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We simply have to grow this fanbase

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Let's admit our part in this Program. We aren't the "next" Pick of an ACC conference for a number of reasons (if we also admit that this is largely over Football). We have an outstanding Athletic Department. We would kick most any ACC/B1G ass in lots of sports. And Academically, we are on an arc where we are going to be above many of them in the next 10 years. But our football Program ... our Fanbase ... is in its infancy. The Marketing and the whole GameDay experience has to improve and get better. But, we also need to care ... and therefore Travel. A Priority? Think about what this is about. Eyeballs on TV; Bowl crowds.

Last night we had 80 McEntees at the game. Literally. They came from California in bunches. But, we probably brought less to Buffalo than Bowling Green. We can make fun of BC for this kind of stuff. Or Pitt. But ... we can't measure our future by them. They both have traditions & "perceived" market strength that we don't. We can get back to the Horde and the traveling UConn Fanbase we had when we were rabidly climbing in Basketball. Nothing Herbst or Pendergast ... or even the dunces in Providence ... could do that would do more for us.

We don't know what this conference stuff will evolve into. I am certain that we will be fine. But, we can push things we can control. The AD has t do far better in getting us going; and we need to see that these games are a priority for us too. (see WVU show up at our Rent)
 

whaler11

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Yep. I don't know what kind of marketing is going to get people to drive to Buffalo to watch the Bulls though. They can't even get anyone in Buffalo to come watch the product, why would we drive that far for it?
 
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I think you are probably right, and yet if you look at something like last year's Fiesta Bowl, the expense of actually getting down there is impressive. I mean... I'm at the point in my life where I'm thinking about saving money for a house and blowing a quick thousand bucks to go see my football team is a tough pill for me to swallow. Obviously, traveling to Rutgers or Buffalo is a little different, but every time you travel, you rack up all kinds of expenses. I am amazed at how many football teams have huge traveling crowds with them.

So I am stuck between agreeing with you and being a cheapskate who knows he can watch the games on TV. I'd like to go, but my credit card bill is all, "I don't know, man, maybe we should take it easy this weekend."
 
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In response to whaler:
The Anchor Bar? Niagara Falls Weekend?
 
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I've been to a lot of major college football venues all over the country. North, South, East, and West. The one thing you will always see is the alumni with their kids in tow with the alma mater football jersey on. This thing takes time. Maybe even generations to build. It doesn't happen overnight. It didn't happen overnight for an Alabama or some other fanbase either.

Take your kids to the games if you have them. Build tradition with the tailgate, the game, etc. If you can travel to a game a year, great. But I'm not gonna kill anyone in this economy who doesn't make an 8 hour drive to Buffalo.
 

whaler11

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In response to whaler:
The Anchor Bar? Niagara Falls Weekend?

So UConn is going to market Niagara Falls to get me to go to watch SUNY Buffalo? It's an impossible spot. If UConn is any good it's a 40 point blowout. If UConn is terrible, then why do I want to spend 15 hours in the car to watch them struggle with a MAC team?

I highly doubt the Hoard is going to make any difference. The New Haven Register sent their UConn writer to Cornell/Yale yesterday. The post laid off a UConn writer this week.
 
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Pudge, even though UConn bit the bullett on ticket sales for the Fiesta Bowl, you know (as well as I do because we were there) that UConn was well representated as fans bought tickets at a reduced price off of the secondary market after Auburn & Oregon flooded Stub Hub & e-Bay with Fiesta tickets that they were forced to buy & had no use for. I realize the perception across the country is about tickets sold through UConn, but in this case perception has no basis in reality.
 
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How about ... THE UCONN FOOTBALL HUSKIES? If you can't get excited about going to 3-5 away games ... like many of our BCS peer fanbases ... then we shouldn't consider ourselves to be at their level. We need to get there and ... I agree ... it is an evolution. Maybe a generation of Football at the BCS/FBS level. But, you don't need Niagara Falls as an incentive to see our Team.

