As noted in an earlier post, attendance is trending down in college football.
Decline in actual attendance at Utah home games is noticeable, especially in the better seats. Technically sellouts, there are a lot of empty seats.
Some of the formerly real faithful attendees around my seats were no shows last season. Across the field, we see lots of red chair backs.
Many seats are held by long term, legacy gray-hairs, who stayed passionate enough to move into them. They sacrificed to get them. Seats will turn over in the next 10 -15 years.
Fans are questioning the Value of attending.
Game times, occasionally weather, convenience, 65" 4k, interminable commercial and play reviews . . . all factor in attending decisions.
If actual attendance by fans is not so much missed, it’s a small step to no renewal. Why not invest $$ into something more rewarding?
Injury risk, especially brain trauma is affecting youth participation. No way would I encourage grandchildren to play. The risk >> reward, especially when other activities provide the same lessons, values, rewards.
All this factors into reasons why I question stadium expansion. Replacing fatigued, antiquated facilities below the SEZ, neccessary. Filling in the corners, not the wisest move given trends.
Basketball used to be a hot ticket. I don’t recall the last time Huntsman Center was at full capacity for a BB game. Curtain partitions employed several pre conference games. Utes championship 98 appearance was followed by a steady drop in attendance.
Ute fans football team enthusiasm peaked at an all time ‘high’ before the last two games. Now, two consecutive years, losses left a sour taste behind. 2019 was worse, because the high was so much higher.
Among many fans, there is a smell of resignation, rather than resilience stenching the air.
RES is being expanded. Ground breaking, construction started. Actual attendance is not increasing. These two things are diametrically opposed.
U of U Athletics is mindful of attendance trends and trying to make game attendance a valuable event experience. But cost/benefit perception is always a primary driver
I would strongly caution UofU Athletics to be mindful of rhese factors when determining football ticket/Crimson Club commitment pricing structure.