A packed stadium makes for great TV backdrops during the game.
As we all learned last fall, empty stadiums suck the energy out of things, and make a lousy TV backdrop. When you think about it, pre pandemic the only time you see Cal and Stanford play on a prime time national feed is when they are on the road or playing the Big Game. Zona…when playing the Territorial Cup at home against ASU. OSU when playing the Civil War. WSU when playing the Apple Cup.
When you think about it, only Utah, Oregon, UW, and ASU regularly sell out to SRO. USC and UCLA get a hall pas due to playing in monstrous stadiums. Everyone else needs TV distractions.
Of course playing PAC-12 Sunday in the middle of the night on the east coast doesn’t help.
I get the desire for more revenue, and there is a desire to chase the bigger money folks in the athletics arms race. The forever concern, though, has to be damaging the game/event experience by economically crowding people out. It will affect recruiting, revenues, and in the ends require the school subsidy to go up affecting other programs outside athletics.
The young folks never experienced Old Rice as an echo chamber of like 5 fans and a drunk student section. The only time we sold out was for a TDS game, and even then there were time we didn’t even do it then - and those tickets were giveaway priced back then. Basketball was a SRO event, and the Red Rocks were just starting to fill the Hunty for their competitions. Baseball played on a scrubs diamond behind the Medical School, and the track team used East High for a training facility. Let’s just hope some come to realize a part of why we have these upgrades is not because we charged more and more. It’s because we got the butts in the seats and sold the whole experience.