If we are being honest, there were not 25,000 people in the stands vs. Tulsa. Here’s what it looked like midway through the 2nd quarter after the full crowd had arrived:
The west end zone (below where these pictures were taken) was pretty sparse as well.
Like most people, I’m not sure what to do about attendance. Most of what I read on Twitter, message boards, and the like centers on game times.
This is our reality: We are an off-day or 11 a.m. conference. 5 of 11 games last year were in one of those slots and 7 of 12 in 2016. That means 15 of our last 28 have been off-times due to television. And it’s never changing.
So this athletics department has to figure out how to get people to games at sub-optimal times. And they have to find ways to get them engaged when fans do show up. We are failing at both.
An Empty Upper Deck
The casual fan doesn’t come in and buy premium seats. He comes in to get in – cheap seats, upper deck, end zone.
But we try to sell the upper deck seats for way too much money. I say try because we’re not doing a very good job. What are we charging for the seats that we can never sell?
For the USF game, the cheapest seat currently for sale in the south side upper deck is $40. We have those seats priced higher than seats that are for sale along the sideline in the lower deck. Yes, really. That’s ridiculous for a product you can’t give away.
And we aren’t even putting the seats in the south side corners up for sale. In fact, we sell just the first 8 rows of the middle 3 sections:
This is a problem that Chris Pezman must address. This goes beyond a ticket office issue or a marketing issue. It goes to the very heart of what we are as a program. More than anything else, we need butts in seats going forward.
We’ve done a really good job of selling premium seats – what we haven’t done very well is sell the 50% of the stadium not accounted for by season tickets and students.
Yes, we do gimmicky one-off promotions. Yes, we have cheaper seats elsewhere. And yes, we have flash sales and we do fan 4-packs. But not everyone is on Twitter to see the flash sales and most people don’t go to games in groups of four. Having a consistently low price on the 9000+ empty seats in the upper deck is crucial to filling it.
With no amenities, those upper deck seats should sell for $10 each. The hike required to concessions or the restroom and back makes that discount necessary. Reward those people. We give away hot dog & soda vouchers for people riding the Metro. We ought to do it for those seats, too.
Extended Tulsa Coverage
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