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DRC Sunday/Monday column: Attendance issues are not just about UNT


Brett Vito
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Would the idea that college football has become such a big money machine/hog be a reason for a disconnect from the casual fan?

Are ticket prices a factor?  The way $millions are poured into this, from facilities to coaching salaries, costs are rising.  

Other competitions and sports are making waves too.  E-sports (competitive gaming), competitive drone racing.

It'll be interesting to see how college football evolves to try and keep the bubble going.

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Believe it or not, even UT is having trouble with fans coming to the game.  Whether it is the result of having a bad season, students issues getting their tickets,  or rising ticket prices, the Austin paper is talking about it.  Of course when you have a stadium that seats 105,000 and only 80,000 show up for a game it doesn't seem to matter much.

Could be a trend in college football.  Who knows.

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Maybe it makes me a bad fan to say this but oh well.

I have two kids with soccer and tball games on Saturday mornings. The tball game ended at 1:30 so I would've had to leave south Austin right after the game to make it to Apogee in time. It was also my birthday. I am a season ticket holder with 4 seats so I count towards attendance whether I am there or not. If we had beaten FAU the way they beat us, I probably would've been excited enough to drive up with my family in that narrow timeline. However, after the FAU performance we had, I wasn't willing to make the effort to get up there because of my Mean Green PTSD. Many times I've spent more money, time, and family capital than I should have only to leave the stadium disgusted and regretful knowing those resources could've been spent on other things more important to my family.  I am going to try and make the Army game so long as this team shows me that they care to put in the effort that is worth my time and money. One younger fan on this board said this was the best Notth Texas team they had seen. I find that hard to believe. The 2013 team never quit in any game. They lost 4 games by a combined 41 points while this team lost a single conference game by 38 points. That should NEVER happen, NEVER. There was no effort that game and effort is what puts my butt in the seats. 

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12 hours ago, Cr1028 said:

Maybe it makes me a bad fan to say this but oh well.

I have two kids with soccer and tball games on Saturday mornings. The tball game ended at 1:30 so I would've had to leave south Austin right after the game to make it to Apogee in time. It was also my birthday. I am a season ticket holder with 4 seats so I count towards attendance whether I am there or not. If we had beaten FAU the way they beat us, I probably would've been excited enough to drive up with my family in that narrow timeline. However, after the FAU performance we had, I wasn't willing to make the effort to get up there because of my Mean Green PTSD. Many times I've spent more money, time, and family capital than I should have only to leave the stadium disgusted and regretful knowing those resources could've been spent on other things more important to my family.  I am going to try and make the Army game so long as this team shows me that they care to put in the effort that is worth my time and money. One younger fan on this board said this was the best Notth Texas team they had seen. I find that hard to believe. The 2013 team never quit in any game. They lost 4 games by a combined 41 points while this team lost a single conference game by 38 points. That should NEVER happen, NEVER. There was no effort that game and effort is what puts my butt in the seats. 

no excuses be there or be square.............

Edited by southsideguy
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12 minutes ago, southsideguy said:

maybe it is because we keep score in college football and it hurts to much when the home team goes down in defeat and students have to go to their safe places.  Maybe we offer students free counseling after a loss.

I really could've used that in seasons '05-'07 when I was a student.

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I haven't read Brett's article yet, but in my opinion games are just too damn long. Driving up from Dallas the game day experience requires 5 - 6 hours, and that's if you DON'T tailgate. This is more an NCAA problem and not a UNT problem. Games should last 3 hours MAX with the very rare game stretching 3hr. 30min. 

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2 minutes ago, Snowy said:

I haven't read Brett's article yet, but in my opinion games are just too damn long. Driving up from Dallas the game day experience requires 5 - 6 hours, and that's if you DON'T tailgate. This is more an NCAA problem and not a UNT problem. Games should last 3 hours MAX with the very rare game stretching 3hr. 30min. 

it is the red man's fault who always stopping the game for commercials on the radio i guess.

