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Thread: Attendance numbers - 12/8

  1. #1

    Default Attendance numbers - 12/8

    Scary thing is ... these are about to get even worse (if that's even possible) over the winter break.



    SCHOOL AVG. HOME ATTENDANCE
    IUP 1,052
    Gannon 584
    Mansfield 513
    Mercyhurst 513
    West Chester 512
    Lock Haven 423
    Cheyney 406
    Kutztown 389
    Bloomsburg 316
    Clarion 313
    California 298
    East Stroudsburg 286
    Slippery Rock 256
    Seton Hill 246
    Millersville 232
    Edinboro 175
    UPJ 172
    Shippensburg 154

    As a comparison to the neighboring MEC:

    Fairmont State 1190
    Wheeling Jesuit 589
    Notre Dame 586
    WV State 476
    West Liberty 470
    Glenville State 413
    Concord 408
    UVA-Wise 405
    Shepherd 315
    WV-Wesleyan 227
    Urbana 208
    Charleston 162

  2. #2

    Default Re: Attendance numbers - 12/8

    Eesh. What's the reason for low attendance in your neck of the woods?

    This is what we've got in the NSIC (Central Region) so far this year:


    SCHOOL AVG. HOME ATTENDANCE
    Northern State 3,197
    Augustana 2,410
    Southwest Minnesota State 1,591
    St. Cloud State 1,191
    MSU Moorhead 1,171
    Winona State 884
    Minot State 877
    University of Mary 826
    University of Sioux Falls 804
    Minnesota Duluth 646
    Wayne State 620
    Minnesota Crookston 524
    Upper Iowa 312
    Concordia-St. Paul 309
    Bemidji 174
    Minnesota State, Mankato No home games yet (typically 1,000-2,000)

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Attendance numbers - 12/8

    Auggie, people are just looking for a place to get out of the weather up there!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Attendance numbers - 12/8

    Quote Originally Posted by Sportsnut View Post
    Auggie, people are just looking for a place to get out of the weather up there!
    Definitely the case for Northern State. They've led D2 home attendance, like, forever now, and they have the advantage of a very respectable, 6,000 seat arena combined with a town that basically lives for Northern State basketball, particularly on Saturday nights when there's no high school basketball. And, in general, there is minimal entertainment to compete with NSU up in Aberdeen.

    Sioux Falls is a really big city by our region's standards (160,000 or so), but we do have to compete with D1s South Dakota State and the University of South Dakota 45 minutes north and south of us, as well as D2 University of Sioux Falls, which is, shockingly, also in Sioux Falls, plus the types of entertainment decent-sized cities can offer. But we have a pretty loyal fan base, which is why we typically have finished just behind Northern in D2 attendance for most of the last decade+.

    Joking aside, are there other factors that keep attendance so low out in your region that we don't have to deal with in our region (besides cold weather)?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Attendance numbers - 12/8

    Auggie, I never really thought much about this but here could be some reasons for low attendance.

    1. Most of the MEC schools are not very big, probably most of them under 2,000 students.
    2. The schools are often located in very small towns without a major metro area close. Some of the towns like West Liberty, Glenville, Athens, Wise and Shepherdstown are also under 2,000 population.
    3. These schools seem to be commuter schools or kids go home what seems to be every weekend to their mommies basement.
    4. You know this conference is located in the middle of the Appalachian Mountains. Very poor area compared to national standards. Maybe some of the kids go home for part time jobs to help in college cost.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Attendance numbers - 12/8

    The PSAC attendance numbers have been in decline for the past 3-4 years -- each year getting worse.

    Hard to pinpoint for the conference as a whole ...

    IUP perspective:

    * It's expensive. Good seats cost $14/per at the box office. IUP doesn't give children discounts (i.e. your 2nd grader pays the $14 also). So, your typical family of four ... starts to add up. Add concessions and you're likely at (minimum) $80 for a D2 basketball game. Being most kids aren't interested anyway, my opinion is most families just don't go. IUP has started a kids club but hardly anybody knows about it. There are pockets of big money in Indiana, but many of the surrounding areas are economically depressed.

