Dave Brandon says students actually aren't showing up
Because, at the student price, they were just affordable for me. No way I would have been able to pay for full price tickets upfront and I worked on average two jobs during undergrad.
There is a difference in the price of a student ticket price and the full price of a ticket that I would guess is substantial enough for a cash strapped student to justify one and not the other.
This is my first year with old people seats: $600 for a one time victors club donation, $800'ish for two tickets for my wife and I comes out to ~$1400. My last season as a student ticket holder was $400 for two tickets for my wife and I. I don't believe most students have an extra $1000 lying around when it comes to ticket application time.
I have only missed one game in my entire college experience including undergrad and grad at two universities. The game I missed was the UMass game. I missed it to attend my cousin's wedding in Bay City.
Um, probably not a valid comparison because the students would not have to pay to join the Victors Club. The comparable delta in your example would be $400ish. Granted that could still be a deterent, but you've overstated the case.
Even still, I don't believe most students have an extra $200 sitting around in March. You could add in the required annual PSL into the price for an old person ticket. That goes to an extra $300 per season ticket.
I'm not familiar with the current economics but back in the day a student could turn a decent profit by buying the tickets and then reselling the ones for the big games.
Personally, I didn't like going to the games (could get a better view via TV in the old days) but always got the student tickets anyways and would give most of them away free to friends as favors. In fact, there's probably still a few of my classmates out there who still owe me favors although damn if I can remember who.
Make every game a night game.
Trim the student section, and prioritize who has first right among upperclassmen to buy season tickets based on that student's previous attendance records so no student who truly wants tickets is unable to get them.
Edit: Yeah, what Diabeetus said. General admission will also encourage students to come early in order to get better seats.
This. I would only add that freshman not be the ones who are necessarily left out but rather we retroactively punish people who had shitty attendance by making them miss out on tickets, presuming we have things like that on record. If not, we should shart keeping track...
Yeah, my thought, though not fully explained, was that all freshman would be given the opportunity to buy season tickets if they want to.
Additionally, I might even suggest that anyone who did not purchase season tickets the previous year is given an opporunity to buy them if they choose. This would solve the issue of studying abroad for a semester, etc. After all, the problem is not with students who choose not to buy season tickets, it's with those who buy them, but don't show up.
Devin Gardner wants (NEEDS!) you there on time on Saturday!
Also, give credit to the students for 100% attendance in the two basketball games that were televised this week. The non-student sections were, I don't know, 33% full? That's how it looked on TV.
...and other sports are much easier to deal with for a student. Football games are so long these days with all the TV timeouts and when you add in the tailgating, it ends up sucking away nearly an entire day. Even the getting to the football stadium is more time consuming because of all the added traffic.
Strongly disagree there. First, for students, traffic isn't an issue. Second, football games are only played on Saturdays, and only 6-8 times a year, often in beautiful fall weather. Basketball games are often in the middle of the week and are played during the winter when it can be brutally cold coming to and from the arena. There is a reason why virtually every school in the country - even "basketball schools" - draws larger crowds for football than basketball.
You really hated going to football games, huh? Good to have that perspective represented here, I guess.
a Michigan thing. MSU's student section has been 10 to 15 rows empty since the OSU game.
I've seen lots of empty spaces at PSU, Wisconsin even OSU games.
The disapperance of students at UM games has a much deeper meaning than just the student's interest in football...
Young people are spoiled. Young people take things for granted. Its been this way since the rise of the middle-class, post WW2. It's worse now than it has ever been. Students too drunk the night before a football game? Just an excuse. Students too deep in debt to attend football games? Just an excuse. If the students actually cared about UM football, they wouldnt get too drunk to attend a game. If the students actually cared about UM football, they would save their money and be able to afford attending UM football games.
The bottom line is that students no longer care about UM football. College athletics, ironically, are geared towards the middle-aged citizens with passion and resources.
