There’s a lot of really interesting things in the article, a deep-dive into why suddenly top-tier programs can’t fill their stadiums, or can’t keep people at games. I think, however, this might just sum it up best.
“Students wonder whether it’s worth paying when you don’t know if your friends are going to go. When it might be 125º—or 25º, depending on your school—at kickoff. When you might be watching a blowout. When college is already so expensive that you’re facing decades of debt. When the academics are harder. When there have never been more cheaper entertainment options just a click away. Fans who aren’t in school ask many of the same questions.”
Once upon a time, there was nothing like being at the game for alumni and students. Now? The game is still an important part of life on campus come Saturday, but it’s so much more than the game. Would being at the game be better than watching it on a big screen with all my friends? Is being in the stadium necessary if I’m on campus tailgating anyway? (I see a lot of this at LSU, families with RVs spend the weekend, alongside other families with RVs, and don’t bother going in the stadium.)
Will the weather make it miserable? Will the game be miserable?
As the article goes on to point out, in a unscientific study, none of the students mentioned concussions, long game times, or all of the other things that college football, and for that matter, professional sports as well, tend to focus on when trying to attract fans back.
No, they just want to know that being at the stadium is going to be worth the money, time, and effort, compared to other options. Increasingly, it’s not as attractive of an option for people, who continue to be offered lots of other options.
But seriously, some actually competitive games during the football season might at least keep some folks in the stands past halftime, Clemson.
What do you think? Do you still go to games in person? I do, including a couple of LSU football games this season. But, I’m older, and still appreciate the experience of being on campus and in the stadium, all the while admitting that there’s no way I’d commit to sitting through all of their games.
Because some of them aren’t worth it. And that’s a problem for any sport depending on ticket revenue. It may explain the desire for larger and larger TV revenue as well.