(btw ... a Patriots & Huskies weekend? That's pretty interesting.)
 
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Let's admit our part in this Program. We aren't the "next" Pick of an ACC conference for a number of reasons (if we also admit that this is largely over Football). We have an outstanding Athletic Department. We would kick most any ACC/B1G ass in lots of sports. And Academically, we are on an arc where we are going to be above many of them in the next 10 years. But our football Program ... our Fanbase ... is in its infancy. The Marketing and the whole GameDay experience has to improve and get better. But, we also need to care ... and therefore Travel. A Priority? Think about what this is about. Eyeballs on TV; Bowl crowds.

Last night we had 80 McEntees at the game. Literally. They came from California in bunches. But, we probably brought less to Buffalo than Bowling Green. We can make fun of BC for this kind of stuff. Or Pitt. But ... we can't measure our future by them. They both have traditions & "perceived" market strength that we don't. We can get back to the Horde and the traveling UConn Fanbase we had when we were rabidly climbing in Basketball. Nothing Herbst or Pendergast ... or even the dunces in Providence ... could do that would do more for us.

We don't know what this conference stuff will evolve into. I am certain that we will be fine. But, we can push things we can control. The AD has t do far better in getting us going; and we need to see that these games are a priority for us too. (see WVU show up at our Rent)


This is more important than any amount of posts blaming Providence, FHCRE, Coach P or the Athletic Department for whatever. Every fan individual has to, and gets to, make their own choices. Individually, no one is not doing anything wrong by not doing whatever. But, as a fanbase, we either have to perform in a more "big time" manner or quit blaming recruits, the media and conference commissioners for not perceiving us as "big time."
 
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Problem with Buffalo is that we played them 6 times in the last 8 years and it is not a travel destination. I've seen them at the Rent and in Canada where we had to drive through Buffalo to get there. Why would I go to Buffalo again unless I was living in Syracuse. :rolleyes:

It's especially hard to grow the fanbase with the SNY screw-up in our most populous area of the state. Even the delayed videotape was blacked out! Pendergast needs to complain about that.
 

Waquoit

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The difference is regional culture. Northeasterners have a ton of choices. College football is one. In CFB hotbeds, it's THE choice. That will never happen here, in my lifetime anyway.
 

UConnSportsGuy

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We are slowly making progress. I usually go to at least one or two road games per year. A couple of years ago, I would go and be sitting in a group of about 200 UConn fans in the visiting section ( and probably 180 of them were UConn staff or family of the players. A couple of weeks ago at Vanderbilt, I was sitting in the middle of a UConn visiting section of probably about 1,500 to 2,000 UConn fans.

We are definitely making progress. We are still lightyears behind the established 'Southern Schools', but we are at least stll growing and making progress on this area. That is all you can hope for at this point..you don't create a 'Nebraska' following overnight(or even in one generation).

As long as we keep making progress and don't stop growing, we will be OK.
 
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Yep. I don't know what kind of marketing is going to get people to drive to Buffalo to watch the Bulls though. They can't even get anyone in Buffalo to come watch the product, why would we drive that far for it?

because you are a UConn fan. That is Pudge's point
 
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The difference is regional culture. Northeasterners have a ton of choices. College football is one. In CFB hotbeds, it's THE choice. That will never happen here, in my lifetime anyway.

I disagree. I understand your point, but have you been to a USC game? Think people in LA don't have choices?

If you are going to say "Yes, but that's USC". Take out USC and LA and Insert UCLA and LA, Cal and San Francisco, UW and Seattle, Georgia Tech and Atlanta, etc.

Exciting football and winning put fans in the seats.
 
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In the last two seasons, I have been to games at Michigan, Ohio State, and 3 weeks ago I was at a game at Camp Randall Stadium At U Wisconsin. It is like night and day.

