Brandon: Students 50% late, 25% no-show. !

Submitted by Section 1 on April 27th, 2013 at 7:18 PM

So the headline is that according to the Athletic Department, students are "50% late, 25% no-show." 

Those numbers are startling to me, and probably worse than what I'd have guessed, having myself arrived on time  ;-)  and looking across the field at the empty portions of Sections 25-34.  If the numbers seem wrong to you or offend your own sensibilites, you can send your complaints to 1000 S. State Street.  Don't blame me.

Any way you slice it, the student ticketing/attendance is a problem.  It's long past time for the students to quit griping about the rest of the Stadium's patrons (Up in Back!) and get their own act together.

So the question becomes what to do about it.

Brandon's response is two-pronged.  (1) Raise ticket prices, so that students who do buy tickets have more skin in the game, and not just The Game.  (2) Impose General Admission, so that students feel the need to get to the game early lest they end up in Row 89 of Section 36.  (Row 89 of Section 36 is a view that a lot of football purists might like, by the way.  It is a good angle to watch how plays are supposed to develop.  It is the way every Offensive Coordinator or QB coach might want to watch a game.)

But there's a third angle, unspoken but clearly implied.  Since Michigan's policy is "a ticket for every student who wants one," it may be that instead of a top-down Athletic Department limit on the number of student tickets, the market-driven way to reduce too-casual student ticket purchases is to make it more expensive and less assured that you'll get a spot (seats be damned, right?) that you'll like without getting there sooner.  Make tickets available to every student who wants one.  Just make it so that fewer students really want one.  I'll eat Brian Cook's hat if that isn't part of the thinking from South State Street.  And that part is what just might have the effect of cutting down on 2000-3000 too-casual students who don't show up.  This isn't a wild guess on my part.  Brandon said as much:

"If you pay a price for a ticket, how much of an investment are you making in that ticket?" he said. "We did a study to find out what other schools are charging for student tickets, because maybe we're too low. Maybe one of the reasons students aren't showing up is because they feel like they haven't made enough of a significant investment in the ticket.

"That wasn't our motivation. Our motivation was to get the students into the seats and be there to support the team." 

I don't understand the General Admission idea, and how it is expected to work.  I have not yet heard if they are abandoning distinct section-number requirements.  I get the impression that they are (!?).  How can it be that it won't result in chaos, with students lining up to get into sections (say for example, 25 and 26) that are filled?  How will those lines be organized and policed?  How will that traffic get directed?  What happens, say, when Section 25 fills up, and a line of students 60 yards long is told to go to the next section, where there are already 200 people in line?  How the heck will anybody who is outside the Stadium, know where to enter to find a seat place to stand, since there is no way to tell what parts are filled and what parts have vacancy?  I don't get it.

I'll say again here what I have said before; I have some sympathy for the students, and everybody else who enters the North end perimeter gates (East Keech Street - "GATE 10" in Stadium-speak.)  With all of the students arriving at the last minute, that gate is probably the single worst bottleneck in getting students into the Stadium on time.  The students wait up to 15-30 minutes at that bottleneck, which neatly corresponds with how late half of them are to kickoffs.  My free advice to the Athletic Department is to get that part figured out.  I sense that there is room down there to somehow expand the operation. 

And there's the silly, phony "security theater" aspect of having solemn-looking cops and 'security' personnel check people for dangerous items like bottled water, cameras with telephoto lenses, apples and ladies' purses.  I sense that smartphone-equipped students operate more on a "just in time" basis than ever before.  They expect to time their route to the Stadium more closely than ever, only to run into a bigger than ever bottleneck at Gate 10, because 10,000 other students are doing exactly the same thing.






April 27th, 2013 at 7:25 PM ^

i live in PA, i would love to go to michigan stadium every saturday that they play at home.  i know your a student and have alot going on but i would think going to the BIG HOUSE for a few hours on saturday would be a great break from your studies


April 27th, 2013 at 7:26 PM ^

I think the GA solution isn't going to solve the problem.  It rewards the students who show up early,  but to get people there on time we need a system that punishes those who show up late.  Whether they dont get the reduced priced tickets or only partial season ticket package the following year, something needs to be done to force students to be on time.

snarling wolverine

April 27th, 2013 at 7:33 PM ^

I don't want to hear any more whining from the students about how RichRod killed their enthusiasm.  Next year, only the seniors will have ever attended a RichRod-coached game, and that was in 2010 - Denard's breakout season - so it was exciting even if we played zero defense.  

Our current students have been lucky as hell to see Michigan win 100% of its home games in football the last two years and like 95% of them in basketball.  Memo to students: take full advantage of your opportunity to see two programs that are awesome at home.  You have plenty of time to party after the game.



April 27th, 2013 at 8:26 PM ^

I agree you can't pin this on RR, the quality of opponent or even winning itself.  I am seeing it happen more and more with hockey as well.  When I was a student, it was packed before puck dropped.  Now it takes until almost half way through the first period for most games for the section to fill up and most of the time not all of the seats do fill up.
  It seems to be something more related to the student body than the performance on the field, ice or court.

Section 1

April 28th, 2013 at 2:59 PM ^

Anyway, your argument isn't with me or with anyone else on this Board, or even with MLive/Baumgardner.

Your argument is with David Brandon and his assistants who are charged with public relations for the Department.  That's the big thing in all of this.  It's coming from the Department.


April 27th, 2013 at 8:18 PM ^

You seem to be taking all this personally.  If you were going to the games on time every week, good for you.  Obviously, it's not every student's fault that this happened.  But yes - I went to every game (I haven't missed a home game since 2004), and the student section was directly opposite me.  The swaths of empty seats were hard to miss.   MSU was the only exception to the pattern.