Why should there even be a student section at any college stadium? It's an out-dated concept. Get rid of the student section, and put those seats up for regular-sale just like all the other seats. Sell those seats to people who appreciate the seats.
The times have changed. So should the student section.
Lets get rid of classes for students at the university as well. Those are so outdated.
Do you have any evidence at all to support this post, or is it just your introduction to the self published thesis on the breakup of the moral fabric of college football?
As a student who is paying my for my own tuition, for my own rent, for my own groceries, and for my own tickets I have to frown upon your broad, sweeping generalizations. Some of aren't spoiled. Some of us appreciate our seats that we would otherwise have no way in hell of affording. Some of us still care about UM Football.
This post should be case study for the lack of basic logic and use of fallacious arguments aka the cable news effect.
The student sections help separate college football from professional football. At my school, we take up about 1/6 of the stadium. Yes, there are empty seats. Yes, people don't always seem interested in the game. People show up late. A lot don't show up because they partied too hard the night before or just like tailgating. Still, the students as a collective group produce the majority of the energy found from the crowd, and it's not even close.
Your generalization of this younger generation is extremely unfair. From the group I associate with, like 4 out of every 5 are paying their own way through school. That includes tuition, books, rent, groceries, and everything else. Not everybody likes football nowadays, but they also didn't back whenever the hell you were in college either. It's not because they're too good for it, they just have other interests.
There are empty seats everywhere, but there's still a ton of students, no matter what school, that truly love their school and football. "People who actually appreciate the seats"? Where are all of the allumni when it's 100+ degrees outside or 40 and pouring rain in the middle of a blowout?
"The student sections help separate college football from professional football."
True, student involvment is part of what seperates college football from the pros...but as the college game nudges it's way closer to the pro game, then is it really any surprise that students are less interested?
It's probably hopeless to dream of turning back the clock, but some questions worth considering are whether or not the games should all be televised? Should so much be invested in the stadiums? Should the players be continually indulged with fancy, trendy uniforms and OTT private study centers? And so on...
In a sense, all of us ravenous alumni have stolen the game from the kids for our own purposes. Is it any surprise that they are less interested?
Don't make student tickets get validated to be used by non students.
It would. But butts would be in the seats.
...when I was a student at least, the vast majority of ticket resales were to other students. Seemed like every week that somebody was having a friends from another school or a little brother visiting.
Columbus trucker-type butts. This is our concern, Dude.
That would probably help too
I'm a junior and I can gladly say that the core of my seating group has not missed a second of a game in almost three full seasons now. Unfortunately we have some less dedicated members as well. Luckily they almost always sell their tickets to another student rather than just letting them go to waste.
As a student I would LOVE if they switched to general admission and/or shrunk the student section. I have no problem getting to every game 15-25 minutes early. I'd love to be able to sit closer to the 50 rather than over in 32 (damn you ticket office, I'm a junior with a ton of credits). General admission works well for basketball, lets make it work for football.
Either that or make some type of priority points system amongst students while trimming the size. Base it off of %of games attended or something similar. Give bonus points for the spring game. That way the fans that are truly the most dedicated will get the best seats.
I don't know how it works at UM, but we do general admission for the student section where I go. My buddies and I always get our group of tailgaters in the stadium at least 30 minutes early for every game. It works because I, like many others, wouldn't be in such a rush if I already knew exactly where I was sitting.
Jaded paranoia alert! Could DB be laying the foundation for reduced student allotment? Read as: increase ticket revenue.
As an OOS grad, who loves football, it's getting harder for me to defend the kids. Tailgating/pre-gaming was fun, but at the end of the day, it was FOOTBALL Saturday. For me, it was about the game. Now, I understood that football games brought a more diverse crowd (than say hockey). I'd always see way too drunk frat kids wearing lacrosse pennies and those neon sunglasses, looking to get into fights with other kids, who were just trying to watch the game. There were the sorority girl types who would just come to get their picture taken. It was annoying, but I accepted that as an aspect of being in a large diverse student body. Football games are a gathering of everybody.
