Football (All Levels) Attendance

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BallwinBird2012
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Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:32 am

Thought about putting this in the FCS attendance thread, but thought it might deserve its own.

https://www.cbssports.com/college-footb ... -34-years/

I blame the Watch ESPN App...

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Redbirdwarrior
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Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:03 pm

"Downsizing stadiums" is interesting. Good. I always though the days of the 100,000 seat stadiums were numbered. It just isn't sustainable. I'm glad ISU didn't go nuts and try to add a horseshoe and a second level when we expanded. Looks like the field is coming back toward us, not the other way around.

TheTruth
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Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:38 pm

Yeah, thank goodness Illinois State didn't try to increase their revenues, fanbase, exposure or conference affiliation. Sitting on their asses all these years was so smart!

BallwinBird2012
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Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:39 pm

I wonder (although not enough to actually do some research) what the numbers for all levels of NCAA men's basketball are looking like. My guess would be a similar trend. I know at least several major programs have taken the "downsizing" stadium approach while trying to upgrade things like luxury suites and moving seats closer to the court.

BallwinBird2012
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Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:49 pm

TheTruth wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:38 pm
Yeah, thank goodness Illinois State didn't try to increase their revenues, fanbase, exposure or conference affiliation. Sitting on their asses all these years was so smart!
I think you missed the point he was trying to make, or at least the way I perceived it. I think he was trying to say he was (and I am too) glad they didn't go crazy with Hancock 2.0 and create a situation where we had significantly more seats than fans (see: South Dakota State). "If you build it, they will come" isn't really a viable plan IMO. Attendance is trending downward at ALL levels. "They" aren't coming, so let's think about how we can improve the overall fan experience and then increase seating if/when attendance does improve. If want to argue that ISU isn't working hard enough to actually improve the fan experience in the first place, then I'd be willing to agree with you.

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crazzymark
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Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:49 pm

well, well , well the truth comes out, BB fans do not want the FB to shine, we could play Memphis or Cincinnati and or any FBS team every week or play EIU (losing scholarships) , DII teams and and other power houses like Murray St. lol wont draw flies. Saturday shopping, raking leafs, looking at the sky will be the norm, not attending FB games. NDSU, SDU,UNI will leave and move up and just like the mico valley coop bb has shrunk to, FB will be irrelevant again. That will make all you shhh and sit down at bb games happy. btw said mentioned teams about are growing and or sold out every game..just sayin

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Redbirdwarrior
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Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:04 pm

Where do you guys think this money comes from? Do you think there is just a warehouse on campus with a pile of money that the administration smokes cigars around all day? Hell no. You need to kiss asses- lots of asses of lots of alumni with a CLEAR and DEFINED goal and expectations. Noting the data provided in the original post, what makes you think that if ISU just decided to add 20,000 more seats that ANY of those seats would actually be sold just because we were "making the effort and spending the money" to be in a lower FBS conference? You know what happens when you tell donors "Give us $50,000,000 and we'll sell out the stadium and be in the Big 12 in 7 years" then 2030 hits and you've never sold more than 25,000 seats to a game and are middle of the pack in the MAC? Those donors never come back because you flat out lied to them.

Well what happens then? You have NO football because you made it fiscally irresponsible to have a program and you just close up shop because making $0 is a better investment than losing $2,000,000 a year.

So, let me ask you this question: FBS guys? Would you risk Illinois State having to eliminate major sports including football in order to make a hasty jump to FBS which ALL FINANCIAL DATA AND STATISTICS would heavily suggest you do not do?

fourthandshort
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Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:30 pm

I'm in the get good at crawling, then get good at walking, then learn how to run .. crowd

We're still getting good at walking .... but learning to run at some point is the goal.

Step 1 ... replace St Xavier game
Step 2 .. getting approval to break ground for Indoor facility
Redbird Nation Rising ... Fans and donors need to get on board !!

