Speaking of attendance.... | The Boneyard

Speaking of attendance....

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pap49cba

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Some selected attendance figures from last night (listed teams were the home team):

Stanford - 2,875
Baylor - 7,041
Georgia - 2.378
Maryland - 4,013
Rutgers - 1,873
Ohio St - 2,850

Uconn - 7,703
 
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I just read that there are 5,000 tickets left for the A+M game.
 
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The new AD has been given a huge job to fix the attendance issues and make the game more fan friendly. Its got to be about bringing the fans more bang for the $$$.
President Herbst has made this priority #1
 

HuskyNan

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"And one thing that speaks to me about loyalty is for our ticket holders to use their seats. Often, there are empty seats for games, when in fact those seats have been sold and the ticket holder just decides not to come. We are asked all the time why those seats are empty.
"To me, a part of loyalty comes with the responsibility of seeing that your tickets are used. And so, we are close to instituting the [ticket] scanning system we use at the XL Center, perhaps as soon as January, at Gampel."

Good! I'm often embarrassed to see all the empty lower bowl seats on national TV because The Suits don't show up for games. Use 'em or lose 'em, Corporate Guys.
 

vtcwbuff

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The article also highlights a problem. While Pendergast is looking for ways to boost attendance, it's obvious he doesn't recognize the entirety of the problem. His comment along the lines that the product was not the problem is narrow visioned, He sees the team as the product when in fact the product is the game. At least as far as it affects attendance.
Some fans are staying away soimply because the blowout games aren't worth the effort required to attend.
 

alexrgct

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The donors are the lifeblood of the business. If they want to pay for the option of attending every game, I feel like taking their tickets away would be like cutting off one's nose to spite one's face.

If I were UConn, I work more actively with season ticket holders, corporate and otherwise, to buy back or help resell tickets that aren't going to be used. Ticketmaster does this for a lot of pro teams, but the secondary markets like StubHub are the only option for UConn ticketholders. Corporate donors especially are not going to take the time to resell tickets on StubHub.

Alternatively, I might look into creating other kinds of ticket packages, e.g., an "all the good games package," and an "all the mediocre games" package. Obviously, you could think of better branding than that. :) But it wouldn't be that hard and might even put UConn ahead financially if done properly. I bet a lot of people who would concede regular, premium seats for the big games as out of reach would be happy to pay for good seats to the lesser games. It's the paying for crappy seats to lesser games that's a bigger challenge in the HD world.
 
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If he's on the ball, he'll read a thread like this. The folks I attend with, and I, think there are a couple of problems contributing to the attendance issue. Chair backs are not an issue for us, by the way.....never even enters my mind to think of chair backs in a gym......maybe in baseball park. The things that ARE problems for us are factors which contribute to an UNwelcoming attitude toward the fans.........factors we generate an aura of "you are FORTUNATE to be ALLOWED to attend these fine events and witness these great stars"...........vs. "We're mighty pleased that you came to see our team tonight":

1. The parking rates do not say, "you are welcome here."
2. The yellow jackets at the top of every stairwell................they are, for the most part nice enough, but their marching orders are to PROHIBIT you from going down into the lower tier to watch the warm-ups up close..........."because someone at home holding a ticket for the seats in that area might see someone standing near or sitting in their seats during warmups and make a signfticant phone call to one of the powers that be" To me, and to us, this is an ABSURD policy.....and again says "You are fortunate" rather than "You are appreciated."
3. Similarly, after the game is well underway -let's say after the first ten minutes, for example - a welcoming message would be, "Move on down, folks, to the more choice empty seats; of course understanding that if the holders of tix for any seat you are in should finally show up, you will have to move immediately and politely to other vacant seats." To prevent that seems to me to be absurd.
4. Lastly, acting as though almost all the practice sessions are Pentagon classified secrets does not encourage fans to feel welcome around the team. So, new A.D., here are an insignificant half dozen voices of one mind: check the aura.
 
