Change Ad Consent College football’s troubles will be punctuated with more empty seats in Pac-12 title game (Oregon Live) | The Boneyard

College football’s troubles will be punctuated with more empty seats in Pac-12 title game (Oregon Live)

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College football’s troubles will be punctuated with more empty seats in Pac-12 title game

>>The 68,500-seat venue is expected to be about half filled, as it was for last year’s title game. Tickets aren’t being sold for the highest levels of the stadium. And the vacant seats underscore a larger trend in college football.

Consider:

• The Big Ten Conference posted its lowest average attendance in 25 years (65,376) last season. And it’s forecast to break that record-low again this season.

• The Pac-12 suffered the biggest attendance decline in the upper echelon of major college football in 2018, drawing nearly 250,000 fewer fans to its stadiums than it did just one year earlier.

• Even the football-crazy SEC was down more than 100,000 in total attendance in that same period. It marked the third straight season of declining attendance for the conference that markets itself with the slogan, “It Just Means More."<<
 
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I posted about this trend a while ago. A big contributor is that sports in general have become madevforbtv events. And in football that has ruined the flow of the game. TD followed by a time out followed by an extra point followed by a time out. Endless replay reviews. 3 1/2 hour games. I went to a Wesleyan game this year. D3 no tv. Under 3 hours. Plus the new post season means half the teams are out before a play is ever run. 75% by week 2.
 
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In game experience. Fans sit in the stadium waiting for the game to resume more than they watch in game action it seems. Eliminate one TV advertisement timeout a half. Start somewhere. Why is it all imploding? ESPN. $$$ Look at the Northeast schools from the Big East who now have unreasonably long trips for an away game. No historic regional rivals except BC vs Cuse. WVU spends their season playing SWC teams. ESPN has screwed up. Fans like day games or 3:30 starts. Greed wins. Then you factor in that most programs are cannon fodder for the top 12 programs who can reach the 4 team playoff. There is no parity or draft like the NFL so you are what you are in college football forever unless you get a great hot coach who can somehow swim against the usual riptide. It will be interesting to see how PJ Fleck does over time trying to get Minnesota compete with the Big Boys in the Big Ten. ESPN needs to wake up to it's role in this trend. The majority of the public is not desperate enough to need to have to be seen on Gameday.
 
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Factor in how uninteresting it is watching the same 4 to 8 teams dominate and compete for the NC each year. Pointless. Boredom. Even the P5 conferences suffer with same power teams at the top.
 

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These games should be at home sites and should offer a guaranteed spot in a 24 team tournament.

As is, it’s a game that may or may not lead to a tournament berth at a neutral site. That’s just not a winning formula for putting butts in seats.
 
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These games should be at home sites and should offer a guaranteed spot in a 24 team tournament.

As is, it’s a game that may or may not lead to a tournament berth at a neutral site. That’s just not a winning formula for putting butts in seats.
12 regular season games. 1 conference championship game. A 24 team tournament would mean two teams would probably end up playing a 17 or possibly 18 game season. The season would probably go well into February. Hard for anyone who takes their academics seriously.
 
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They have to get to 16 teams in a playoff. It allows for some Cinderellas, distributes interest across all regions and reaches more eyes. FBS CFB is dying on the vine.
 
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12 regular season games. 1 conference championship game. A 24 team tournament would mean two teams would probably end up playing a 17 or possibly 18 game season. The season would probably go well into February. Hard for anyone who takes their academics seriously.
Yeah, like most of these players do.
 
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Yeah, like most of these players do.
most of the ones I knew took it seriously. Most realized that they wouldn’t be playing in the NFL. And even the ones that thought they would be playing in the NFL still took it seriously. I think it was a pride thing.
 
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12 regular season games. 1 conference championship game. A 24 team tournament would mean two teams would probably end up playing a 17 or possibly 18 game season. The season would probably go well into February. Hard for anyone who takes their academics seriously.
DII and DIII don't seem to have an issue with 24 teams in the play offs
 
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An 8 Team Playoff is sufficient. 5 P5 Champs, highest rated G5 Champ, and 2 wild cards. It doesn't prolong the season too much and it would engage the entire country not just the deep south. A playoff that potentially has UGA, Clemson, and LSU as a part of it is effectively leaving out like 80% of the viewing interest in the country. ESPN Created the monster with all of their S-E-C cheer leading and eventually it might destroy them.
 