BallwinBird2012
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Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:38 pm


RedbirdSoxFan
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Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:45 pm

I know some (crazzymark) people like to knock the gray hairs in attendance, but answer me this question;
The average attendance for conference games at Redbird arena is 5,407 fans. What would the average attendance be if us so-called gray hairs stayed at home? Do you think that the college kids are going to make up the difference? Most kids these days would rather stay home and play video games and drink. I've been going to ISU games since they were at Horton. Each year the average age of the crowds are getting older, and the average attendance is getting smaller. (And I am not just talking about ISU). Why? Because us gray hairs didn't grow up playing video games and playing on social media. We played outside and went to games. It is not a secret why average attendance around the country is dropping every year. I guess if the Birds get to a couple of NCAA Tournaments in the next couple of years the crowds may start averaging near 8,000. Us old gray hairs are going to continue to die off at a faster pace than the young people are going to start attending games. Through all the years of no NCAA Tournament appearances (20 and counting) the gray hairs have continued to show up at Redbird Arena. Even in 1991 when the Birds only won five games the average attendance was probably near 8,000 and most of us gray hairs were a big part of that 8,000. I am grateful for all of the gray hairs at Redbird Arena, whether they are standing, sitting, yelling, or silent. At least they are still there. So instead of complaining about us gray hairs, why don't you go out and recruit some young blood to start coming to the games to filled the empty seats. And maybe some Bloomington/Normal parents can start taking their kids to the games. Started taking my son to Redbird games when he was 6. Now he is 34 and when his first child arrives in June, the baby will be leaving the hospital wearing a redbird outfit that they have already purchased. And although my son now lives in New Jersey, he still makes it to St Louis for the tournament every year. Can't wait until the baby is old enough to join us for a taste of the Missouri Valley Tournament.

GhostofMBA
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Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:47 pm

Man, it is too bad the old board is gone, lots of good data, information, and history lost.
Some of you did not read the article. Top 5 increases for 2017:
Purdue (14,433)
Akron (9,232)
Florida Atlantic (8,875)
New Mexico State (8,694)
Penn State (6,450)

I wish we could have an increase of attendance of 8K+ like Akron, FAU, and NMSU to fill up the 10K+ stadium...

I like this:
Redbirdwarrior wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:04 pm
"Give us $50,000,000 and we'll sell out the stadium and be in the Big 12 in 7 years" then 2030 hits and you've never sold more than 25,000 seats to a game and are middle of the pack in the MAC? Those donors never come back because you flat out lied to them.
The donors have already been lied to. We never got our FBS opponent of Ball State to open Hancock 2.0 that was advertised. BTW, many of the current grey hair donors will be dead by 2030. Mic drop...

ISU85
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Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:37 pm

crazzymark wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:49 pm
well, well , well the truth comes out, BB fans do not want the FB to shine, we could play Memphis or Cincinnati and or any FBS team every week or play EIU (losing scholarships) , DII teams and and other power houses like Murray St. lol wont draw flies. Saturday shopping, raking leafs, looking at the sky will be the norm, not attending FB games. NDSU, SDU,UNI will leave and move up and just like the mico valley coop bb has shrunk to, FB will be irrelevant again. That will make all you shhh and sit down at bb games happy. btw said mentioned teams about are growing and or sold out every game..just sayin
How many games have you been to in the last decade?

Humdinger
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Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:49 pm

RedbirdSoxFan wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:45 pm
I know some (crazzymark) people like to knock the gray hairs in attendance, but answer me this question;
The average attendance for conference games at Redbird arena is 5,407 fans. What would the average attendance be if us so-called gray hairs stayed at home? Do you think that the college kids are going to make up the difference? Most kids these days would rather stay home and play video games and drink. I've been going to ISU games since they were at Horton. Each year the average age of the crowds are getting older, and the average attendance is getting smaller. (And I am not just talking about ISU). Why? Because us gray hairs didn't grow up playing video games and playing on social media. We played outside and went to games. It is not a secret why average attendance around the country is dropping every year. I guess if the Birds get to a couple of NCAA Tournaments in the next couple of years the crowds may start averaging near 8,000. Us old gray hairs are going to continue to die off at a faster pace than the young people are going to start attending games. Through all the years of no NCAA Tournament appearances (20 and counting) the gray hairs have continued to show up at Redbird Arena. Even in 1991 when the Birds only won five games the average attendance was probably near 8,000 and most of us gray hairs were a big part of that 8,000. I am grateful for all of the gray hairs at Redbird Arena, whether they are standing, sitting, yelling, or silent. At least they are still there. So instead of complaining about us gray hairs, why don't you go out and recruit some young blood to start coming to the games to filled the empty seats. And maybe some Bloomington/Normal parents can start taking their kids to the games. Started taking my son to Redbird games when he was 6. Now he is 34 and when his first child arrives in June, the baby will be leaving the hospital wearing a redbird outfit that they have already purchased. And although my son now lives in New Jersey, he still makes it to St Louis for the tournament every year. Can't wait until the baby is old enough to join us for a taste of the Missouri Valley Tournament.