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Two things stand out to me in what he said:

First and foremost - seat backs in all of Gampel. This is one of the reasons I stopped buying tickets to Gampel games. I just couldn't enjoy the game in the cramped, uncomfortable bleacher seats. I have on again, off again, back problems. After attending a game at Gampel, I would be in the "on again" phase for days afterward. Upgrading all seating probably won't be enough to get me back there, though. The cost of parking and the infrastructure of getting on and off campus (and out of the garages!) needs to change too before I will strongly consider going back to Gampel on a regular basis.

Secondly, I really like the accumulating points for every game the tickets are used. There have been years past when the people in the seats next to us were different every game. For the bigger games (Tennessee in the day) the seats would have fans of the opposing team sitting in them, but for the Towson's on the schedule, the seats would be empty. Rarely for Big East games were the seats used unless it was Rutgers or Notre Dame. It kills me to see the center court lower level seats empty. Even though this is the women's basketball forum, I am also a football season ticket holder and would love to see extra points given not just for every game attended, but every game where you are in the stadium before kick-off. But that is for another board.

In my mind, the fact that every women's game is on tv is one of the biggest reasons for the declining attendance. Even if Gampel had all chair backs the drive to and from Storrs, the pain in the neck of getting onto campus, paying for parking, and then getting off campus is not worth the hassle when I can sit in my own living room and see the game. But, if every game were not on tv, I would put up with that hassle to see more games at Gampel each season. As long as I have a place to rest my back!
 

KnightBridgeAZ

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Two quick comments -

Alex is "right on" in recognizing the downside of penalizing folks who donate well but don't show up.

The fan who commented about practices being "top secret" - that is not unusual. For example, while never officially "open", for many years a fan could stop by and see Rutgers practice. That is no longer the case, practices are closed. Seems some things seen at practice got passed on.
 

ThisJustIn

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I remember people complaining about blow outs during TASS and Dee's time. Anyone got a comparison so we can see if it's a non-starter as an issue?
 

speedoo

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He sees the team as the product when in fact the product is the game. At least as far as it affects attendance.
Some fans are staying away soimply because the blowout games aren't worth the effort required to attend.

First, I don't believe lack of interest in seeing a blowout is a major factor. But for those fans for which it is a factor, there is no simple solution, unless someone figures out a way to get the Marylands and similar schools to play UConn.
 

DieHardHusky

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I know that Pendergast has expressed interest in making the student section the lower bowl (I'm assuming only the side with the team's benches) but that won't happen anytime soon. Yet again, he got the Pledge going pretty quickly, so who knows.

Would that have an impact on attendance figures at all? No idea, but I feel like it would be a heckuva lot louder than before, and hopefully along the lines of a building that is extremely difficult to play in.
 

DaddyChoc

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chairbacks would get me to go to Gampel (every seat has a great view) I've been to only one game there and promised my self to never return unless I had a chairback ticket

access to practices is a bit much, it takes away from the mystery of the team.
 
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Did anyone see the Ohio St. - Duke men's game the other night? It was in Columbus, and the entire lower bowl opposite the TV cameras were filled with what seemed like OSU students: young, wearing OSU t-shirts, chanting, etc. It certainly created a great atmosphere and excellent visual for TV viewers. Other teams also manage to put their most vociferous supporters courtside (Duke's home games come to mind), so I don't know why UConn can't do it.
Perhaps the major donors had seats on the same side of the arena as the cameras and so were mostly out of view except for arena panning shots. And granted, this particular game was a big one for Ohio St. so the arena would have been filled anyway, but it was great seeing the students filling the TV screen and right on top of the action.
 

