I just read an article in the StarTribune, wondering why the University of Minnesota Football team season ticket sales, are lagging behind previous years, and short of projections. The article expressed surprise at the decline, because of the supposed increase in enthusiasm because of new coach P.J. Fleck.
I get together once a week, with some Monday morning quarterbacks, many of them former Minnesota footballers. We rehash the Gophers, Vikings, and several others. Because of who these people are and who they communicate with on a regular basis, we feel our general feelings are quite indicative of the Minnesota fan base. In reviewing this article at our Monday morning breakfast, we came up with what we felt were the major reasons, for the decline in ticket sales.
- The general feeling is the new coach comes across as Brew II. He also talked of the Gophers previous teams, in a negative manner. he said we had to change the culture to become a winner. Perhaps he didn’t look at the records of Claeys, Kills, and Glen Mason. He hasn’t won one game yet and has a long ways to go surpass Mason. It was almost like we didn’t exist for 50 years.
- Minnesotans do like winners. You need to win early in the season, or you lose support of the fanbase. If they lose 3 of the first 4, you lose a lot of support. Look at Mason’s numbers, over 50,000 average in spite of playing at the Dome. It looks like they won’t reach 40,000 for the opener, and that includes 5,000 free tickets to incoming freshman.
- You win with talent, not with enthusiasm and hype. An example is the schools that have over 20 – 4 & 5 star recruits, such as Alabama, Ohio State, Florida State, Clemson, Auburn, Oklahoma, USC, and Michigan vs. Minnesota without 1 – 4 or 5 Star recruit. You just can’t compete with them on a consistent basis.
How many times in the last 30 years, have we heard all the hype about gopher nation, being a top 25 team, and winning the Rose Bowl? I’d like to answer that with a Ronald Reagan quote “Trust, but Verify”.