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Thread: Gonzaga territory?

  1. #71
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    Default Re: Gonzaga territory?

    Just wanted to add there are some good thoughts on here. I certainly don't have a solution. But, I'd certainly like to see more butts in the seats.

  2. #72
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    Default Re: Gonzaga territory?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grizzled_Jack View Post
    OK-- I'll use that as a segue to making a suggestion that got me some abuse about six months ago.

    Why are we playing NAIA schools? Face it, USF, Augie and Northern would at least bring in a few visitor fans. Something that Presentation or Concordia isn't going to do.

    I realize that about once a decade or so, a disaster will happen and the Jacks will lose. I think Augustana took Iowa down in Augie's championship year. I saw Northwest Missouri play in their championship year and think they would have been in the top half of the Summit. Lindenwood came within a couple of points of Marquette last year and they were none too good. So? Think we'd get over the humiliation in a couple of years.

    I remember attending a Northern game when I was in college. (Realize that they were NAIA, but this was so long ago that there wasn't a NCAA Division II yet--just college division so humor me). I went because Bob Wachs had a reputation as sort of a proto-Bobby Knight and I was hoping he'd yell at people. There were also obnoxious Northern fans in attendance and that added to the fun. Wasn't disappointed by the overall experience and think the Jacks won by double digits. The game interested me more than games against Nebraska Wesleyan or Tarkio did. Went to those too, because students went to games in the sixties. Almost all games.

    Anyway, if Northern would draw another 1500 fans over Presentation it should be done.
    Good olde Tarkio, Ralph Ginn’s Alma mater, is now part of history. Was that 1965-66? Or later! I saw Wachs in action in Aberdeen! What a character! I often wondered what it be like to be player on his team. As far as scheduling, that not an easy task as every game requires a contract which often includes negotiations. Being a newbie in D1, we end up with NAIA schools since USF and Augie generally don’t want to play us.

  3. #73
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    Default Re: Gonzaga territory?

    Quote Originally Posted by SUPERBUNNY View Post
    Friday and Saturday night doubleheaders should absolutely be on the table. Summit League scheduling is simply awful. It can be done when visiting making certain trips but others would be tricky. The problem is that there are only a couple of schools in the league that actually have a chance to draw a good crowd so the majority doesn't care. That majority already has butt hurt that we have the "home crowd" for the Summit Tourney. However, if they cared about how much their student-athletes are missing school, the cost of extra nights on the road, or helping boost attendance it is an easy call. Oh, and I don't want to hear about how that is too quick of a turnaround. They don't mind asking them to play three days in a row at the SLT.

    Potential Friday/Saturday trips:
    SDSU & USD
    NDSU & UND
    PFW/ & WIU
    Omaha & /UMKC or Augie (if they join)

    Denver and Oral Roberts would be tough so you might have to make that trip into Friday and Sunday games.

    Fans could come to Brookings Friday night, get a room, and head home after the games or stay a second night and leave on Sunday.

    SUPERBUNNY
    Players and coaches hate back to back games on consecutive nights. Not going to happen. Best case is Thurs-Sat.

  4. #74
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    Default Re: Gonzaga territory?

    As someone who has been a student at State within the past decade and who spent a lot of time and energy trying to get students to attend games, I’ll add my 0.02 concerning student attendance. Disclaimer: I’ll probably bring football into this, and I apologize for contributing to thread drift. This will also be very long post, and I apologize for that too.