    * IUP is drawing 1,052 through (7) home dates. KCAC capacity is 4,000 ... so, rounding to even number say 25 percent capacity.

    * The KCAC is probably a Top 2-3 (D2) arena in the country. It is under-utilized for the game-day experience. The massive video board is essentially a waste. The state of the art sound system goes largely unused once the game starts. Two things that could go a long, long way to making the game more exciting to the average fan -- which IUP desperately needs to attract. That $14/per is almost 3 times more than nearly all the other PSAC schools charge.

    * All 4,000 seats are 'reserved' -- meaning you buy a ticket you have a specific seat. Drawing only 25 percent -- spread out -- gives the place a very empty feeling. I would consider making only the bottom ring (about 5-7 rows) reserved and everything else is first-come. Or, making only the side the benches are on 'reserved'. If anything, it will eliminate the vastness of an empty arena.

    * Unlike most in the PSAC, IUP has a large enrollment -- currently down, but still about 12,000. Student attendance is awful. Putrid, actually.

    * There are two bars within walking distance of the KCAC but they are not 'college' bars. The KCAC also has a bar but the $7/beer tag isn't going to draw any students. I mention this not because IUP wants games turning in to frat parties, but because they are there and part of the experience for many who do attend. The Grapevine and Hilton do nice crowds before each game.

    * The PSAC as a whole does next to NOTHING to market basketball. Having a Twitter account is such a small slice of a marketing pie. Many of the PSAC schools don't get more than a score reported in their local papers. Literally. IUP does get good coverage from the smaller Indiana Gazette. But, nobody reads newspapers any more -- especially the younger generation.

    * The KCAC was never going to draw 4,000 a night. Everybody was aware. But, it needs to be between 2,000 and 2,500. The venue is fantastic. The product is great. The amenities are first-class in D2. Yet, only 1,052 are coming on average. The 'why' is baffling on many levels. IUP has a very steady, older following.

    * One factor that is legitimate is they play more and more games now over the (longer and longer) winter break. Funeral Home Season, I call it. No students cheerleaders, dance teams, ... just awful atmosphere. The true team fans and supporters don't care but it's a tough sell to the average fan.

    * On top of that, the brain trust at the PSAC has even started scheduling classic PSAC rivalry games over break. IUP and Slippery Rock now play over break. IUP and Mercyhurst play over break. Both games would draw 3,200 to 3,700 if played in late Jan or Feb. Over break they will draw 700. Maybe.

    * You could make a case the PSAC sees itself as more of a football conference but all these same problems exist there, too.

    * California built a 6,000 seat arena and its men's team is drawing under 300 fans per game.

    * IUP also isn't having web broadcasts of its home games this year. SUPER annoying to many fans who can't attend in person.

    * Now, keep in mind, IUP's number will end up much higher. They will have one or two big draws for the year and balloon up the average. For many of the other 17 members (yes, I said that correctly ... 17 other members) ... these numbers likely won't change much as the year goes along.

    How do you make the games more fun? How do you make them have 'event' status? That's the million dollar question in the PSAC. The product is good ... it's a shame hardly anybody knows about it.
    Last edited by IUPbigINDIANS; 12-08-2016 at 12:41 PM.

  7. Default Re: Attendance numbers - 12/8

    Another thing to keep in mind with these attendance numbers are if they are paid attendance or full attendance.

    From my own experience at Wheeling Jesuit, they normally count just the people paying to see the game. WJU students get in for free. The only times Jesuit physically checked our student IDs and marked us down was for the West Lib game or any MEC/NCAA tournament games we hosted.

    And one other thing, so far Jesuit's only had two home games and both were in the middle of the week. The home-opener was a Tuesday game against Point Park (an NAIA school) and the game against Fairmont was on a Wednesday. I'm not surprised average attendance is that low.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Attendance numbers - 12/8

    I don't get the 'not counting students' thing that you and some others have posted. Goodness ... if I had to report those attendance numbers ... I'd be counting any human in the building.