I don't know how things changed. Did a couple of lean years make other aspects of the football saturday experience take precedence? Did we lose some of that old culture and tradition that we all seem to value so greatly? I'm not on campus anymore, and I can't make these observations anymore. I'd hope that Brandon and others do whatever it takes to make the stadium a better environment because what's important is the game.
How would you do that exactly? I don't think it would be as easy as it seems.
$200/season is a very low price to pay to have the option to go to every home game, even if you don't use it. Plus for the many (not all) students who aren't paying their own way, this is a rounding error to put on their parents tab next to tuition/rent and living expenses.
Hell we know that ND/MSU/OSU games can cost that much per game. Why wouldn't you buy them?
I recently graduated and live in Chicago and I had my little sister who is still a student find a pair of kids who weren't going to buy them get them for me. So I bought the whole season and will only make it to 3 games this year. I don't bother with the hassle of reselling the others, because even without doing that it is still cheaper than stubhub-ing the big games that I want to go to.
Even when a student knows they only want to go to a big game or two, no one wants to be the person at the pregame: "hey everybody let's go" Reply: "I can't I didn't buy tickets this year".
(1) Make the face value equivalent to other sections (ex. annual seat donation charges/whatever)
(2) Eliminate validation charges
(3) Offer more single game tickets and set the face values TO THE MARKET (hint: not $65 UMASS & $75 MSU).
(4) I like the idea of losing priviledge to buy if you didn't attend 6 or 7 out of 8 the previous season
(5) General admission would help
Everybody says "trim the student section" - the size of the student section is based entirely on how many students buy season tickets, and everyone who has the cash is guaranteed a student ticket.
How would you fairly assign priority for limited seats? I'd have been screwed - I went to only one game (the Horror) in 2007 because I was on a semester off in Australia. I bought the tix to keep my priority and so my sister could get some of her friends who didn't want season tix in.
But I was otherwise a diehard and went to every home game from 2004-8, always got in before kickoff, and stayed till the final whistle (even for NW 2008, which was my last game as a student - lucky me eh?)
My suggestion: offer a ticket buyback - any student not going can turn in their ticket at least 5 days in advance for say 75% of face value. The turned in tix then go on sale. Public can buy them at full price or students can get them at the student rate.
Honestly the biggest problem is probably that student tickets can only be bought as a full season. Offering single game tickets or small packages would yield a smaller student section but it would be full. Priority for big games would be given for students who had attended the most games.
There's not going to be a perfect solution. If the primary casulaties to a system based on tracking attendance and shrinking the student section are people who miss a semster abroad, I'd say those would fall squarely under the rubric of acceptable losses.
Also, carrots and sticks related to monetary punishment are only going to affect those students who are paying their own way and/or don't have extra money to burn. Students whose parents take care of everything anyway - and there's a damn sizeable percentage of them - aren't going to give a shit.
There wasn't even this problem in the Rich Rod years! The only games I remember that the student section wasn't completely full were mac games and the 2009 penn state game which was rainy and miserable, and those were only a few empty rows at the top. Those few have turned into about ten.
But good lord I didn't know they student section had 22,000 tickets! When did it get that big? Last I remember it was 18,000!
Also something has been said about lack of coordination. Is it a possibility to do something like a midnight yell like texas a&m does?
How would yelling at the diag the night before get people to go to the games?
That part had nothing to do with getting people to go. It had to do with the coordination problem.
as a recent grad, i was embarressed when i saw the game on saturday and the top of the student section was empty. some of those students must be incredibly spoiled and not realize what they have in those tickets.