A few thoughts:
- I think one big issue is the price of the chair backs, and the lack of people in them. Not sure how this can be resolved, but it is rare where I see that section filled up.
- Expand the student section and promote UCONN football to the students! Make them aware of buses to the game. Set up a huge tailgate spread for the students where they can hang out before the games. The student section at Wisconsin was the best I have ever seen. Totally involved and they all had unique things they did.
- The Stadium atmosphere at the Rent is horrific. Can we do something original? Or something unique to UCONN? At Wisconsin, they played several different songs, (one of which "Jump Around" had everyone, not just the student section, dancing and going crazy before the 4th quarter - And it was a blowout). Find some song, any song (please no Sweet Caroline), and play it before the 4th quarter. The crowd can sing along, dance, whatever. People have been talking about having a dog sled lead the team out, not sure if this has ever been proposed.
- Let the fans get to know the team a little more. At Wisconsin, they had "Ask the Badger". And several UW football players answered a question ("What was the best invention of the last 100 years?" One player said "a bed", and an O or D Lineman said "Dippin Dots, because it is the future", I could not stop laughing).
- Tailgating - I wouldn't change much. I have been to alot of college venues, and I think UCONN has a fantastic tailgate set up. One thing I would change is do more for the kids. Have Jonathan walk around, or the cheerleaders. Have the band perform. Although they might already do this.
 
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I agree with a lot of HS's comments. BUFFALO ... had a wonderful tailgate/party atmosphere for their students right near the stadium. We need to have UConn AD think of things like this as a catalyst for better student participation (and I'm not saying ours are bad ... just that it could be enhanced).

But my overall point is that all this has to improve. Culture? I dunno ... frankly,. my dear, there was a moment in time that the Pats were not beloved; the Red Sox had a rabid but perhaps half the current fanbase; a Ivy crowd/college football that was more into that sport; and HIGH SCHOOL football that was pretty strong compared to where I grew up. My cousin's games at Derby HS were unbelievable in the 70s. My school was 4 times the size of Derby & I was shocked to see 20,000 at a Thanksgiving game. My school, on their best day, could not draw 10% of that.
 
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Pudge -

It takes time to build a fan base and the easiest way to build a fanbase is at HOME, not on the road. We can improve the home fan base with modest effort. As the home fan base grows, more will travel.

5 months ago, I posted the history of PSU's stadium which was a real eye opener to me, so here is a repeat:

I was surprised when I heard that Penn State's football stadium had a capacity of 30k until 1960 when they expanded to ~46k. By 1978, expansions brought it to ~60k and then they really started to expand it to the present day ~107k.

As recently as 1978, PSU's capacity was 60k! We often forget how far UConn has come. The Rent over doubled UConn's stadium capacity and we have done a decent job of filling it. Think about it, for most UConn football fans and most alums, UConn football wasn't relevant when they were in college. Considering where we were and where we are today, I would say we have done a great job both on the field and off the field.

The problem is that fan support has, in my opinion, plateaued in the short term and we need to take it to the next level. This is why Hathaway had to go as he wasn't focused on it. We need a visionary AD to lead football to the next level. Here are some suggestions:

1) Increase the size of the Rent to 50 to 55k.
2) Schedule marquee out of conference games to fill the Rent. People will want to see Tennessee, Michigan, ...
3) Increase student attendance even if it cost you short term . The students are the future fan base.
4) Market to the students at the branches. They are UConn too.
5) Improve marketing. Decrease ticket prices for the worst seats. Bring in youth groups,...

One last thought. You can not schedule game times the way UConn is doing it. You do not see the SEC and Big 10 leaving so many open start times at this point in the season so their fans know that their teams play on Saturdays at their usual start time (different schools start games at different times historically.) The last 4 game start times at The Rent this year are "TBA". How are you supposed to buy season tickets or tickets for a game when you don't know the start time? Or, on what day of the week most games will be played? I'm part of a group of guys that goes to 1 to 2 UConn football games per year together and we have targeted the Syracuse game for our first game of the season. (I usually attend other games as well.) The hangup most are having? We don't know the start time! I know, the issue is TV, but there is a trade-off between TV money and developing a fan base and the AD needs to better balance the priorities.







