What I believe the University must take into consideration about fans! | The Boneyard

What I believe the University must take into consideration about fans!

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fleudslipcon

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I wrote this on the football forum. I believe it applies for basketball as well particularly after reading the student lottery thread. And it has the most important bearing on conference realignment.



There are always passionate, knowledgeable fans at UConn games. There are usually greater numbers of passionate and knowledgeable fans at UConn games when the games are against better opponents and the game has importance. But UConn does suffer, in relative numbers, passionate fans compared to many other programs.

Two years ago Georgia played an important football game against Alabama. The Gerogia fans dressed in red. It was an impressive showing on television. Everywhere it was red. Every fan was standing. By halftime the game was over for Georgia. No one left. They were still standing.

UConn has more than its share of fans that think it is dumb to put on a color to support the school. There are many fans that refuse to stand up even during exciting moments and many of these fans are not geriatric. Far too many people leave well before the game ends. Certainly less so if the game is exciting and the outcome is uncertain. But I'm always amazed anyone leaves in these games.

This is not just a problem for football. I've been to men's and women's bb games during seasons of NC runs and the above holds true.

Fans on the Boneyard forums are not the prototypical UConn fans. They are the prototypical fans of the major programs in the South and Midwest. Too many fans attending UConn games believe it is wrong to express passion and emotions. They are either successful, stoic types or puritan types.

The Northeast does not lack passionate fans. Anyone attending or observing a Giants game, Eagles game, Patriots game, Yankees or Red Sox game knows this. But this passion is not nearly as evident at the UConn games. The problem imo, was the push by Lew Perkins and Jeff Hathaway to get corporate people into the arenas. Many of these fans have allegiances to other schools and/or many of these fans find sports a diversion or trophy and not an important part of life.

The passionate fans were first moved to upper seats and then out of the arenas all together. President Herbst and the future AD must, imo, reverse this. They could take immediate steps by getting more students into the venues. And not by a lottery which ignores the passionate students, but by allowing the kids to camp out for games. Reserve some seats for high school kids in the state. Hold contests in which kids compete in cheering and dressing competitions for seats. And get those blue collar crazies back into the seats as well.

This doesn't have to be accomplished all at once. Start with a mix, keeping the big sponsors for the immediate bucks. But begin the process. The school needs to think long term and value long term loyalty. The school needs to factor the importance of a large fan base that, although it can't come up with tens of thousands of dollars in donations, will turn on a television set and tune into the game and show ESPN it has a huge viewership to consider. There is no reason at all that UConn should have trouble filling 75,000 to 100,000 seats if they start the process of bringing in the right "type" of fan. I remember growing up and going to the Yale Bowl and there would be 70,000 screaming fans for an Ivy League game.
 

Fishy

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This is ground that has been tread upon so many times. My general thought is that your post is simplistic and naive, but I am going to try to phrase that in a different way as I am making efforts to seem nicer than I am.

One of the reasons why you will never see southern 'passion' for collegiate sports in the northeast is exactly why you see it at Giants/Patriots/Eagles games. We're a pro town. Giants, Pats, Jets, Eagles, Celts, Nets, Knicks, Bruins, Rangers, Islanders, Yankees, Mets, Sox. This isn't Lake Asstickle, Arkansas, where our only sports option is the local U. There were 14,000 people at Yale's last home game and there will never be 100,000 people at a UConn football game unless we're playing the Dallas Cowboys in a divisional game.

The answer isn't getting more students in, squeezing corporate donors out and for duck*'s sake, if they ever held competitions to give seats away, I swear I'll shoot the winners on general principle.

Ticket prices have outrun the fan base's willingness or ability to pay for them. We're not alone - the New York Giants call my house monthly because they found that their fans, passionate as they are, also have a limit as to what they'll pay for season tickets and the Giants seem to be above that. They've worked through 80 years worth of a waiting list and still can't sell every seat.

Solution - drop ticket prices. Get back to filling the buildings again. That, and the usual dollop of winning, will do the trick.
 

fleudslipcon

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This is ground that has been tread upon so many times. My general thought is that your post is simplistic and naive, but I am going to try to phrase that in a different way as I am making efforts to seem nicer than I am.

One of the reasons why you will never see southern 'passion' for collegiate sports in the northeast is exactly why you see it at Giants/Patriots/Eagles games. We're a pro town. Giants, Pats, Jets, Eagles, Celts, Nets, Knicks, Bruins, Rangers, Islanders, Yankees, Mets, Sox. This isn't Lake Asstickle, Arkansas, where our only sports option is the local U. There were 14,000 people at Yale's last home game and there will never be 100,000 people at a UConn football game unless we're playing the Dallas Cowboys in a divisional game.