    1. There is no doubt that the national trend of students not attending games and not caring about school spirit isn’t helping. But there are also many places that have been able to avoid that trend. The element of being “too cool” for going to games is certainly alive and well though. I shared the story last fall about mentioning the upcoming UNH playoff game to the class on campus I was teaching, and a couple of the students bragged about making it 5 years at State without attending a home game. That element might exist everywhere, but I certainly think SDSU has more than its fair share of it in the student body. I don’t know why it exists.
    2. SDSU is a suitcase campus, and that is a huge contributing factor to lower than ideal student turnout. I wish it weren’t the case, but students here (and many other places that struggle with this issue) just flat out do not stay on the weekend. I’d wager to say that in the fall, at least over half of all students are headed home any given weekend, and for freshmen specifically, I’d place that number closer to 75%. Energy spent incentivizing students to come to games is wasted if they aren’t on campus. As of right now, winning teams and new facilities are apparently not enough to keep them around. I really don’t know what percent of students who are around on the weekend end up going to games, but I’m guessing it’s a higher percent than stay in Brookings to begin with. I don’t know how you fix this issue either. I knew a guy who grew up around Fayetteville in the 60’s. Back then, the University of Arkansas had a big problem with keeping freshmen there on the weekend too. Their solution was to make all freshmen take a required course that just happened to meet on Saturdays only. I’m sure it was wildly unpopular, but that just goes to show the lengths some schools have gone to in order to fix this problem.
    3. Students here by and large don’t care about any college sports, let alone FCS/Mid Major college sports. Students here are way more concerned with their high school’s athletic teams than they are the Jacks or the national stage. I grew up in a different state, and it was astounding how few of the people I met while at state cared about college athletics compared to where I was from. Most of the people I met at State would go home every weekend or two. Before anyone comes in with the Ag perspective on why students might be headed home, there’s lots of ag schools out there, and many of them don’t struggle with student attendance like we do. If it were only a factor of ag kids going home to help on the farm/ranch, USD would have noticeably higher student attendance than we do. Montana State, NDSU, etc. are all ag schools too. For every ag kid I knew who went home to help on the farm, I knew a townie from Sioux Falls or Mitchell that was headed home to hang out with high school buddies. There’s a large portion of our student body that aren’t into college sports, and that makes engagement with them that much harder.
    4. The worst thing that could have happened for student BBall attendance was splitting up the student section in Frost. Each side is small and awkward feeling, and I think it really kills the student atmosphere for the game. My hope would be that with the renovation coming up, put all the students on a single end. Dedicate a larger area behind one hoop for students, but keep them all together.
    5. Marketing for students could be a lot better. While I was a student, emails about events would be sent out, but the format made them unreadable, and many times the emails were either late, resent, or double sent, and it added to the confusion. Social media etc. may have all been decent, but it wasn’t working. I’ll cite my UNH story in my class last Fall again: Not a single student (15+ in my class) had any clue there was a home football game (let alone a playoff game) the following Saturday. This was Thursday. I’ve seen that story repeat itself many times on campus. I’m not sure what the solution is, but whatever the current marketing strategy, I don’t think it’s working.
    6. Finally, I’ll add that in my experience, SDSU students are in it in for the party, and that’s about it. This feeds right in to point #3, but everything around football (and to a lesser extent basketball) centers around the tailgating and pre/post game party, if they even make it to the game. Case in point: Illinois State football last year (and many other similar games this decade). Our students will show up in force for the first game or two while the weather is nice, Hobo Day, and either USD/NDSU. Playing a nationally ranked Valley team with major playoff implications on a random weekend in October carries about as much weight with them as playing UW-Oshkosh. They are in it for the social element, and that’s about it. It’s the same reason we haven’t seen big jumps in attendance with our recent success in football/bball: the success of the team isn’t what’s bringing them to games.


    Again, I apologize for the length of the post and the thread drift, but if we’re talking about taking the next step and filling Frost, students are a part of that, and I think we’ve got some very difficult issues to solve in that realm.

    Edit: I also don't mean to sound combative or "overly enlightened" in phrasing the beginning of that post in the way that I did. This was simply my experience at SDSU in relatively recent years. Many others may have valid observations and experiences that were vastly different than my own. Feel free to share.
    Last edited by Mr_Tibbs; 08-09-2018 at 08:56 PM.

  5. #75
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    Default Re: Gonzaga territory?

    My $0.02 to the long post above. It has been a few decades since I was a student. Among my adult co-workers I see a trend which seems foreign to me and my values as a fan. Many are mainly interested in only the individual players on their fantasy teams and have less interest in any real team. I do not know if there is a similar trend among college students.
    Finding is never about seeking. It is about opening yourself to what is already there. - Henry Meloux

  6. #76

    Default Re: Gonzaga territory?

    Quote Originally Posted by West-River_Jack View Post
    My $0.02 to the long post above. It has been a few decades since I was a student. Among my adult co-workers I see a trend which seems foreign to me and my values as a fan. Many are mainly interested in only the individual players on their fantasy teams and have less interest in any real team. I do not know if there is a similar trend among college students.
    Good point.

  7. #77
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    Default Re: Gonzaga territory?

    Pure and simple from a student perspective, itís a statewide culture thing. Growing up in WI itís so different there. In SD the state as a whole seems to care more about high school athletics than they do about collegiate athletics. Maybe itís from having no DI universities for a long time. I have no idea why really but it was always mind boggling to me. But part of getting students to games has to do with it being a big draw for hem to go, and if you grew up thinking your local high school game is the biggest thing for you to attend then youíre going to go home and watch that instead of stay in town to watch the games. This whole this will be a process for the entire athletic department gradually building the fan base and fan culture, and having kids grow up going to games, or watching games on TV. TV might hurt attendance now, but Iíll tell you what, thereís a huge draw to go to games that you grew up watching on TV. Thatís why itís important to have all our games on TV IMO, or on the radio around kids. It becomes something kids grow up wanting to be a part of. Thereís a reason places can charge students to buy tickets for the games, because they want to be at the games they grew up watching on TV.

