Sad to see this is happening actually - not because I don’t agree with having a more intimate experience and packing in the fans close to the floor, but because 20 years ago would you have ever imagined this would be an issue at Utah?
They would curtain off the upper bowl for certain games the last few seasons. I often wondered (and still don’t know) where they put the people for those games who had season tickets in the upper bowl. Were they able to choose whatever seats they wanted?
That said, I kind of question this move for the future. We have the possibility of having very good teams in the future (assuming no mass exoduses like previous years). They may be jumping the gun.
Yeah I don’t understand the announcement that they will curtain off the upper bowl. Just rejig the season ticket offering and leave the upper as single game GA.
At least they can just open the curtains if they need or if demand hits I guess. To me this was just an acknowledgement of the sad state of things (and probably a play to start charging more for tickets to people who formerly were in the upper bowl).
When the curtain was there this past season, ticket holders from above the concourse were allowed to come down to the lower bowl, which always had plenty of open seats. I believe there was one game, I think Minnesota, when there was an unusually large number of students in attendance and that caused some issues. Otherwise it was not a problem and I thought it made a better atmosphere.
If they are thinking of charging more, they are simply begging additional people to not come to the games.
Apparently those of us with upper bowl seasons will be able to move down into rows 25-31 at the same cost. Minnesota was a real mess last year (but a fun game of course). We had to move down of course and several times had to relocate because the people who were entitled to the seats they paid a lot of $$$ for wanted to sit in their actual seats (understandable).
Is sad how far we’ve fallen. Loved in back in the glory years when we had packed rowdy stands when BYU, Wyoming, UTEP, Wake Forest, and others came in.
Does that mean I can move back 4 or 5 rows and have my costs cut in half? Do they charge Crimson club donation fees for upper bowl tickets? When I had seats up there 25 years ago they did not.
I’ve been posting for a few years, that most games we could not fill the lower bowl. Turns out that the actual attendance numbers back up that assertion.
This is VERY SAD!
What’s sad is the state of the program , the way customers are treated when they bring up an issue, how they can’t or won’t think outside the box and their own guidelines.
I had season tickets for forty plus years I brought my concerns to them. Radio silent until I didn’t renew two years ago then did respond I considered the response tepid
Frankly their lack of listening and lack of action for that time alienated me as a fan
I don’t think I watched more than 8 or ten games last season. I used to plan everything around going to Utah basketball. Not anymore I suspect I’m not the only one that’s had similar experiences.
Sad. Just very sad
There is a problem but it’s not just at Utah. College basketball just doesn’t have the same fan interest as it used to.
Now, I don’t have any ticket sales data to back that up but 20 years ago when I would see a game on TV there were a lot of fans, no matter who was playing. Now when UCLA is playing Washington, Pauley Pavilion is almost empty. Same with games in Logan. There was a game on last season where Wyoming was playing at home and there couldn’t have been more than 200 people in the arena.
I’m sure Duke and North Carolina still play in front of a packed gym but in most places fan interest is disappearing.
So, winning at the Hunstman Center will change put more people in the seats but I think fan interest in college ball is just kind of going away.
I know this has been in the works for awhile but interesting timing on the announcement considering social distancing could be better achieved by spreading 6,000 fans across 15,000 seats.
Sorry if someone else has noted this, but even with our lower numbers we’ve led the PAC-12 in basketball attendance for much of the time we’ve been in the conference, haven’t we? So I agree with @UteBrave that this is not just a Utah problem. Looks like is it a college basketball problem. Frankly, and sadly, our arena is too big now.
With no prior knowledge of this taking place, I’m going to say, I told you so, in a March 31st post (excerpt at bottom), which was in reference to D-I mens hoops officially becoming unabashed professional prior to next season. I’ll add, even putting post SARS-CoV-2 fears aside, you ain’t see nothing yet with regard to attendance drop. The entertainment and free time market is saturated, culture has changed, not just entertainment culture. My personal interest in much of current popular entertainment culture is almost zero. Living out of state I haven’t been to a U basketball game in years (mainly because when I fly to SLC I don’t have a car, the Alta Shuttle drops me off at GoldMiner’s Daughter) but I read where a few of you have recently complained the audio volume at JHC is out of control, Vivint NBA arena wanna be levels. Also related, there are waaay to many D-I men’s basketball games. Football and gymnastics have a more discrete, manageable, and meaningful amount of games. Although it’s good Rice-Eccles expansion was limited to 50k.
“Haven’t watched an NBA game in ~5 years, I suppose there are a few people that are actually interested in following the NBA G league (had to look that up, previously called the D league). It’s a good they implemented those drapes in the upper sections of the Huntsman Center to hide/close off all the empty seats, they are going to be needed.”
There has definitely been a shift in interest around college sports attendance. My son is a senior at the U and about to graduate. He is one of the few of his peers that even had a passing interest in attending sporting events. Quite a bit different from when I was his age. So many are more interested in playing video games, board games, watching TV, even hiking or mountain biking over attending a sporting event. There weren’t as many options when I was his age and the place to be was at a basketball game(or hockey game in the case of my Canadian alma mater) with all of our friends in a group. My son’s engineering friends would rather play D&D and his swim club friends would rather do a myriad of other things. I think my son only went because I liked to go. It is a different world now.
We have been behind UA in numbers reported, but that number is highly inflated from actual butts in the seats. I’m not a math wiz, but even I can tell that if the lower bowl is only 2/3 full and the upper bowl has several hundred at most that there is not 11,000 people in attendance.
Fair enough, but my argument that our arena is too large still makes sense to me. Even the season tickets holders (whether they show up or not) don’t fill the place up. When I attend games at Pauley or the Galen Center (USC) those arenas look like the the JMHC – 1/3 empty seats, at least.
I don’t completely buy it’s just wins and losses. I posted this elsewhere but the short of it is that I’m not sure if we can have strong fan support of both football and basketball. That’s a tall order for any school to be honest. It might be a possibility now after a being P5 for a bit and the fanbase growing even further but here are my questions:
In the '04-'05 basketball season (in the first year after Majerus) football goes undefeated and we had amazing football fan support. In basketball we had an amazing year in conference and a Sweet 16 run, but the stands were not filling up. I chalked it up to football hangover, but for a basketball school games should have been better attended in my opinion. Why was fan attendance so low especially since Majerus didn’t have terrible seasons leading up to it?
We fast forward to Larry K, after some false starts with Giac and Boylen, and he not only shows teams with improving records, but also improving results:
| 2011–12 | Larry Krystkowiak |3–15 (11th) | 6–25 ||
| 2012–13 | Larry Krystkowiak |5–13 (10th) | 15–18 ||
| 2013–14 | Larry Krystkowiak |9–9 (8th) | 21–12 | NIT First Round |
| 2014–15 | Larry Krystkowiak |13–5 (2nd (tie)) | 26–9 | NCAA Sweet 16 |
Yet during that lead-up to and including the Sweet 16 run and fans still weren’t filling up the arena. Anyone have any idea what the problem is/was? It can’t be just wins/losses right?
That was one of my first thoughts and the first thing my wife said when I told her…
I agree that it is currently to large and by reducing supply you might eventually increase demand. I think I learned that in freshman Econ.
Scott Kull, Harlan’s right hand, was on the Riley show this week. A few takeaways:
For big games they will probably open at least part of the curtains to allow more attendance.
This change will move our basketball arena from being the largest in the conference to the second-smallest.
Somewhat to my surprise, he volunteered that one goal of the change was to increase demand for tickets. I wonder if that means the prices will also rise?
He repeated a couple of times that the main goal of this change was to improve the in-game atmosphere. Sure it is!
Follow the money.