Pretty good gray hair ambassador you are, RedbirdSox.

BTW...ISU attendance averaged 8,712 in the '90-'91 5-win juggernaut group.
(that 5 wins was followed with 2 consecutive MVC titles, though)
(I think we could see something similar happen next year for us)

RedbirdSoxFan
Sophomore
Posts: 290
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Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:14 pm

Humdinger wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:49 pm
RedbirdSoxFan wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:45 pm
I know some (crazzymark) people like to knock the gray hairs in attendance, but answer me this question;
The average attendance for conference games at Redbird arena is 5,407 fans. What would the average attendance be if us so-called gray hairs stayed at home? Do you think that the college kids are going to make up the difference? Most kids these days would rather stay home and play video games and drink. I've been going to ISU games since they were at Horton. Each year the average age of the crowds are getting older, and the average attendance is getting smaller. (And I am not just talking about ISU). Why? Because us gray hairs didn't grow up playing video games and playing on social media. We played outside and went to games. It is not a secret why average attendance around the country is dropping every year. I guess if the Birds get to a couple of NCAA Tournaments in the next couple of years the crowds may start averaging near 8,000. Us old gray hairs are going to continue to die off at a faster pace than the young people are going to start attending games. Through all the years of no NCAA Tournament appearances (20 and counting) the gray hairs have continued to show up at Redbird Arena. Even in 1991 when the Birds only won five games the average attendance was probably near 8,000 and most of us gray hairs were a big part of that 8,000. I am grateful for all of the gray hairs at Redbird Arena, whether they are standing, sitting, yelling, or silent. At least they are still there. So instead of complaining about us gray hairs, why don't you go out and recruit some young blood to start coming to the games to filled the empty seats. And maybe some Bloomington/Normal parents can start taking their kids to the games. Started taking my son to Redbird games when he was 6. Now he is 34 and when his first child arrives in June, the baby will be leaving the hospital wearing a redbird outfit that they have already purchased. And although my son now lives in New Jersey, he still makes it to St Louis for the tournament every year. Can't wait until the baby is old enough to join us for a taste of the Missouri Valley Tournament.

Pretty good gray hair ambassador you are, RedbirdSox.

BTW...ISU attendance averaged 8,712 in the '90-'91 5-win juggernaut group.
(that 5 wins was followed with 2 consecutive MVC titles, though)
(I think we could see something similar happen next year for us)
5 wins :o

Redbird78
Freshman
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Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:21 pm

RedbirdSoxFan wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:45 pm
I know some (crazzymark) people like to knock the gray hairs in attendance, but answer me this question;
The average attendance for conference games at Redbird arena is 5,407 fans. What would the average attendance be if us so-called gray hairs stayed at home? Do you think that the college kids are going to make up the difference? Most kids these days would rather stay home and play video games and drink. I've been going to ISU games since they were at Horton. Each year the average age of the crowds are getting older, and the average attendance is getting smaller. (And I am not just talking about ISU). Why? Because us gray hairs didn't grow up playing video games and playing on social media. We played outside and went to games. It is not a secret why average attendance around the country is dropping every year. I guess if the Birds get to a couple of NCAA Tournaments in the next couple of years the crowds may start averaging near 8,000. Us old gray hairs are going to continue to die off at a faster pace than the young people are going to start attending games. Through all the years of no NCAA Tournament appearances (20 and counting) the gray hairs have continued to show up at Redbird Arena. Even in 1991 when the Birds only won five games the average attendance was probably near 8,000 and most of us gray hairs were a big part of that 8,000. I am grateful for all of the gray hairs at Redbird Arena, whether they are standing, sitting, yelling, or silent. At least they are still there. So instead of complaining about us gray hairs, why don't you go out and recruit some young blood to start coming to the games to filled the empty seats. And maybe some Bloomington/Normal parents can start taking their kids to the games. Started taking my son to Redbird games when he was 6. Now he is 34 and when his first child arrives in June, the baby will be leaving the hospital wearing a redbird outfit that they have already purchased. And although my son now lives in New Jersey, he still makes it to St Louis for the tournament every year. Can't wait until the baby is old enough to join us for a taste of the Missouri Valley Tournament.
Redbird Sox fan says it brilliantly!