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39 minutes ago, southsideguy said:

maybe it is because we keep score in college football and it hurts to much when the home team goes down in defeat and students have to go to their safe places.  Maybe we offer students free counseling after a loss.

Please don’t give most UNT students ideas... they already have to bring on therapy dogs for Finals week..

6 minutes ago, southsideguy said:

it is the red man's fault who always stopping the game for commercials on the radio i guess.

I have wondered this, but why the hell are commercial breaks so damn long for a game that is only broadcast on CUSA.TV?!?!?

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1 hour ago, Brett Vito said:

DRC: Empty stands in crunch time in win over Old Dominion were not fun for UNT, but it's part of a national trend

http://www.dentonrc.com/sports/mean-green/2017/10/29/brett-vito-empty-stands-late-win-old-dominion-point-nation-wide-trend-just-problem-unt

Yes, drawing fans has long been an issue at UNT. And the overall success of this team should be drawing more fans to the stadium. But, many fans are walking away in the third quarter of our home games as they watch the defense continue to struggle with the same issues (3rd down stops & discipline) they have had all season.  Watching the special teams cough up two TDs on kickoffs didn't help either. We scored 0 points in the third quarter on Saturday and lost the lead to a now 2-6 ODU team. Thankfully, the team did enough in the 4th to sneak out with a win. But, because of the habitual problems that have plagued out team all season, many of the few cold fans we had Saturday, walked right out of Apogee before the comeback. Lets also work on keeping the ones that showed up, while we figure out how to draw new ones.

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WAR & PEACE (chapter ???)🤔

Subtitle: This attendance thing is still fixable.

First, you cannot compare anything our students do with UT students or any similar because we've really never had a student body show for schools like UT students would show (en mass) for an ODU type of football program.

Our constituency is like an aristocrat at a fancy restaurant as it peruses the menu (schedule) & picks the best part of the menu to make their order.  I guess ODU was in the appetizer section of the menu for  last Saturday night at fabulous Apogee Stadium where (give credit where it's due) UNT athletics have  created a most entertaining Lights & Sounds stadium product.👏👏👏👏👏 (Of course, our  football team is quite entertaining, too).

Many of us have been following this for most of the last 40 plus years so maybe we have  more than just a casual fan or novice's view on the subject of UNT attendance? It's been an ongoing problem.

 The most unfortunate  part of our attendance woes during that  time is how we've seen so many schools (once at the same level as UNT) zoom or go (one more time) ➡️ Beep! Beep! right past us with their impressive attendance numbers being a prime reason.  In the last 40 plus years as our constituency numbers quadrupled we still (for the most part)  stay the same with attendance.  It's downright weird that such growth shows no dramatic visible results at our venue's turnstiles.  

🤠🤠🤠🤠  I had a blast at the ODU game the other night, but the smallest turnout of UNT students I can ever recall seeing in over 4 decades of following Mean Green football threw a soppin' wet blanket on Game Day for many of us. My old college roommate (who is old) said the same thing about student support like....WHERE THE HELL ARE ALL THE STUDENTS?😳

😩 Like many of you, it bothers me most for our football team more than anything.  It sure as hell doesn't affect my none-UNT related work-a-day world one way or the other.  (See signature below about toy department).

Our athletic staff at UNT will come & go, but I wish while here they would actually tackle our attendance woes with more than just  an email campaign or "Y'all come now ya' hear."  In the Metroplex, there are a thousand choices for the entertainment dollar.

 ✅ UNT may want to consider going off campus & outside the Denton City Limits & make attempts to get new fans at Denton County's various cities beginnning with Lewisville?   Then work with each of those various city's powers that be with a goal of getting many of their respective citizens inside Apogee on Game Day. I don't think they'd be disappointed with what they see.

 Some others have said it, but attendance will most likely (& once again) be an important criteria for UNT & similar G5 schools to meet in the future NCAA so in Denton we need to try to find answers to our problems now rather than kick the can down the road for the next UNT Athletic administration to try to solve.  Just sayin' what few others will but...I have very thick skin.

GMG!

