Wall Street Journal Article on Declining Student Attendance

Submitted by mgoblue99 on August 28th, 2014 at 8:46 AM

Nothing much new here, but interesting read nonetheless.  The portion about Michigan is quoted below:

Among college football's heavyweights, student attendance was lower in 2013 than 2009 at Ohio State University, Michigan State University, University of Florida and Florida State University. It also declined at the University of Michigan and LSU, though the schools didn't provide five years of data to the Journal.

Schools can't even rely on students who buy tickets to show up at games—or they trickle into their seats late and leave early. At the University of Kansas, which had a 3-9 record last season, 74% of student tickets went unused.

At Michigan, an average of 14,749 students showed up at the college's home games last season, an 11% decline from 2011. The team won just seven games in 2013, down from 11 in 2011.

The attendance slide also was blamed on an increase in student ticket prices, which jumped to $295 from $205 last year, as Michigan replaced a long-standing policy that rewarded seniority with a plan that gave students general-admission access. A midseason survey by the college's student government showed that 76% of student season-ticket holders disapproved of the new plan.

"There are students who are being priced out," says Michael Proppe, a 22-year-old Michigan business student who was the student-body president last year. "People are looking to trim costs, and for a lot of folks, football is an easy thing to cut. It's not essential to going to college."

Student dissatisfaction led to another change that takes effect at Michigan's home opener against Appalachian State University on Saturday. Michigan students are now assigned seats based on how many sports games they attended the previous school year. The athletic department, which formed a student council for advice on ticketing issues, also decided to offer discounted, single-game student tickets.

Michigan has another problem. Because of the Big Ten's expansion, Michigan's home schedule doesn't include either Michigan State or Ohio State, Michigan's two biggest rivals, for the first time since 1966. Football ticket sales to Michigan students are down 40% from last year.

Link: http://online.wsj.com/articles/at-college-football-games-student-sections-likely-to-have-empty-seats-1409188244



August 28th, 2014 at 8:56 AM ^


C'mon man. It is 2 days before kickoff. Can we not post articles that are 1.) Debbie Downers 2.) Subject matter that has been thoroughly discussed thoughout the off-season 3.) Not related to JABRILL PEPPERS!


August 28th, 2014 at 9:06 AM ^

No disrespect to the OP, but I think there have been about 20 topics on this issue in the past six months. Let's just focus on the team and the first game of the year. I'm tired of reading the same thing over and over regarding declining ticket sales. Go Blue


August 28th, 2014 at 9:34 AM ^

Sorry, but I appreciate that the OP brought to our attention news that concerns our program that is being written in a national newspaper.

The title of the thread was "Wall Street Journal Article on Declining Student Attendance"

Nothing misleading there.  Been there? Done that? Sick of hearing about it?  DON'T CLICK ON THE LINK.

Year of Revenge II

August 28th, 2014 at 2:14 PM ^

No disrespect to you; however, some of us are capable of focusing on more than Go Blue! Beat App St. (Why the H are we playing them again?)! and "it's the first game of the year"!

This happens to be news in the world of college football, of which we are the all-time leader in wins, and without which your appreciated enthusiasm would not have a target.  

So lighten up, okay, and if you are tired of reading the news, try not reading it.  Won't do much for your conversational skills, but you will be a happier fan...maybe.


August 28th, 2014 at 9:15 AM ^

Perhaps this was already posted here and I missed it, but despite the decline in student tickets sales—and all the people expressing concerns about the 100,000+-attendance streak being in jeopardy—as of a couple of days ago there were only about 1,500 tickets remaining for Saturday's game. That fact is buried within a typically gloom-and-doom ESPN article about ticket sales at Nebraska and Michigan.

Bando Calrissian

August 28th, 2014 at 9:20 AM ^

Plus 3000+ tickets on StubHub starting in the $25-30 range. And the glut of tickets it seems everyone is trying to unload on Facebook and email listserves right now.

Somehow, given the unusual amount of marketing being thrown at selling tickets for this thing, I really doubt the 1500 number is accurate. At any rate, we're possibly looking at a game where somewhere around 5000 tickets or are floating around either unsold or unlikely to be resold. That's insane.


August 28th, 2014 at 10:20 AM ^

Ohio State offers four different ticket packages to their students, so it might be a case of comparing apples to oranges in terms of how many OSU students can attend any one game in comparison to their UM counterparts.  That's because Ohio State offers a Reserved Big Ten Student package that covers only the four B1G games on their schedule.

Ohio State's 2014 home games are Virginia Tech, Kent State, Cincinnati, Rutgers, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan.  The Reserved Full Season Ticket package for those seven games in $252 plus a non-refundable $14 processing fee, making the full cost $266 or $38 per game.

OSU students can also buy a Reserved Big Ten Student Ticket package for the four B1G games.  The total cost (including processing fee) is $152 or $38 per game.

The other two packages are for the Block O North and Block O South (which has general admission seating. i.e., first come, first serve) in the endzone areas.  These cost $272 for the season plus the $14 processing fee and a $20 "Block O" membership fee for a total cost of $306 or $43.71 per game.

See http://www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com/tickets/pdf/m-footbl-student-info.pdf for more information.

Michigan has a uniform price for students attending the seven home games this year, i.e., $295 or $42.14 per game.  UM's home games are Appalachian State, Miami (Ohio), Utah, Minnesota, Penn State, Indiana and Maryland. 

Part of the recent increases in ticket prices include a $7.50 per game fee to pay for six recreational building and union renovations.  That's what led to the price going from $232.50 to $240 for the 2013 season ($40 per game).

See http://www.annarbor.com/sports/um-football/i-feel-like-im-getting-shaft… and http://www.annarbor.com/news/funding-university-of-michigan-gym-renovat…




August 28th, 2014 at 1:42 PM ^

If Michigan had the same type of package ($40 oer game but only B10 games covered) they'd sell a hell of a lot more tickets, I'd bet.  The 100,000 streak would disappear in a flash, though, because you could have $120 by not getting tickets to the bodybag games.


August 28th, 2014 at 11:10 AM ^

Dave Brandon for all of this.

1. Should have never messed with the student section. It was fine the way it was.

2. He has no backbone and let the MSU game be in E L again. Now instead of having OSU at home one year and MSU at home the next year, we have them both one year and neither the next year. Since we won't be playing Notre Dame anymore their is no big rivalry game at home every other year.

pure brilliance Dave Brandon


August 28th, 2014 at 11:14 AM ^

Wow, makes me wonder if the AD is taking their business advice from the same idiots that run the company I work for. "Yeah, that one, the least logical and glaringly worst choice, let's do that one."