 
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Pudge -

It takes time to build a fan base and the easiest way to build a fanbase is at HOME, not on the road. We can improve the home fan base with modest effort. As the home fan base grows, more will travel.

5 months ago, I posted the history of PSU's stadium which was a real eye opener to me, so here is a repeat:

I was surprised when I heard that Penn State's football stadium had a capacity of 30k until 1960 when they expanded to ~46k. By 1978, expansions brought it to ~60k and then they really started to expand it to the present day ~107k.

As recently as 1978, PSU's capacity was 60k! We often forget how far UConn has come. The Rent over doubled UConn's stadium capacity and we have done a decent job of filling it. Think about it, for most UConn football fans and most alums, UConn football wasn't relevant when they were in college. Considering where we were and where we are today, I would say we have done a great job both on the field and off the field.

The problem is that fan support has, in my opinion, plateaued in the short term and we need to take it to the next level. This is why Hathaway had to go as he wasn't focused on it. We need a visionary AD to lead football to the next level. Here are some suggestions:

1) Increase the size of the Rent to 50 to 55k.
2) Schedule marquee out of conference games to fill the Rent. People will want to see Tennessee, Michigan, ...
3) Increase student attendance even if it cost you short term . The students are the future fan base.
4) Market to the students at the branches. They are UConn too.
5) Improve marketing. Decrease ticket prices for the worst seats. Bring in youth groups,...

One last thought. You can not schedule game times the way UConn is doing it. You do not see the SEC and Big 10 leaving so many open start times at this point in the season so their fans know that their teams play on Saturdays at their usual start time (different schools start games at different times historically.) The last 4 game start times at The Rent this year are "TBA". How are you supposed to buy season tickets or tickets for a game when you don't know the start time? Or, on what day of the week most games will be played? I'm part of a group of guys that goes to 1 to 2 UConn football games per year together and we have targeted the Syracuse game for our first game of the season. (I usually attend other games as well.) The hangup most are having? We don't know the start time! I know, the issue is TV, but there is a trade-off between TV money and developing a fan base and the AD needs to better balance the priorities.
+10000 ... TOTALLY AGREE.
 
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I have been to every home game except one over the last 6 years and i do not remember one game that had a very large visiting team fan section. I think West Va was the largest 3 years ago because they brought their band and played with our band at half time. With respect to game times I wish we would know a lot sooner - I assume this is because of the Big East TV contracts - but I am a season ticket holder for the last three years so I plan to be at the game no matter what time it is and plan family things around the game just like I would if I was going on vacation. I have missed parties to go to the games. I agree completely with UconnJim
 

HuskyHawk

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This is one reason I would prefer the B1G to ACC. I think the Rent would be packed. Other than FSU and maybe Clemson or GTech the ACC teams wouldn't be a big draw and wouldn't be worth traveling to. PSU, OSU and Michigan are all probably as close as VTech, the closest "good" ACC team.

As for the empty expensive seats, when has it been different? That happens at Gampel too for non league games. I hate the way UConn handles student tickets.
 

whaler11

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because you are a UConn fan. That is Pudge's point

That point clearly doesn't resonate with the fanbase. I've been a lot of places to see UConn play... hell I went to road games in the Yankee/A-10 days, but I'm not driving 15 hours round trip to watch MAC football.

This isn't Field of Dreams. It's not build it and they come. You have to give them a reason.
 
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Road travel is not that big even in the Big 10. I went to IU and Ohio State was the only out of state team that completely filled the place up, and they bought most IU tickets also it seemed.

Also, IU recently did a stadium expansion and they were not coming any where near the need to do so attendance wise, they did it because they had to in order to keep up.
 
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I would like to know what the big time programs charge for tickets both cheap and expensive and parking ,ect. We need to make it affordable at home before we can expect fans to travel. We should have went to the Orange instead of the Fiesta Bowl if everyone cared about how many fans could travel - would have been 1/2 the cost. I bet Stanford would have had more of their fans at the Fiesta than Orange bowl too.
 
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