Edited by PlummMeanGreen
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UNT needs the view football and B.B. as an event and not just offer the game to draw fans!  We have still yet to have a post game concert and this from a well known music school.  Military day supporting military scholarships  . Now that Wren has settled into his position I hope he starts looking closer at how to beef up attendance. An empty seat is a lost opportunity!

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To me, the "concerns" that these big programs have about attendance have more to do with the schools in question overbuilding and the increased costs that go along with that. It's those big schools that charge students for their tickets. This charge being over and above the regular fees that the students already pay. Throw in the ever increasing debt that students have to take on in order to go to these big schools, and you probably have a larger percentage of students having to work on week-ends than ever before.

To me, the attendance problems at North Texas are not the same. The problem with North Texas is that we don't really have a traditional college game with a traditional game day experience. 

And I'm sick of hearing that the GB is voted the best band in the land........not in this article. They didn't even make the top 35.

https://www.greatvaluecolleges.net/35-great-college-marching-bands/

I would also like to know what criterion is used to name the GB the best band in the land. Whoever said they were, was not talking about a real football band.  

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3 hours ago, PlummMeanGreen said:

First, you cannot compare anything our students do with UT students or any similar because we've really never had a student body show for schools like UT students would show (en mass) for an ODU type of football program.

Our constituency is like an aristocrat at a fancy restaurant as it peruses the menu (schedule) & picks the best part of the menu to make their order.  I guess ODU was in the appetizer section of the menu for  last Saturday night at fabulous Apogee Stadium where (give credit where it's due) UNT athletics have  created a most entertaining Lights & Sounds stadium product.👏👏👏👏👏 (Of course, our  football team is quite entertaining, too).

Many of us have been following this for most of the last 40 plus years so maybe we have  more than just a casual fan or novice's view on the subject of UNT attendance? It's been an ongoing problem.

 The most unfortunate  part of our attendance woes during that  time is how we've seen so many schools (once at the same level as UNT) zoom or go (one more time) ➡️ Beep! Beep! right past us with their impressive attendance numbers being a prime reason.  In the last 40 plus years as our constituency numbers quadrupled we still (for the most part)  stay the same with attendance.  It's downright weird that such growth shows no dramatic visible results at our venue's turnstiles.  

🤠🤠🤠🤠  I had a blast at the ODU game the other night, but the smallest turnout of UNT students I can ever recall seeing in over 4 decades of following Mean Green football threw a soppin' wet blanket on Game Day for many of us.  Like many of you, it bothers me most for our football team more than anything.  It sure as hell doesn't affect my none-UNT related work-a-day world one way or the other.  (See signature below about toy department).

Our athletic staff at UNT will come & go, but I wish while here they would actually tackle our attendance woes with more than just  an email campaign or "Y'all come now ya' hear."  In the Metroplex, there are a thousand choices for the entertainment dollar.

 ✅ UNT may want to consider going off campus & outside the Denton City Limits & make attempts to get new fans at Denton County's various cities beginnning with Lewisville?   Then work with each of those various city's powers that be with a goal of getting many of their respective citizens inside Apogee on Game Day. I don't think they'd be disappointed with what they see.

 Some others have said it, but attendance will most likely (& once again) be an important criteria for UNT & similar G5 schools to meet in the future NCAA so in Denton we need to try to find answers to our problems now rather than kick the can down the road for the next UNT Athletic administration to try to solve.  Just sayin' what few others will.

GMG!

It "offends" me that  tu-A is used an example for "packed houses".  The guys is College Station do a damn good job of packing the house for piss poor football too! There is no bigger student section in all of college football.  They are getting good at leaving after halftime too..

No one creates a "tradition" overnight better than the Aggies...

I am just happy I have an entertaining football team to pull for in Denton that knows how to score points.  I should change my handle to Mean Green Ag.

 GMG!

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I honestly believe the overarching commercials are an important part of it. CFB is making a lot of money on the back of those, but at the expenese of the live experience and that is bad in the long term since people make the repeated experience that going to a game takes up more than half your day, and that is if you are living close by. There is a reason the NFL, despite making a lot of money too, has decided to cut the game length and even limit the amount of commercial breaks happening. Since actual ticket sales are a bigger part of the equation at the G5 level, I don't understand how G5 conferences haven't put more limits on that.