The answer isn't getting more students in, squeezing corporate donors out and for duck*'s sake, if they ever held competitions to give seats away, I swear I'll shoot the winners on general principle.

Ticket prices have outrun the fan base's willingness or ability to pay for them. We're not alone - the New York Giants call my house monthly because they found that their fans, passionate as they are, also have a limit as to what they'll pay for season tickets and the Giants seem to be above that. They've worked through 80 years worth of a waiting list and still can't sell every seat.

Solution - drop ticket prices. Get back to filling the buildings again. That, and the usual dollop of winning, will do the trick.

I feel honored you made a half ass attempt to be nice. Sure!:) No doubt the factors you mention are important for getting people in the seats. And I'm happy they are lowering ticket prices this season, because it is a factor. But you still haven't answered why Yale University was filling a 70,000 seat stadium forty years ago given that the same pro bias existed during that era. And the price of tickets to the Yale bowl weren't cheap back then. Furthermore how do you explain Yale's success given New Haven is closer to NY and Storrs is Lake Asstickle.

After reading what you wrote I more than ever want a competition to give seats away if only to feature you shooting those winning contestants at half time. Now that would be Bloody worth going to any UConn game!
 
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40 years ago people got dressed up to go to athletic events, it was a different time
 

Fishy

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Yale's success forty years ago has no bearing on the present day. If Yale had 50,000 people in the stands for the Cornell game last week you would have an argument.

They didn't and you don't.

The world has changed.
 

fleudslipcon

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40 years ago people got dressed up to go to athletic events, it was a different time

I ushered at the Bowl. There were a lot of fans back then that were blue collar and dressed accordingly. All the ushers preferred guiding the guys who weren't wearing jackets and ties to their seats. The jacket and tie group were the same then as they are now. You would be lucky to get a smile out of them. Sometimes they would offer a condescending thank you. The non suits were gracious, very grateful and typically tipped. They also knew where their seats were located. They just appreciated seeing kids hustle for a buck.

Guess what the attitudes these type of fans have towards players if those were the attitudes they had to kids in the stands.
 

SJ

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40 years ago people got dressed up to go to athletic events, it was a different time
my mom still has the outfit my gram made her for the yale bowl...ahhh, nostalgia!
 

ConnHuskBask

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I don't think anyone has the right to complain about ticket prices when you can get "Top of the Rent" season tickets for $150, and Gampel and XL "Value Packages" were around $140 and $160 respectively.
 

zls44

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40 years ago people got dressed up to go to athletic events, it was a different time

40 years ago, African-Americans were also just getting the right to vote. Not that you feel that way, I just hate when people talk about the "good old days".

You mean the Cold War and overt racism? Those? But at least bread was a nickel!:rolleyes:
 

fleudslipcon

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Yale's success forty years ago has no bearing on the present day. If Yale had 50,000 people in the stands for the Cornell game last week you would have an argument.

They didn't and you don't.

The world has changed.
They are struggling. Their attendance is hovering around 20,000. I would say that drop is more because of the lack of relevancy of Yales football program in comparison with other colleges than the pro factor since pro teams have been a constant with Yale's history.

This link agrees with your assessment about winning: http://harvardsportsanalysis.wordpr...contribute-to-attendance-in-college-football/

Winning is the single greatest factor. And it is prolonged winning that is the most important factor. UConn women's bb was irrelevant before Geno and his teams started to win. Less than 100 people showed up for games before the team's first final four appearance. Even after that season the fan base hovered around 100 people. The first NC brought people in. And the sustained success propelled the program. The same has been demonstrated with Iowa regarding wrestling, with Georgia regarding gymnastics, with Tiger Woods and the NY Yankees. People love winners. Allegiance to a team or person is predicated on success.

Relevancy is the next most important factor. Division Ia has more relevancy that IIa. BCS has more relevancy than non BCS in football.

Student enrollment is a major factor.

Pro sports matters as well, but OSU is equally close to pro sports as UConn so I'm not sure the proximity to pro sports is nearly as important for UConn as the other things I've listed regarding football attendance.
 
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40 years ago, African-Americans were also just getting the right to vote. Not that you feel that way, I just hate when people talk about the "good old days".

You mean the Cold War and overt racism? Those? But at least bread was a nickel!:rolleyes:

I agree. I mean, I'm 25, I wasn't pining for the old days. Just pointing out that I think the fact that the Yale Bowl used to fill up has nothing to do with UConn attendance today.
 
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