    The Wheeling vs. Fairmont game ... amazing how bad the turnout was for two nationally ranked teams. Same with the IUP vs. Kutztown game. What day of the week it is played should be irrelevant. Obviously, however, it's not irrelevant. IUP will be lucky to draw 700 for the Fairmont game on Monday night, Dec. 19.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Attendance numbers - 12/8

    Quote Originally Posted by MrAugustana View Post
    Definitely the case for Northern State. They've led D2 home attendance, like, forever now, and they have the advantage of a very respectable, 6,000 seat arena combined with a town that basically lives for Northern State basketball, particularly on Saturday nights when there's no high school basketball. And, in general, there is minimal entertainment to compete with NSU up in Aberdeen.

    Sioux Falls is a really big city by our region's standards (160,000 or so), but we do have to compete with D1s South Dakota State and the University of South Dakota 45 minutes north and south of us, as well as D2 University of Sioux Falls, which is, shockingly, also in Sioux Falls, plus the types of entertainment decent-sized cities can offer. But we have a pretty loyal fan base, which is why we typically have finished just behind Northern in D2 attendance for most of the last decade+.

    Joking aside, are there other factors that keep attendance so low out in your region that we don't have to deal with in our region (besides cold weather)?
    How well does the D-League team in Sioux Falls draw?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Attendance numbers - 12/8

    I think that WL must count only payers and not the students. I wonder also if they are even counting people that have season tickets that show up and don't have to pay in order to get in. In going to the games and watching them on the computer the ASROC always seems at least 90% full and far exceeding the average attendance of around 450 reported.

  11. Default Re: Attendance numbers - 12/8

    Quote Originally Posted by IUPbigINDIANS View Post
    I don't get the 'not counting students' thing that you and some others have posted. Goodness ... if I had to report those attendance numbers ... I'd be counting any human in the building.

    The Wheeling vs. Fairmont game ... amazing how bad the turnout was for two nationally ranked teams. Same with the IUP vs. Kutztown game. What day of the week it is played should be irrelevant. Obviously, however, it's not irrelevant. IUP will be lucky to draw 700 for the Fairmont game on Monday night, Dec. 19.

    To be honest, I don't know why we don't try to count every student in attendance. I know there's issues with accurately counting every student that ends up at the game out of those are using the athletics facilities, but they should be trying. As an alum I love seeing actual numbers. Seeing highly attended games makes me want to donate.

    But back to the Fairmont game, recorded attendance is 589. I don't believe that number for a second, but even if I tack on another 250-300 students, that's still horrible. Last year's game against Fairmont at Jesuit was #2 vs #4 and there was about 1589 in attendance. Maybe that difference of 1000 is from one game being a Saturday game during the semester and the other being an odd Wednesday night game during deadweek. But that's very unbelievable.

    I'll try to get a hold of our athletic department to see if that's how we're still doing attendance, but knowing Jesuit I won't get an answer until March.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Attendance numbers - 12/8

    this is my 2 cents...and it's a small sample size of one --me--but for me...i'd love to go watch kutztown - IUP or Fairmont -WL in person, but with kids in middle school activities themselves--basketball on saturdays, practice during the week---I literally can't fit it in...Love hoops, love d2, but i just can't make it work without mortgaging my marriage or kids practices, etc...I think more and more kids are invovled with activities, and they are more year round, and parents are pressing that more...so that could contribute...but that's certainly not a PSAC / MEC issue...that cuts across all the country...

    Could it be that in West Pa, we are spoiled with 3 professional sport teams, 3 D-1 football teams, 3 d-1 basketball teams, and a 30+ d2 and d3 events...maybe the fans are spread out so thin...

    And the other thing IUP said up there, is people are becoming more recluse anymore...won't fight the weather, rather sit on a55 and watch d 1 games that are more marketable...I think it's many many factors and not one issue...

