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Thread: Attendance & Alcohol

  1. #1
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    Default Attendance & Alcohol

    It's the thread we've all been waiting for.

    The title may have you thinking it's a country album about skipping school and sipping PBR with that special someone, but I thought this could be a place for us to discuss factors impacting attendance and possible strategies to increase said attendance.

    I've discussed approaches that could be taken to stimulate fan interest, but details of alcohol sales have not been discussed. My hope is that if/when this is implemented that they do the following:
    • Either have vendors with vending trays to limit people disrupting game viewing by regularly walking down rows to get their drink on
    • If they don't have such vendors peddling the booze, I'd hope they'd limit sales to before the game and halftime. Ideally, it seems prudent to do this anyway
      • This would allow any alcohol to work through the imbiber's system prior to the travels home that others have mentioned as an explanation for decreased attendance
      • It also seems like the west side main entrance would represent the best location for organized alcohol sales because of the wider concourse, which would allow lines to form without disrupting traffic to other concession areas, restrooms, etc.
        • West side sales would also provide a buffer between student section and alcohol sales to decrease chance of underage consumption (which could be policed by checking IDs at the aforementioned line/queues)
        • Having a single alcohol sales site would also allow underage student concession workers to continue manning those stations without having to find a non-minor to process beer sales.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Attendance & Alcohol

    I started another thread dealing with the same subject which the Moderators can delete since I am reposting my initial post here.

    This is a trend that has bothered me since 1986 when I move into an area within driving distance of Brookings. I believe that was the first year I was a season ticket holder. The early games in September and early October drew in about 3k to 5k and Hobo Day I want say drew at least 10k. These were the years where an 7-4 season was good one. When Mike Daly took over the football, there were more resources put into the program, and we got better players and more fans. Over the years and the move to FCS, we have fans in the 14k to 18k range which is a huge improvement over 1986 attendance, whatever that was. Yesterday, for what ever reason we did not clear 6k. There is concern on this board and its justified. With our new facility and a nationally rated team we should be packing them in. Did not happen. One thing that kills old people off like myself, is cold and damp weather. I regret I decided not to take a chance and show up in person, but in the comfort of my remodeled basement, I watched the game on TV.
    Some good discussion of improvements includes the sale of beer throughout the stadium on game days. In the past, I had thought this was not a good idea. My personal safety is my biggest concern, but Jake has reminded me that the Highway Patrol has increased their presence in monitoring auto traffic coming and going from the stadium. If what CappinHard says and I have no reason doubt him, AD Sells in an indirect manner is promoting this idea in a casual way which is smart on part. In order to implement this revenue friendly policy, it would have to clear the Board of Regents. The BOR has in the past been protective of his campuses and has a long-held policy of no alcohol beverages. What our current BOR opinion of this change in policy, I have no idea. I would tend to think they are more modern than the BOR in 1914 who received petitions from United Lutheran Church to abolish on campus dances. This was reported by H. Howard Kramer in his “A History of South Dakota State University 1884-1975. Pg 60. What is interesting also that alchohol is not mentioned but smoking was. It was a big no-no. So we are coming out of a moral crisis of prohibition and smoking and some of this still lingers today in our thinking. The younger generation seems to have a better view of moderation than my own. I never can recall drinking in moderation always in excess and two DUI's to prove it. So if you want to pay 9 bucks a shot for a cold frosty one, have at it. This stuff is poison to me but then I dont run other peoples lives.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Attendance & Alcohol

    One of the things that I really enjoy about the Military Appreciation game is the option of purchasing extra tickets for veterans. I wonder if Athletics would consider expanded options for low-income families and students who participate in programs like Brookings County Youth Mentoring Program (BCYMP), Boys & Girls Club, etc. Students could be nominated for "Adopt a Prospective Jacks Fan" and current season ticket holders could donate to purchase tickets that the parents and/or mentors/volunteers could use to take the kids to Jacks games. Who knows, the kid may grow up to be a future Jacks player.

    One complication of this is that when I mentored, I was also typically gaining admission with my student ID, but maybe Athletics could tweak the ticketing system to allow the student to get a ticket in same section as the mentee/program participant. I know that BCYMP program did have an event where the little dude I mentored and I got general admission tickets to a Jacks basketball game, but from what I recall, nothing was done for football.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Attendance and the late season drop off.

    I don't blame people for deciding to stay home with the weather yesterday. I think the weather is what kept us from being at 8-10k yesterday, forcing a few thousand to stay home. Point being, we were going to have embarrassing attendance either way yesterday. It was just worse than it would have been given the weather.

    We draw lots of comparison's to the Montana schools for better or worse, so I thought I'd do the same. In that comparison, we should probably exclude Montana since their history in the 90s was a big part of their fan base being what it is today.

    So looking at Montana State, who has had success in FCS, but has much less pedigree than Montana, they consistently out draw us by seveal thousand. Gallatin County has about 100,000 people. Brookings County has about 35k. But if you include the area approximately 75 miles from each campus, SDSU has a little over 500,000 people. Bozeman has more like 300,000. While we may struggle due to our location in the local sense, we have a greater population in our 1.5 hour or less driving distance than both Montana and MSU. In 2014, we played at MSU in a blizzard that Saturday after Thanksgiving. Even then, about 8000 people made their way into Reno H sales stadium to watch the home team lose. That's on par with our best playoff attendance to date, a quarterfinal match up against UNH.