If you were in the section yourself, I don't know if you could grasp just how bad it looked.  You should be able to see it for yourself if you watch the TV broadcasts from last year. 







April 27th, 2013 at 8:28 PM ^

Well when people here continue to hate on the students as a group and repeatedly fail to recognize that the problem is caused by a small percentage of the student body, obviously people are going to take it personally.  Most of the students are dedicated fans who show up on time.  Unfortunately, many people in these threads can't understand this simple fact.


April 27th, 2013 at 9:04 PM ^

Small being a relative term.  Obviously, it's a problem, and I have never denied this.  But most students are good fans.  And your argument that 50% were late to every game other than MSU is just plain wrong, and you can go look at photos if you don't believe me.  I'll get you started:

That's Iowa from last year.  Bad?  Yep.  50%  Nope.


April 28th, 2013 at 10:49 AM ^

A: Is that at the opening kick?  We don't know.

B: We can't see the whole section, specifically the endzone sections which are almost assuredly more at risk to be empty.

C: I'd put that at 20-25% empty, which is still terrible.  And that's Iowa, a great game.  I challenge you to continue this argument with pictures of EMU as your evidence, though.


April 27th, 2013 at 8:39 PM ^

That is pre-2008. There are no boxes, the video screen boards are there, there still is FieldTurf and not the Durasine used now. In fact, that is pre-2007 because of the white bar on the scoreboard. 

That rotating bar that displayed messages like Go Blue and the title year was removed before the 2007 season in favor of a video bar. 

If I had to guess, that looks like the 2006 Ball State game. Red and white band and low attendance. Attendance by students sucked late in the season. 2006 vs NW during Band Take The Field. Horrid weather but still no excuse.

Excuse my crappy disposable camera. This was before I let technology into my life.


April 27th, 2013 at 9:39 PM ^

Ghost is right, as a student I'll admit our showing has been shameful, but those numbers seem inflated. I'm in favor of the GA change, but Brandon is no different than a shrewd politician.

He's most likely getting ready to, perhaps rightfully, shrink the student section and he's going public with  "numbers," legit or not, to generate support. 


April 28th, 2013 at 5:36 PM ^

it could simply mean that 25% of the students missed at least one game; not necessarily 25% missing each game.  similarly, 50% could be late to at least one game.  i really doubt 50% were late every game.  i attended all but one game this past year.

it was common for a few rows near the top in the corner to be unfilled, but i don't think that represents 25% of the student seats.


April 27th, 2013 at 7:32 PM ^

Ok, I get that this is on topic, and a valid problem. At the same time though, I cannot be the only one getting slightly tired of the bashing of current students on this blog. Should they show up on time? Absolutely.  Is it annoying seeing the student section partially empty? Defnitely. But, it seems like the current students have garnered more ire on this blog over the past few months/year than have MSU And OSU. I understand the frustration, but it seems as though constantly beating this drum will only serve to create a wall between the current alums and current students, and may end up causing some current students to leave the MGoCommunity, which would be bad for everyone who enjoys this site. Instead of harping on it during the offseason, let's see if the new system works, and if it doesn't hope DB can figure out some other system to fix the problem, because seeing a new thread railing against the current student body every day is doing us no good.

-A Proud Alum, Go Blue


April 27th, 2013 at 8:13 PM ^

The current students should have absolute priority seating. They are who are actually currently enrolled and who the team is actually playing for 1st and Foremost. The players aren't running and jumping in the old follks/rich guys section after a big win.

With GA they are treated 2nd class and they should be afforded the best. Their families are currently paying the tuition.

Michigan Eaglet

April 27th, 2013 at 8:20 PM ^

only students who are "bitching" about this are the upperclassman who have been going to games for the last two or three seasons and are losing the ability that all upperclassman before them had, which is a guarenteed seat lower than freshman and sophomores. I'm not sure how hard it is for some people to understand that if you patiently waited your turn, expecting that, if you pay your dues, you'd eventually get the seats that you should and "deserve" only to be told without warning or any kind of grandfathering in isn't really "fair".  Students will have to show up very early, several hours probably for the OSU and ND games, just to get a decent seat. I think the current upperclassman, especially the rising seniors have a very valid point. They want to make sure the athletic department hears their voice on the issue, even if it doesn't change much. When ticket prices and donations for seats increase, should all the alumni and season tickets holders not be allowed to complain about that? As a current student, I will be showing up as early as I feel necessary to get a good seat for the games (hopefully rows 20-35), but the hostility on this board has been outright venomous at times towards the current students. I know I'm in the minority of students that actually cares and goes to the game to see every play of the game, and I know that the attendance last year was less that stellar, but this borderline hatred for the current students is not what this fanbase should be investing its emotions in and needs to stop. This isn't just directed at you, but I just felt it needed to be said.


April 27th, 2013 at 9:34 PM ^

only students who are "bitching" about this are the upperclassman who have been going to games for the last two or three seasons and are losing the ability that all upperclassman before them had, which is a guarenteed seat lower than freshman and sophomores.

I can understand this to some degree, but you should know that the system was always pretty weird about how it allocated seats. I was in Section 27 for both my junior and senior years despite the fact that everyone in my group (four of us) had the normal amount of credits each time. I think I would have preferred to have taken my chances with GA seating.

On a side note, why is there so much fascination with low seating? Yeah, you're close to the players for the postgame celebration thing, but otherwise your view sucks. I think it's perfectly fine to be 20-30 rows up.