across America, myself included, remembers this next time I see swaths of empty seats / light student sections.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ATL Dawg

    Another small factor at play in this is that, as time goes on, more and more people are getting wise to the fact that these athletic associations are nothing more than professional sports organizations loosely attached to the universities.

    I chuckle every time I read the UGA AA still desperately attempting to frame “donating” to the UGA AA as charitable giving. The UGA AA isn’t anything close to a charity and hasn’t been for many, many decades. Nothing hammers that point home like paying some guy $7 million a year to coach football. Your “donation” is nothing more than an NFL-style Personal Seat License disguised under a different name.

    I pay my seat license fees (aka “donate”) and buy tickets but I’m under no illusion that this is any different than if I bought tickets from any other professional sports team. As more and more people come to understand this, the sense of duty and attachment to it becomes less and less. It is what it is…a business transaction. You’re the customer and they’re the business producing a product.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. MGW

    It’s 100% realignment and the handing over the reigns of everything to one of the most ruthlessly profitable corporations on the planet, Disney. The people responsible for that who are trying to rack their brains to figure out the attendance problem will consider everything BUT that, because that’s responsible for their salaries, and it’s their fault and can’t be easily undone, so it’s a hopeless exercise and frankly a waste of money to “try” to solve it any other way.

    Because of that, to the people who have any say in the matter, tradition is nothing but an annoyance that costs money. Dozens of 75+ year old rivalries are dead. LSU plays day games at home. Michigan installed lights. West Virginia is in the Big 12. Two schools east of the rockies are in the PAC 12. While claiming the olympic model would “professionalize” athletes, schools do literally every single other thing in their power to in fact professionalize the athletes and set them apart from the rest of the student body who, again, are nothing but an annoyance. The big out of conference games are more and more rare, and if they do happen, they’re usually not played on campus but at some pro stadium 100+ miles away from either school.

    I doubt many students, much less the lot of them, could put their fingers on that or any of the other consequences of the changes over the last fifteen years, but it’s that simple. We’re like the frog slowly boiled who never jumps out of the pot. The students now don’t really even remember the good times unless their parents were outright fanatics who steeped them in the “old ways.”

    Or maybe it’s just those gosh darn millennials. Who knows?

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Jim Traficant was innocent

    The one thing I am certain is correct in this article is that many Florida students are unhappy they had to go there.

    Like

  7. Illini84

    I just retired and this was my last season with season tickets (I know folks think I get them in retirement but I don’t because of the organization I worked for). Basically I paid half of face and had decent seats in the second row of the upper deck near the bugle. There is no way I will do what it takes to get tickets anymore.

    Like

  8. duronimo

    I read a piece or saw it on TV where a Brave executive was stating that their financial success (profit) didn’t hinge on income from fan attendance. He pointed to the more lucrative streams of income associated with sports today. What we are down to is that crowds are a backdrop for TV production. It’s the same deal with NFL & NASCAR.

    College football fans are “down the list” as a priority as well. This is indicated by how the money is spent. The priority is to make the facilities look great on TV. Helping the fans get to the games (traffic), park, tailgate, and have available, clean bathrooms to use are back-burner issues.

    Bottom line. We see all this money being made at the expense of a future UGA fanbase. It’s an obvious problem to us. But these athletic executives don’t see it that way. Sports, is a TV show best seen at home allowing advertisers access to the fan base. Like baseball, as the money continues to roll in, game-day attendance will continue to slide. High ticket prices contributes to their goal of having enough people in the stands to make it look good on TV. These athletic executives aren’t stupid. This is intentional.

    Like

  9. Russ

    I wonder what attendance is like for Division 3 schools and Ivy League schools, where the players are students first and every game isn’t televised? Is it the game that losing luster, or (as I suspect) the over commercialization of the game that’s occurring at the top levels?

    Like

    • Mick Jagger

      I attend some Mercer (I’m an alum) games and it is a great experience. Relatively hassle free and the common man can buy a beer at the game.

      Like

      • Gaskilldawg

        Wow. A Baptist college serves beer and the public university is opposed to it?

        Like

        • Mick Jagger

          Mercer has ended its association with the Georgia Baptist Convention now.

          Yeah, all sports events there are fan and family friendly – football (almost scored a field goal against Bama) , basketball (we beat Duke), baseball, women’s volleyball (a great spectator sport!), etc. Light traffic. Easy access to restaurants, bars, The Big House, etc.

          All are welcome to join us sometime.

          Like

  10. duronimo

    What we see as a problem is but the prevailing business model for professional and college sports executives. Their model doesn’t include fans, now or in the future. 80,000 people at a game doesn’t compare to the big money generated by having the millions at home, watching an avalanche of ads. The future? They’ll simply CGI the fans into the production.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. 69Dawg

    All of the above are great takes on the biggest issue. AD’s can’t just come out and admit that they are running professional organizations very loosely tied to an academic institution. Once the AA was split from the actual University in order to be able to pay the AA staff outrageous salaries, they were no longer team players with the school. In the fifty years since I graduated thinks financially have changed greatly. I never paid more than the student activity fee to go to a football game. When I was a senior and a grad student I set on the 50 yard line of the bottom section of the north stands. Your class determined your seats. The only thing you had to do was wait in line to get the tickets. The schools today are not going to have many young alumni that can afford to go to the games. We are looking at the beginning of the end of college football as we have known it for 125 of it’s 150 years.

    Like

    • Macallanlover

      Concur that the end is coming, although I feel we are well past the beginning stage. “The times they are changing” is an understatement, I would say that began around the mid-90s. No question though, it has been rapidly escalating in recent years.

      The in-house experience is clearly at an advanced stage, although TV viewership will keep it around for a while. The number of empty seats at key home games has been startling the past 2-3 years, the last couple of stadium expansions are already looking like really bad decisions for all but a home game every year or two. Not as visible in pictures and actual eyesight but the true attendance numbers are compelling evidence.

      The folks in charge, at all levels, have exhibited poor leadership, analytical, and decision making skills. RIP “the good times”.

      Like

  12. SoccerDawg

    I emails Josh Brooks with a suggestion for gameday enhancement that involved having more /and/or better quality speakers piping the UGA Band sound to the east end of the stadium. I was even prepared to spend my own money as seed money. The tall skinny tinny speakers they are using are worthless. For an example of how it should be done see Neyland Stadium. Anyway Brooks responded and said people don’t care about the sound from the band. Wifi like that available in the Mercedes Benz shoud be easy to accomplish. Hell ATT would probably install for free. Why cant we get that done?

    Like

    • Macallanlover

      Brooks said people don’t care about the band’s sound? He has a worse hearing problem than I have grown into. What a surprise that McGoofy would tolerate a tone deaf idiot to deal with their biggest boosters. They should walk way…quickly; and take their checkbooks with them. College bands are a difference maker for people who love the college game, and run like hell from anything that looks or sounds like the pro sport.

      Like

  13. Bright Idea

    Will the lukewarm students who aren’t going to the games today watch on TV in 10, 15, 20 years? Of course, a half empty stadium won’t create much of an atmosphere, but could be a good thing in many ways. Like the federal government, college football will never have a revenue problem, but a spending problem. Wouldn’t lower attendance eventually force less spending?

    Like

  14. Butler Reynolds

    Those buyout clauses don’t pay for themselves! If you want a football experience that isn’t so money-driven, there are plenty of high school and small college games that would truly appreciate your attendance. Oh, and don’t forget Georgia Tech.

    Like

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