    I'm in agreement with you that it's not just the weather, or the location. It's not even really about our "casual fans" that we all bag on. It's about the number of those 500,000 people within 1.5 hours of campus that aren't fans at all, casual or otherwise.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Attendance and the late season drop off.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Tibbs View Post
    I don't blame people for deciding to stay home with the weather yesterday. I think the weather is what kept us from being at 8-10k yesterday, forcing a few thousand to stay home. Point being, we were going to have embarrassing attendance either way yesterday. It was just worse than it would have been given the weather.

    We draw lots of comparison's to the Montana schools for better or worse, so I thought I'd do the same. In that comparison, we should probably exclude Montana since their history in the 90s was a big part of their fan base being what it is today.

    So looking at Montana State, who has had success in FCS, but has much less pedigree than Montana, they consistently out draw us by seveal thousand. Gallatin County has about 100,000 people. Brookings County has about 35k. But if you include the area approximately 75 miles from each campus, SDSU has a little over 500,000 people. Bozeman has more like 300,000. While we may struggle due to our location in the local sense, we have a greater population in our 1.5 hour or less driving distance than both Montana and MSU. In 2014, we played at MSU in a blizzard that Saturday after Thanksgiving. Even then, about 8000 people made their way into Reno H sales stadium to watch the home team lose. That's on par with our best playoff attendance to date, a quarterfinal match up against UNH.

    I'm in agreement with you that it's not just the weather, or the location. It's not even really about our "casual fans" that we all bag on. It's about the number of those 500,000 people within 1.5 hours of campus that aren't fans at all, casual or otherwise.
    One thing to keep in mind about Montana is driving a couple hours there is nothing to most Montanans. The state is huge and people are accustomed to longish drives. Bozeman is 2 hrs from Billings and it’s 150000+ residents.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Attendance & Alcohol

    Back when South Dakota had two franchises in the Continental Basketball Association I was at times a fan of both teams and ended up with season tickets in a premium priced section of the Rapid City team. Having people climbing over seats and even from row to row as they bought beer, and then had to get rid or their "used beer" was a major annoyance to those of us there to watch the game.

    The west side already sells well to those who are there to watch football. If we want to create an area where we sell beer to improve ticket sales it is a supremely small-minded idea to disrupt that which is already working. If changes are to be made, they should be made in the area that doesn't sell well. Those areas are the northeast and southeast corners.
    Finding is never about seeking. It is about opening yourself to what is already there. - Henry Meloux

  7. #7

    Default Re: Attendance & Alcohol

    I would start by asking the people who don't go to games WHY they don't go. Take 100 free tickets and go door to door around the brookings area for a game on a nice sunny 70 degree day. Try and give those away and see what response you get. Listen to what you hear even tho you may not like the answers. Now atleast some usable data could be collected. IMO you would have a hard time getting rid of that amount of tickets but atleast you might start to figure out why.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Attendance & Alcohol

    Quote Originally Posted by Justwin View Post
    I would start by asking the people who don't go to games WHY they don't go. Take 100 free tickets and go door to door around the brookings area for a game on a nice sunny 70 degree day. Try and give those away and see what response you get. Listen to what you hear even tho you may not like the answers. Now atleast some usable data could be collected. IMO you would have a hard time getting rid of that amount of tickets but atleast you might start to figure out why.
    I'd advocate surveying other sports' season ticket holders/regular attendees first to see why they aren't attending football games, but I see your point.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Attendance & Alcohol

    Quote Originally Posted by West-River_Jack View Post
    Back when South Dakota had two franchises in the Continental Basketball Association I was at times a fan of both teams and ended up with season tickets in a premium priced section of the Rapid City team. Having people climbing over seats and even from row to row as they bought beer, and then had to get rid or their "used beer" was a major annoyance to those of us there to watch the game.

    The west side already sells well to those who are there to watch football. If we want to create an area where we sell beer to improve ticket sales it is a supremely small-minded idea to disrupt that which is already working. If changes are to be made, they should be made in the area that doesn't sell well. Those areas are the northeast and southeast corners.
    Personally, I'd rather not have sales on east side because people already disrupt game viewing sans alcohol sales, but if they are going to sell it, particularly without vendors with trays, I'd question how they'd do so without disrupting game viewing (unless they limit sales to pre-game and at halftime).

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Attendance & Alcohol

    Quote Originally Posted by Justwin View Post
    I would start by asking the people who don't go to games WHY they don't go. Take 100 free tickets and go door to door around the brookings area for a game on a nice sunny 70 degree day. Try and give those away and see what response you get. Listen to what you hear even tho you may not like the answers. Now atleast some usable data could be collected. IMO you would have a hard time getting rid of that amount of tickets but atleast you might start to figure out why.
    Someone mentioned towns surrounding Brookings such as where I live Arlington. I noticed in the Arlington Sun, a great deal of advertising of SDSU athletic events. How effective this advertising is a great question. I notice at the games we have two insurance agents and the mortician from Arlington for every game and assume they like myself are season ticket holders. Attracting casual fans not so much. They could drop that ads and see what happens, might find a few extra bucks to spent elsewhere.

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