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12 regular season games. 1 conference championship game. A 24 team tournament would mean two teams would probably end up playing a 17 or possibly 18 game season. The season would probably go well into February. Hard for anyone who takes their academics seriously.
Anyone who takes their academics seriously and feels postseason participation impacts academics negatively is more than welcome to not participate in any postseason play. Invitations to the postseason are exactly that; they aren’t mandates.
 
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All of these factors affect attendance. I would add that televising every game is actually a bad idea. And the elimination of big time rivalries with realighnment is too. Oklahoma-Nebraska was a big deal. Nebraska-Illinois not so much. Notre Dame had played Michigan State more than any other opponent. Now they play Virginia Tech. Teams used to play big intersectional games on the road. USC at Alabama. Now Alabama doesn’t travel and their non league home schedule is mostly dreck: Duke, So. Miss, New Mexico State, West Carolina.
 
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Conference championship games at neutral sites in which the universities are >500 miles away from the site doesn't seem to be a good idea. Throw in that fans may not know until the week before that their team will be in the championship makes it difficult for fans to commit to going. Oh, and then have the game on a Friday night at 5 PM local time!

The only conferences it makes sense to have a neutral site for the conference championship are Big 10, SEC, and Big 12 as their sites are central to their power football schools. The ACC and Pac 12 should hold their championships on campus.
 
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This is a big issue with all events. Having covered my fair share of sporting events, I think it comes down to fan experience and value vs. hassle.

When I started covering sports in early 2000s, fan access, price and enjoyment were paramount. Now? I find going to large events is very unfriendly. I am not sure if it is security due to 9-11 after effects, price of tickets and concessions, or the monstrous traffic jams at events.

Also, it all just seems stale, and the price goes up. Look at Yard Goats. It is a tremendous experience at good value. I think colleges in general struggle with this because they aren't really businesses that are out there to make money.
 

DAC17

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This is a big issue with all events. Having covered my fair share of sporting events, I think it comes down to fan experience and value vs. hassle.

When I started covering sports in early 2000s, fan access, price and enjoyment were paramount. Now? I find going to large events is very unfriendly. I am not sure if it is security due to 9-11 after effects, price of tickets and concessions, or the monstrous traffic jams at events.

Also, it all just seems stale, and the price goes up. Look at Yard Goats. It is a tremendous experience at good value. I think colleges in general struggle with this because they aren't really businesses that are out there to make money.
And they shouldn’t be. Otherwise, all the arguments about paying the athletes become absolutely correct!
 
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DII and DIII don't seem to have an issue with 24 teams in the play offs
D-III schools play 10 regular season games with no conference championship game. With their 16 team (out of 250) playoff format two teams will play 14, which is the same as a D-I team that plays in a conference championship game and a bowl. More than 90% will just play 10.
 

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I really think the largely ignored problem for college sports attendance is cultural/ demographic. Pro sports for whatever reasons has appealed more to our new immigrant groups. University sports hasn’t been able to replace their aging fan bases as quickly with modern multi cultural households as quickly as pro basketball and pro baseball and even pro football. I have a mixed race household and the other side, all college educated, couldn’t care less about college sports, but they follow the Knicks and the Giants and Jets.

there are a ton of reasons for the attendance issues, I just thing this is one that is over looked.
 
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We all can concur that attendance is impacted by many factors. But, beyond the cost of tickets/parking and travel inconveniences, big screen HD TV's at home and streaming games on iPhones, another reason is the fundamental flaw with the incessant allegiance to the 4 team playoff. Here's an inconvenient truth that TV needs to consider: Despite the ratings for the last big college game, most fans don't really care about crowning "the most deserving ultimate National Champion". What fans really care about is having (even an outside) chance at the tournament. Open the playoff to 8 teams and (like with the NFL Wild Cards) it will keep more fans interested and involved. I would posit that the mere anticipation of making a more obtainable field of 8 and the excitement of being in football's version of the "Dance" are much more important factors for fan interest than waiting to watch another SEC behemoth take the field on that final Monday night so the "best team" can be the Champion.
 

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This is much more than a college football problem, it is a cultural shift brought on by low paying jobs (can't afford to go) and a high tech youth living in a virtual world (just show me the highlights).
College football is a bargain.

Here in Dallas, I’ve been to one Cowboys’ game since the new stadium opened 10 years ago. $293 per seat in the top row of the stadium! Plus $75 for parking.

But I can go to an SMU game and pay $20 for the front row, about 15 feet from the end zone. And parking is free.
 
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