ChiRedbirdfan
Senior
Posts: 846
Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:48 pm

Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:53 am

RedbirdSoxFan wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:45 pm
I know some (crazzymark) people like to knock the gray hairs in attendance, but answer me this question;
The average attendance for conference games at Redbird arena is 5,407 fans. What would the average attendance be if us so-called gray hairs stayed at home? Do you think that the college kids are going to make up the difference? Most kids these days would rather stay home and play video games and drink. I've been going to ISU games since they were at Horton. Each year the average age of the crowds are getting older, and the average attendance is getting smaller. (And I am not just talking about ISU). Why? Because us gray hairs didn't grow up playing video games and playing on social media. We played outside and went to games. It is not a secret why average attendance around the country is dropping every year. I guess if the Birds get to a couple of NCAA Tournaments in the next couple of years the crowds may start averaging near 8,000. Us old gray hairs are going to continue to die off at a faster pace than the young people are going to start attending games. Through all the years of no NCAA Tournament appearances (20 and counting) the gray hairs have continued to show up at Redbird Arena. Even in 1991 when the Birds only won five games the average attendance was probably near 8,000 and most of us gray hairs were a big part of that 8,000. I am grateful for all of the gray hairs at Redbird Arena, whether they are standing, sitting, yelling, or silent. At least they are still there. So instead of complaining about us gray hairs, why don't you go out and recruit some young blood to start coming to the games to filled the empty seats. And maybe some Bloomington/Normal parents can start taking their kids to the games. Started taking my son to Redbird games when he was 6. Now he is 34 and when his first child arrives in June, the baby will be leaving the hospital wearing a redbird outfit that they have already purchased. And although my son now lives in New Jersey, he still makes it to St Louis for the tournament every year. Can't wait until the baby is old enough to join us for a taste of the Missouri Valley Tournament.
You make some valid points but fail to factor in that ISU athletics does not value students enough.
The gray hairs are valuable certainly but get way too much credit and give themselves too much credit, IMO. The total 2016 receipts for ISU athletics was $26.5 million. In 2016 the students were directly charged a fee of $10.1 million and the university kicked in another $9.5 million (which I see as the students paying) which totals $19.6 million and the students still had to buy their football and basketball tickets yet they get the sh*tty seats. I would give the grays (I fall into the category) a lot more credit if ISU contributions were meaningful but there is just over $1.1 million TOTAL in 2016. Total tickets sales were only $1.8 mil. The way I look at it is that ISU has around 20,000 students and the students kick in about $20,000,000 plus they have to purchase their tickets. That is roughly a $1,000 per student which includes charging those students that are not interested in athletics. When you think about the cost of athletics per student if you just factored in those students that have an interest in sports then the cost shoots up big time. If a gray hair is not donating AT LEAST $1,250-1,500 (someone needs to really calculate the right amount) plus the price of tickets then they should get zero preferential treatment and they should only be allowed to purchase their tickets after the students have chosen their seats. Showing up is one thing but putting your money where your mouth is another thing.

here is the link to the athletic department data. Just look up ISU and click on their name and you get more detail on both revenue and expenses for ISU athletics.

http://sports.usatoday.com/ncaa/finances/

edited the amount grey hairs should have to pay for preferred seating.
Last edited by ChiRedbirdfan on Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.

bb fan
Sophomore
Posts: 408
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:44 am

Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:44 pm

Excellent post Redbirdsox fan.