When you consider that 42% of the freshman class is comprised of kids whose parents are paying that gigantic out-of-state tuition bill, you're guaranteed to have a large number of them from extremely comfortable homes who've never had to go without a single shiny new thing in their entire lives. UM has never been a low-cost institution relative to other schools, but I have to believe that the percentage of students who are from truly middle-income or working class financial backgrounds is lower than it's been for many decades. Back in the '70s a far lower percentage of students owned cars, and plenty of those were 10-year-old beaters. When I'm on campus these days for client meetings I'm amazed at the number of late-model BMWs, Mercedes, Range Rovers, and similarly upscale American models parked on campus side streets.
It is true that U-M has an over-representation of students from high-income families. That's been true for a long while.
They are not all from Out-of-State.
It's not clear to me that these are the students who buy season tickets, or don't show up to games, or who display loutish, spoiled, entitled behavior. They ARE probably driving the nicer cars you are seeing, but beyond that it's speculation.
I get uncomfortable with sweeping generalizations (unless they're about those classless morons who root for OSU).
I'm sure that all of the in-state students from bloomfield hills, rochester hills, gross pointe, etc. are penny-pinching too. Sheesh. Do you have any information that suggests wage of parents correlates with ones ability to be a passionate college football fan and attend games?
I think you misunderstand me. Which is east enough to do, clarity has never been my strong suit.
I was making a couple of points. One, we shouldn't pin the "rich kid" label on nonresidents alone. From a sheer factual standpoint, that's not true and it bugged me to let that assumption stand.
But more important to the discussion, my other point: don't assume the student fans who are bailing are generally the wealthy/spoiled/entitled ones. That's a leap.
my msu ticket was ripped, not scanned, if that means anything.
Reduce the student section by 50 percent. Raise the price of student tickets so only the students that really care will purchase. If that doesn't work then get rid of student tickets all together. There are plenty of Walmart wolverines that would buy them.
50% is way way to much.
Raising the cost of tickets will only make the problem worse.
Yes, lets just get rid of everything nice about college football while we are at it.
Until I see some evidence suggesting that collectively out of state students have decided to, in much greater proportions than before, stop caring about michigan football and to stop going to games, I have no reason to beleive that the apaprent malaise from students is unique to them. I don't know where this notion and the complete confidence in this statement is coming from.
Separetely, I think there should be a system that rewards attendance (and gives extra credit for showing up 15min or so before the game) not by credits as it is now. I don't see why a sophomore who attended every game as a freshman and was there early should have to get worse seats than a senior who goes to the two marquee games every year just because he had more credits. Seems like it would be an easy fix. That way kids sitting in the best seats are the passionate fans and the ones who want to show up late or only go to a couple games a year can sit in the 70th+ row.
Also, a punitive sytem should be put in place for those who missed a certain amount of games, where they are put on standby to get tickets in the event that the section is decreased in size. I don't think the solution would be to blindly prevent freshman to go to the games as many of them are passionate fans as well.
I think this is a good idea (assign seats by lifetime "attendance points"), but it doesn't really address the issue of empty seats. The people who buy tickets but don't show up probably don't care what seats they're not sitting in.
The point is just that it's probably MORE of a problem for them. Obviously this is anecdotal, but most of my in-state friends go to pretty much every game, whereas my out of state friends (most of whom are in frats/sororities) always tell me how they only went to the first game.
To be honest, as someone else mentioned, I think one big problem is that this year's junior and senior classes had to watch RR's teams get steamrolled during their freshman years and didn't get hooked.
Given Hoke's record at home, I think it's highly possible that this year's and last year's freshman classes end up showing up in greater numbers by the time they're seniors.
Ok, I will buy the argument that out-of-staters may contribute more, but I don't think there has been some systematic change in only their minds to do so. So, I think just looking at them doesn't really fix the issue of crappy attendance.
I actually do agree with the RR point and I think that the non-conference losses this year may have taken some fo the wind out of the sail from the momentum that was created at the end of last year with the sugar bowl victory. Not saying that this is legitimate (i attended every game ...even when we lost to toledo), but a possible explanation.