DaddyChoc

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Did anyone see the Ohio St. - Duke men's game the other night? It was in Columbus, and the entire lower bowl opposite the TV cameras were filled with what seemed like OSU students: young, wearing OSU t-shirts, chanting, etc. It certainly created a great atmosphere and excellent visual for TV viewers. Other teams also manage to put their most vociferous supporters courtside (Duke's home games come to mind), so I don't know why UConn can't do it.
Perhaps the major donors had seats on the same side of the arena as the cameras and so were mostly out of view except for arena panning shots. And granted, this particular game was a big one for Ohio St. so the arena would have been filled anyway, but it was great seeing the students filling the TV screen and right on top of the action.
totally different crowds... UConn fans spend half the time doing crossword puzzles & reading about the stock market
 
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Sorry in advance to Harriet but, end the contract with CPTV. If the games can't be seen on TV then people will have to go to the game. The fan base is still here but I hear from so many that it is easier to stay home and watch it on CPTV. The big games will still be picked up by the other stations and maybe the Athletic Department will take scheduling tougher non-conference teams more seriously.

I doubt it would effect recruits or their parents if less games were televised. They probably are not watching the Townsend games and the like anyway.
 

Icebear

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Hmmm, CTpaul, sounds like a plan drought with the law of unintended consequences.
 

HuskyNan

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If I were UConn, I work more actively with season ticket holders, corporate and otherwise, to buy back or help resell tickets that aren't going to be used. Ticketmaster does this for a lot of pro teams, but the secondary markets like StubHub are the only option for UConn ticketholders. Corporate donors especially are not going to take the time to resell tickets on StubHub.

Alternatively, I might look into creating other kinds of ticket packages, e.g., an "all the good games package," and an "all the mediocre games" package. Obviously, you could think of better branding than that. :) But it wouldn't be that hard and might even put UConn ahead financially if done properly. I bet a lot of people who would concede regular, premium seats for the big games as out of reach would be happy to pay for good seats to the lesser games. It's the paying for crappy seats to lesser games that's a bigger challenge in the HD world.
The article mentioned both those things. Pendergast said they'd work to resell tickets that fans turned back in and that they were looking into a tiered pricing system, where a ticket for a game vs Stanford, for example, would cost more than one for a game vs Towson.
 

vtcwbuff

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First, I don't believe lack of interest in seeing a blowout is a major factor. But for those fans for which it is a factor, there is no simple solution, unless someone figures out a way to get the Marylands and similar schools to play UConn.

How else do you explain 6,000 fans for games against CupcakeU and 12,000 fans for games against a competitive team?
It's not necessarily lack of interest, it's more like the level of interest doesn't rise above the hassle of attending.
 

AboutWeston

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The article also highlights a problem. While Pendergast is looking for ways to boost attendance, it's obvious he doesn't recognize the entirety of the problem. His comment along the lines that the product was not the problem is narrow visioned, He sees the team as the product when in fact the product is the game. At least as far as it affects attendance.
Some fans are staying away soimply because the blowout games aren't worth the effort required to attend.

I am afraid that someone will decide that it is better to not televise games on CPTV as a way to force fans to come to games.
 
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Sorry in advance to Harriet but, end the contract with CPTV. If the games can't be seen on TV then people will have to go to the game. The fan base is still here but I hear from so many that it is easier to stay home and watch it on CPTV. The big games will still be picked up by the other stations and maybe the Athletic Department will take scheduling tougher non-conference teams more seriously.

I doubt it would effect recruits or their parents if less games were televised. They probably are not watching the Townsend games and the like anyway.

This is an idea that is not thought out well. Perhaps that's what Ice means by unintended consequences.

1.At first blush, it sounds logical to say that if the games are not on TV, people will have to go to the games. But people don't "have" to do anything. If I still lived in CT, I wouldn't be in a position to go to every game, or even most of them. I'd go to some, but I'd do that, whether or not they were on TV. I buy into the argument that live games offer a benefit that televised ones do not. The only question is whether that benefit outweighs whatever difficulties there are that keep me from going to the game. True, cancelling CPTV would give you more people who have gotten used to just turning on the TV set buit still really want to see the game. But you would diminish the interest of many people -- I like to think I'm one -- who cannot attend in person and try to plan their work weeks during the season so they can watch on TV.