Ya know, for all of you that want to use this and any other situation just to dump on our admins as terrible, I will ask again. What do YOU see that others are doing to improve attendance at sporting events? What are you seeing that we are not doing to get Millienials to games Or do something that is not staring at their phone all day. This is most certainly an issue that all of sports marketing is trying to figure out. Yeah, the base remains baby boomers. And that will last only so long. Show us who is getting attendance from younger demos.

Ad Redbirdsox fan says, the best and pretty much only way to improve attendance is to WIN. Even at that, I am not sure you will ever see the numbers from 15 - 20 years ago (outside of final four apprearances). Man I saw a ton of empty seats watching the Illini play Sunday -- including gaping holes in the student section right behind the bench. And I am seeing all over, even common among the P5's. I think if there was anybody that had the resources, $$$ and smarts to figure it out, They could do it. C'mon, peanut gallery. Let's hear some best practices and some ideas. It just gets old to write everything off as our admins stink.

MadBird
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Location: Madison, Wisconsin

Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:46 pm

bb fan wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:44 pm
Excellent post Redbirdsox fan.

Ya know, for all of you that want to use this and any other situation just to dump on our admins as terrible, I will ask again. What do YOU see that others are doing to improve attendance at sporting events? What are you seeing that we are not doing to get Millienials to games Or do something that is not staring at their phone all day. This is most certainly an issue that all of sports marketing is trying to figure out. Yeah, the base remains baby boomers. And that will last only so long. Show us who is getting attendance from younger demos.

Ad Redbirdsox fan says, the best and pretty much only way to improve attendance is to WIN. Even at that, I am not sure you will ever see the numbers from 15 - 20 years ago (outside of final four apprearances). Man I saw a ton of empty seats watching the Illini play Sunday -- including gaping holes in the student section right behind the bench. And I am seeing all over, even common among the P5's. I think if there was anybody that had the resources, $$$ and smarts to figure it out, They could do it. C'mon, peanut gallery. Let's hear some best practices and some ideas. It just gets old to write everything off as our admins stink.
I'm noticing declining student attendance at Wisconsin as they struggle through their first losing season in quite a while. Second semester, student section has been maybe half filled, main floor level not quite filled and the two balconies mostly empty. Declining attendance is a growing problem at a lot of places, the cost to attend games is going up, younger generation not as tuned into attending, etc. etc., many points have been raised so far in this discussion.

Winning helps, but it's deeper than that.

Redbird Ray
Freshman
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Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:54 pm

[quote="bb fan" post_id=16413 time=1518637449 user_id=623

Man I saw a ton of empty seats watching the Illini play Sunday -- including gaping holes in the student section right behind the bench.
[/quote]

Those empty seats were Penn State tickets that went unused.

Redbird Ray
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Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 9:55 pm

Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:30 am

Despite the trend to downsize football stadiums (which I think is generally a good idea), I would still like to see us build out to 20k seats, regardless of whether we stay in FCS or forge on to FBS. If we stay in FCS for the long-haul (likely), then I would like to see us at least try to emulate the bigger time programs in FCS and match their output in facilities and gameday atmosphere. Don’t tell me we are exceeding the output of WIU, EIU, and SIU. Should we remain in FCS, our peers need to be the Dakota States, Montana, and JMU. Anything short of this is unsatisfactory and frankly, will not be worth the time investment of many current ISU students and new alums. We are top 3 public university in a state of nearly 13 million people. Our AD needs to stop acting like we are still ISNU, competing in the all Illinois college division.

While Hancock 2.0 looks fairly impressive for the time being, in about 5 years, every FCS program and most D2 schools will have something resembling our east side tower. Many FCS and D2 programs already have indoor practice facilities.

I realize that to get to the level I am describing, it will take a combination of unprecedented marketing/fundraising and sustained football excellence. For the most part, Spack and co. have held up their end of the equation by being consistently in the top 25 and FCS playoffs. It should be demanded that the athletic administration achieve similar heights by doing everything they can to ensure that we can compete with what should be our peers at the very top of FCS.

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