Wall Street Journal: Student No-Shows

Submitted by w2j2 on September 25th, 2013 at 9:21 PM

Student indifference is easy to spot at matchups they expect to be lopsided: 45% of the student seats went unused at Georgia's non-SEC games. In the Big Ten, Michigan's student section had wide swaths of empty rows before kickoff Sept. 14 against Akron, the week after a stirring home win over rival Notre Dame. At Ohio State, the student no-show rate hit 26% for a game last season against lowly UAB.




September 26th, 2013 at 8:29 AM ^

While the article did not provide all the information, it did seem that Georgia and Alabama were much more concerned about student attendance in terms of what the students want. Here, the majority of Dave Brandon's strategies have wanted to force the students to show up. For instance, sarcastic emails about our attendance and then the general admission move. It doesn't appear that his perspective was ever about what the department can do to better serve what the students want out of their football game experience. Whether or not the students deserve that kind of treatment is probably another discussion, but he is buying more ill will than loyalty.

Blue Mike

September 26th, 2013 at 10:52 AM ^

How does having Wi-Fi help students come to the game?  Do they not have an internet connection wherever they already are?

Also, is a full student section so important that we don't care if a good chunk aren't watching the game and instead posting pictures of themselves to instagram and facebook or tweeting with their friends three rows over?  Why not just get a bunch of blow up dolls and put yellow shirts on them?


September 26th, 2013 at 12:33 PM ^

While this issue has been debated here many times, it will continue to be a problem. There are many different aspects to the problem.

  1. Being a student who like, "studies." Sometimes, it is more important to work on a paper or research or studies than go to a game.
  2. The right to a seat. This should be a no-brainer. People have season tickets in all kinds of venues, for the "right" and privilege to attend a game, when they want to. Look at luxury boxes in virtually any NBA, NFL, or College venue, and you will see unused seats. The people who pay for them want to be able to attend, when they want to attend. They have the money to buy a spot which they may or may not use. This extends to students.
  3. More and more entertainment options. Back in the day, going to the game might have been close to the only show in town. There are so many varied choices, I can understand that a number of students might choose to do something else, rather than go to a game.
  4. Entertainment value at the game. Let's face it, many people aren't that big of football fans. At one time, between drinking, smoking weed, passing coeds up the stands, seeing the band, low cost of tickets, there was a high value to going even if you weren't a big football fan. That has been lessened quite a bit, especially for those who don't follow football closely.
  5. Diminished sense of community among students. I think that in the past, the student body was more unified. I get the sense that what little shared community there is among students is diminishing yet further.
  6. Improved viewing options. When I was a student, you went to the game, or you didn't see the game. With all games being televised, along with high definition TV, along with TIVO to skip the commericals, along with access to alcohol, along with a comfortable chair and no bad weather, along with being able to easily tune out if the game gets out of hand, it makes a lot more sense NOT to go than it used to.

I don't think we're ever going completely back. When you combine all the above factors, full actual attendance is going to continue to be a problem at all but the biggest marquee games.


September 26th, 2013 at 1:12 PM ^

I think this is a bigger deal than people think.  Like you mention, it wasn't that long ago when if ABC or ESPN and maybe ESPN2 (I'm not talking about the gameday package and their whole family of networks) weren't carrying the game, the only way to see it was to go to the game.  Now, every game is televised.  Heck, when I was growing up ESPN didn't even carry much college football. 

You throw in crappy weather or unattractive opponent and more people are probably going to steer to the side of staying home and watching the game on TV.


September 26th, 2013 at 1:24 PM ^

Take one section away from the Student section, give the students that purchase tickets their "actual" seat back and sell the extra section to the long list of season ticket waiting list folks. 

With the cost of tickets now, non-students that pay full price for tickets will show up under normal circumstances.  Full stadium, problem solved.  If the students complain that their section of the stadium isn't big enough, then SHOW UP or shut up.