    To be honest I think ya as fans expect instant gratification of big crowds as soon as we become good, but it doesnít work like that. Guaranteed a lot of these high major programs took a while to grow their attendance, it doesnít happen overnight.


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  8. #78
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    Default Re: Gonzaga territory?

    Quote Originally Posted by thumper_76 View Post
    Pure and simple from a student perspective, it’s a statewide culture thing. Growing up in WI it’s so different there. In SD the state as a whole seems to care more about high school athletics than they do about collegiate athletics. Maybe it’s from having no DI universities for a long time. I have no idea why really but it was always mind boggling to me. But part of getting students to games has to do with it being a big draw for hem to go, and if you grew up thinking your local high school game is the biggest thing for you to attend then you’re going to go home and watch that instead of stay in town to watch the games. This whole this will be a process for the entire athletic department gradually building the fan base and fan culture, and having kids grow up going to games, or watching games on TV. TV might hurt attendance now, but I’ll tell you what, there’s a huge draw to go to games that you grew up watching on TV. That’s why it’s important to have all our games on TV IMO, or on the radio around kids. It becomes something kids grow up wanting to be a part of. There’s a reason places can charge students to buy tickets for the games, because they want to be at the games they grew up watching on TV.

    To be honest I think ya as fans expect instant gratification of big crowds as soon as we become good, but it doesn’t work like that. Guaranteed a lot of these high major programs took a while to grow their attendance, it doesn’t happen overnight.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I agree whole-heartedly. I almost mentioned, verbatim, your point about the impact of not having a D1 university in the state for a long time in my post. I don't even think you can draw a comparison with North Dakota. It's just different here.

    When I was in high school, every Monday morning in the hallway involved a lengthy debreifing of the weekend's college football action. It's not the same here from what I've seen.

  9. #79
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    Default Re: Gonzaga territory?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Tibbs View Post
    I agree whole-heartedly. I almost mentioned, verbatim, your point about the impact of not having a D1 university in the state for a long time in my post. I don't even think you can draw a comparison with North Dakota. It's just different here.

    When I was in high school, every Monday morning in the hallway involved a lengthy debreifing of the weekend's college football action. It's not the same here from what I've seen.
    Yep, on Saturdays in WI everyone had on the Badgers game, either the TV or if it wasnít on then it was on the radio. High school games were mentioned and discussed but largely overshadowed by the Badgers, and obviously the Packers. Itís just going to take time, I think you can see it starting to change with the amount of recruits weíre getting out of Sioux Falls, the student body is starting to pay more attention down there I think. Itís just going to take time.


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  10. #80
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    Default Re: Gonzaga territory?

    Quote Originally Posted by thumper_76 View Post
    Pure and simple from a student perspective, itís a statewide culture thing. Growing up in WI itís so different there. In SD the state as a whole seems to care more about high school athletics than they do about collegiate athletics. Maybe itís from having no DI universities for a long time. I have no idea why really but it was always mind boggling to me. But part of getting students to games has to do with it being a big draw for hem to go, and if you grew up thinking your local high school game is the biggest thing for you to attend then youíre going to go home and watch that instead of stay in town to watch the games. This whole this will be a process for the entire athletic department gradually building the fan base and fan culture, and having kids grow up going to games, or watching games on TV. TV might hurt attendance now, but Iíll tell you what, thereís a huge draw to go to games that you grew up watching on TV. Thatís why itís important to have all our games on TV IMO, or on the radio around kids. It becomes something kids grow up wanting to be a part of. Thereís a reason places can charge students to buy tickets for the games, because they want to be at the games they grew up watching on TV.

    To be honest I think ya as fans expect instant gratification of big crowds as soon as we become good, but it doesnít work like that. Guaranteed a lot of these high major programs took a while to grow their attendance, it doesnít happen overnight.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Bingo. I was born and raised in South Dakota and I didn't grow up watching SDSU games or any other college in state, and that was pretty much consistent with everyone I grew up with. If my classmates followed sports, it was usually the professional teams, not college. High school sports were also followed simply because we were either participating or knew the participants.

    We're doing better at raising generations of Jackrabbit fans since we started our DI journey, but we're still trying to make up ground and its going to take some time.
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