2. Remember that a televised event gives people viewing choices they would not have otherwise. So by eliminating the CPTV broadcasts, you would alienate a whole generation of viewers who, at present, know that if they cannot watch the game on TV live, they can tape it and watch later. These are not people who were planning to attend the specific game, and now you've removed any possibility that they will be able to watch it after the fact.

3. It would have the potential of actually weakening the fan base. Every time someone tunes in a game, that person reconnects with the team and with the experience of being a fan, just as they would if they attended the game in person.

4. The big games will still be picked up by other stations? If you mean the national-level games, you're right-- they'll be on ESPN, just like they are now. If you mean other big games -- big East rivalries, for example, or games against teams that are not national powers but play well -- think Georgetown, which gives UConn all it can handle, year-in and year-out, other stations will not pick them up. It is highly unlikely that Channel 3 or Channel 8, for example, will purchase rights to a single game because to do so, they would have to change their programming and advertising schedules, which are often set far in advance. This sort of thing generally just does not happen.

4. This idea completely ignores the small but loyal group of people -- including me -- who watch on Hoopstreams. Sure, we don't count for much, but it's a certainty that we are not going to go to games if we can't watch on Hoopstreams -- for me, it'd be a 4,000-mile round trip. And if I didn't have the opportunity to connect with the team on a regular basis, I would be less likely to attend the away games I do travel to, and the occasional tournament games where my wife and I offer our support to the team.

In short, there would be some benefit to ending CPTV coverage. You would put some additional butts in some additional seats. But don't forget that the CPTV audience consists of three kinds of people. Those who could have gone to the game and chose not to. Those who could not get to the game for a variety of reasons other than choice, who can tune in. And those who wouldn't go to the game in any case, and are watching casually. The first group is the one you may be able to target successfully with this strategy. The second group you will tick off, and actually decrease the chances that they will attend live games because they are ticked off. The third group doesn't count.
 

alexrgct

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Hoopstreams is a necessity for maintaining the brand and enabling parents of players to watch their girls play. Very few kids are from CT or have their parents move close by for college.
 

Icebear

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TC, it was indeed.
 
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1 Turn down the volume of the music and announcements. Having your eardrums shattered is not pleasant and serves no purpose.

2 Stop playing rap music. Maybe it's good for kids, but give everyone else a break!

3 Institute the point system for ticket use. This is an excellent suggestion made by others, and will eventually mean a full lower bowl.

4 Give the pep band and cheerleaders/dance team more leeway. They seem overly controlled and scheduled.

5 Reduce parking rates at Gampel. $8 in previous years was overly large, but $12 this year is ridiculous!

6 Seat backs at Gampel would help.

7 Get rid of the new female sideline announcer. We don't need to copy everything the Connecticut Sun does, especially the bad things.

8 Let the empty lower bowl seats be filled by other ticket holders.

9 Get rid of the ridiculous, insulting instruction before the U-C-O-N-N cheer. Do fans really need that?

10 The team needs to be more visibly involved in community activities. The Coventry meal during the recent storm was great. But they need to sell themselves, as they did in the Rebecca Lobo days when the crowds were being built.

11 I wouldn't change the "every game is televised" program. It builds the fan base, and helps with recruiting. I do not believe attendance is adversely affected if it were clear that fans attending games at Gampel and the XL Center were having a ball and in the center of the excitement.

12 Geno giving away prizes after the game was a brilliant addition a few years ago, and should be continued.

13 More group sales and 6th grade team competitions during half time all build the fan base and add excitement and noise. Great addition.

14 More tee shirt give aways might be beneficial. The number thrown out has gone down in recent years, and the cheerleaders seem to concentrate on the first few rows only.

Just a few suggestions.
 
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