Read a recent article in the Minneapolis StarTribune , where they discussed alarm, at the declining revenue, at the University of Minnesota. In three years ticket revenue has declined 28%. This decline is not limited to the University of Minnesota. Nationally college football fell 3.2% last season.
The loquacious and effervescent Athletic Director Mark Coyle, has brought in people to help him figure out why its happening, and develop a program to build attendance. Hey Mr. Coyle it doesn’t take outside staff to figure it out, I will do it for free. Here are the reasons there has been a serious decline:
The millenials would just as soon stay home and watch games on the TV, laptop, or phone for free. This represents a large number.
In general, people are busier, and going to a game takes up one whole day. I now shop for groceries on a week night, if I plan on attending a game.
A seat license program introduced by former athletic Woody Teague. I know of several people that did not renew their tickets at that time, and had been supporters for several years.
How about the fiasco suspending 10 football players, for an incident the police could not find cause, to arrest anyone. They then re-looked at the situation, after the whole team threatened to boycott a bowl game, still penalizing 5 players who have never been charged with a crime. This also aggravated a healthy number of gopher supporters, including my entire Monday morning coffee klatsch. 12 guys, all Minnesota alum.
Suspending Reggie Lynch in the midst of a tremendous season, probably the best in 20 years. Again, there was no police charges. Even the campus police had never been notified. No internal investigation had taken place. It really pissed a lot of people off, especially the timing.
A winning program brings the fans out. The hiring of Mr. Bojangles as football coach, and his style offended many. Add to that, the dismal performance of the team.
Each of these incidents had some impact on losing supporters. Even bigger is how clueless the administration, is to these issues.