The NCAA could also help, by -for example- limiting consecutive timeouts to 1. No more icing the kicker for 5 minutes including the commercial break for a single play before half time. Or ruling that TV reviews have to be done within 120 seconds. If you can't come up with a ruling by then, then its inconclusive and the field call stands.

For G5s it is also that it has become very apparent that they have no shot at big things any more. Until the playoff expands to at least 8 to give this thing just a tiny tinge of a march madness feel, that will not change. The big dogs seem to have forgotten that the occasional cinderella story actually succeeding does benefit everyone including them in the long run because it drives general interest.

Edited by outoftown
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Who is Charles Ramsey Stafford responding to Brett's article?  Man.  Somebody get that guy some Tuck's medicated pads.

 

Quote

When you fire, demote , isolate or replace long-time supporters and employees who had deep ties to the community; dump old friends and alums who have supported the program for years in favor of " new friends" ; you sow the seeds of your destruction. 
Successful, competently led enterprises know that you "dance with the one that brought you"....pushing away old friends, supporters, and business partners is grossly incompetent, and is the product of incompetent management.

As to the real issue, dwindling college football attendance has been a topic of numerous articles across the nation for quite a number of years now.  Bottom line -- students have other things they'd rather do.  Period.  They'd rather sit on a couch, take bong rips, and play video games or watch drone battles or whatever it is that they do.  That's not a shaking my fist at clouds bemoaning the terrible, lazy kids of a generation.  It's just an observation that the old ways of entertaining yourself on the weekends in college is rapidly changing. 

Possibly add that every game in the known universe is on television now, so if you ARE going to watch football, why not stay home and watch ALL the football (or, as some others have implied, all the games in which you have a financial interest). 

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12 minutes ago, oldguystudent said:

Who is Charles Ramsey Stafford responding to Brett's article?  Man.  

That dude is Old Denton. The ones that seem to think that we should have hired Hank as AD and let guys like Chico get a shot at being head coach. They have small town minds and a lack of vision for the big picture.

Fact is going into the FAU game our confidence level was that at season-high levels. Both the fans and most definitely the players. I think many of us realistic fans suspected that we could lose that game. What happened was we shit the bed and looked like a division 2 football team. In a flash all that momentum you gained with that drive against UTSA got flushed right down the toilet. 

Now combine that with Halloween weekend where anyone on campus with more than one friend is usually involved in some type of activity ...most typically House Parties.. and you will get an understanding of why attendance looked the way it did

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Well, it was pretty much the "perfect storm" in Denton last Saturday.  Many many Halloween "trunk or treat" events (I know of several local churches holding Halloween evens last Saturday...mine included) going on PLUS the Annual Day of the Dead Coffin Races were being held downtown with an estimated 20,000 plus attendees.  Last race scheduled to go off about 4:00pm, and with a 5:30pm kick-off...well you get the drift.  It is Denton after all! Let us not even mention that it was a "super cold" 60 degrees at kick-off.  Then, add to all this the total blowout by FAU the week prior and BINGO...18,500 or so at the game.

I get that other programs do not have quite this sort of challenge, but, as we all know, given alternatives, Denton usually chooses the "alternative" to the game....as do, sadly, UNT students who were conspicuously missing. Of course, as we have always seen, we have folks who think driving from Dallas or Ft Worth to Denton involves a three day "adventure".

Add it all up and you get the attendance we saw Saturday.  Sad, but seems to be the reality no matter the effort made to increase attendance at Apogee.  Some will say..."win and they will come".  Well, I got off that train after our first HOD Bowl victory and a winning year when the very next year we saw a big drop in attendance even at the start of the year.  It really seems that winning has no real factor in attendance for UNT games.

Thought this a good article by Brett, and points to the bigger issue facing college sports these days I suppose.  How long can dropping attendance figures support the "arms race" that is college sports these days...at least the football and basketball programs?

 

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