    Props to the NSIC, those numbers are awesome---regionally those teams are more valued, no doubt

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Attendance numbers - 12/8

    Two issues, at least at WLU, seem to be:

    1. Counting - I've been to a number of WLU games and watched a few more. The crowds I've seen are no were close to the official numbers reported. One cold snowy Saturday last year I spyed the box score from a home game the previous night. It showed attendance in the low 400's. The news article shower a WLU player in the act of shooting and in the background was a packed section of the stands (about 1/4 of the bleacher side). I was bored so I started counting...got to close to 300 (I think it was actually 295). So either almost all in attendance chose to sit elbow to elbow in 1/4 of the bleachers or the count was seriously LOW.

    2. Student Apathy - Sure, WLU is a rather small college at about 3000 students and not all are basketball or football fans, but come on. There aren't at least 1000 students willing to SLOG the 200 yards from the dorms to the ARSC or West Stadium once or twice a week to watch a game? Students would rather sit in their dorms, play video games and send texts/tweets about how TOTALLY boring WLU's campus is rather than expend ANY energy to go to a game! Hey, I get it, being a teenaged college student is EXHAUSTING...seems like between going to class 12 hours a week, going to the student union to eat, gaming for 40 hours and sleeping 10 hours a day, there just aren't enough hours in a week to WALK 200 yards OUTSIDE to watch a game!!!

  14. #14

    Default Re: Attendance numbers - 12/8

    All factors, no doubt.

    But ...

    Kutztown 389
    Bloomsburg 316
    Clarion 313
    California 298
    East Stroudsburg 286
    Slippery Rock 256
    Seton Hill 246
    Millersville 232
    Edinboro 175
    UPJ 172
    Shippensburg 154

    Those are just staggering gate draws. Many on that list (directly above) are very good programs. A good garage sale would get more people. A majority are also in very desolate locations in 'one stop sign' kind of towns. Slippery Rock ... I find interesting. Fabulous football following ... 5,000 to 7,000 a game ... yet 256 for basketball. That in itself is a discussion.

    IUP vs. Kutztown on a Sunday at 3 p.m. and only drawing 800 with students still on campus ... utterly awful. There's no way to spin that one. It's embarrassing, actually.

    IUP's visit to every team in the West gives them their biggest draw of the year. That's reality. Almost every school hypes that game up on campus. Seton Hill averages in the 200s all year and had 2,000 for IUP's visit last year. Standing room only.

    Imagine ... they 'hype it up' ... and people come. What a notion.


    IUP's home games are just too expensive. They don't want to believe that but I hear it all over town. It's cheaper to take your family to dinner, ice skating, movies, etc.
    Last edited by IUPbigINDIANS; 12-09-2016 at 07:37 AM.

  15. Default Re: Attendance numbers - 12/8

    I feel like attendance has been discussed to death on the football board, but I'll chime in here. At least WRT to student attendance, there simply isn't any good reason to watch most of these teams. It's true that the schools/conference are doing a **** job marketing themselves, but most of them are also not putting a quality product on the floor. With a wealth of TV/internet options to see lots of higher level ball and the internet (blogs, access to out of town papers) expanding your ability to follow a certain team there just isn't that much reason to spend time watching a middle of the road team.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Attendance numbers - 12/8

    West Liberty only counts single game tickets sold. For the big games such as Jesuit, they guess. I have no doubt about this. There is no method in place to count the season ticket holders coming through or the students coming through. I've also seen multiple people just walk through the side doors and into the game.

    Also pretty sure they do not count the people sitting in the VIP area up top.

    Our true average attendance is most likely around 1,200-1,500.

    As for the students. I know a lot of students just get together at a friends house and drink while watching the game on TV. Then when West Lib gets up by 30 they just go back to their regular routine.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Attendance numbers - 12/8

    Quote Originally Posted by ctrabs74 View Post
    How well does the D-League team in Sioux Falls draw?
    No idea. Sorry. I went to one D-League game 7 or 8 years ago and was not particularly interested after that. I think they draw moderately well though. These days they hold home games at the Sanford Pentagon, which is where I believe the D2 National Championship will be held the next two years, and I think they draw pretty decent numbers there. I think it's the right size for a D-League game to feel pretty full, partially because it's a relatively small venue.

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