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MAC Basketball Attendance Article

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https://www.cleveland.com/sports/2019/01/mac-basketball-at-a-high-attendance-is-low.html

 

I am always selling the program as the best entertainment in town.  A friend of mine took his family of four.  They bought the Family Pack tickets for a total of $55 to sit in the bleachers, paid $10 to park, bought food for about $25 and a baseball cap for $30 for a total of $120.  He and his wife are both graduates of Akron and said that they doubt that will return to a game.  

These are big league prices and we wonder why the arena is less than half full.

 

The athletic department should be giving tickets away to every youth basketball program in the area and then hand them a buy one get one coupon for a return game.  Try to fill the place, go back to free parking and have good concessions at a reasonable price.  I bet they would be shocked on how much food/drink and merchandise they would sell. 

 

The JAR is great when it is full and our guys deserve more fan support.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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None of that matters when the product on the court is good. I remember back in 2012 before our PG was busted for trafficking drugs, the JAR was setting total/student attendance records nearly every home game during the 19 game win streak.

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Good points, @Akron1.  If you a-la-carte the games it gets pretty expensive to go to more than a few.  But if you get the season tickets it's a steal.  

 

Idk what to say about the concessions.  Concessions are always pricey, that's why I never buy food at the game.  I took my niece to see The Grinch Who Stole Christmas last month & bit the bullet for concessions.  We got a small popcorn, a small Coke, and a small bottle of water & it set me back $18.50!!! :lol:

 

Another factor, all the games being on ESPN+ for $5 a month makes getting out to the games more of a dilemma for me.  And I'm over 40.  I'd imagine some Millennials must think it's crazy to go to a game when you can watch it on t.v.?  They spend the rest of their (social) lives in front of a screen anyway.

 

The culture surrounding sports is definitely changing.  Attendance is down across the board.

 

Like @LZIp said, if we win it changes things.  But I'd hope we wouldn't have to string together 19 wins or be in the Top 25 to create sufficient buzz to get ppl out to the games. 

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Single game tickets are outrageous, I'd agree. The value comes in getting season tickets, but that also means your're committing to go to more than 1 game. That said, price isn't a deterrent for students as admission costs are already built into their student fees and I saw maybe 150 students at the game Tuesday.

 

I'm not sure why we don't see better promotions such as a $1 dog night. Those type of events seem help draw fans to Rubber Duck games. Also selling alcohol at the JAR would open up opportunities like having a craft beer night which could appeal to the younger alumni.

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2 minutes ago, kreed5120 said:

Also selling alcohol at the JAR would open up opportunities like having a craft beer night which could appeal to the younger alumni.

Woo hoo! I'm young!! :CK_brew: :cheers:

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There are numerous reasons for low attendance.  The last few years when KD was the coach we went to the MAC finals, drew a big crowd and then lose the game.  A lot of those people did not come back.  We lost a slew of season ticket holders when KD left the program.  Basically, there is no marketing of the B Ball program.  And the price of $15 for a ticket, $10 for parking, and the high concession prices make it an expensive night for families.  I like the pricing at the superbowl.  Charge less and serve more.

 

 

 

image.png

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I am very spoiled by my $60 season tickets.  Even with that bargain, I can't tell you the last time I bought any concessions at a game.  I realize concessions are generally expensive, but they should make some effort to make it more affordable.  This is a college game at the JAR, not an NBA game.

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I don't think I've ever made a food purchase at the JAR. I grab food beforehand or afterward, typically at Euro or Score.

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For me, I bought 4 GA season tickets when they were still $60 and came with free parking.  I am mid-to-late 30’s with an 8 and 4 year old.  Weekday games we don’t go to with it being schoo nights and will watch the first half as a family on ESPN +, then the kids do their reading, go to bed while I watch the second half from my room.  I may go to one or 2 weekday games and bring a work colleague from OU if we are playing them.   On the weekend we will make most games although I think we may miss the Kent game due to prior commitments.  If we didn’t have the season tickets I would probably watch them all at home as opposed to paying the $70+ to attend one game.  I think season tickets are a great value even if you only go to half the games.  Single game tickets, I understand while people may not want to pay that.

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I went out and tracked down the attendance numbers for the past two seasons off the MAC website. I found it a bit lazy these numbers weren't referenced in the article. Buffalo, Toledo, & EMU are all already eclipsing last years averages. February and March are typically the highest attended games as you're in the heart of conference play, students are back in class, and are when you play your rivals. I know both Akron and Kent still have home games left against one another plus Ohio and Buffalo. I have to imagine BGSU, CMU, and NIU will all surpass their last year averages. I think MAC attendance is going to be up compared to last year because of the higher caliber play of the conference this year. This is at a time when attendance has been trending down a crossed the board for all sports. It's unrealistic to expect going from playing in a 1/3 filled arenas to sell outs in 1 season. It would take a string of seasons of playing at a high level to see the big jump in attendance that Alexander is expecting.

 

2018-2019
1 Ohio 5,048.0
2 Buffalo 4,681.0
3 Toledo 4,400.0
4 Ball State 3,205.0
5 Akron 2,341.0
6 CMU 2,058.0
7 Kent 2,044.0
8 WMU 1,786.0
9 EMU 1,703.0
10 BGSU 1,561.0
11 Miami 1,327.0
12 NIU 921.0

2017-2018
Ohio 5598
Toledo 3990
Ball State 3721
Buffalo 3570
Akron 2824
Kent State 2800
WMU 2226
CMU 2132
BGSU 1917
Miami 1671
EMU 1233
NIU 998

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2 hours ago, ZippyRulz said:

Buying a $30 cap and $25 snacks, then giving up a good entertainment option ... definitely a first world problem..

 

 

Agreed.  The point is that Akron needs to figure out how to get people in the door to support the program and make it so fans want to return.

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Akron fails miserably in making its games, no matter what the sport, as events that must be attended. The last great marketing effort Akron made was when Red Cochrane created the Acme Zip game decades ago. It became something everyone in Akron had to attend. I realize things are different now and that type of event can't be duplicated, but the creativity that went into it can be applied to our sports program now. I go to games for the quality of play, but I also appreciate when there is entertainment, pacing, unique experiences, exciting atmosphere, etc. Akron just doesn't have it and seems incompetent in doing anything about it.

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17 minutes ago, 72 Roo said:

Akron fails miserably in making its games, no matter what the sport, as events that must be attended. The last great marketing effort Akron made was when Red Cochrane created the Acme Zip game decades ago. It became something everyone in Akron had to attend. I realize things are different now and that type of event can't be duplicated, but the creativity that went into it can be applied to our sports program now. I go to games for the quality of play, but I also appreciate when there is entertainment, pacing, unique experiences, exciting atmosphere, etc. Akron just doesn't have it and seems incompetent in doing anything about it.

 

Have you not seen the Dizzy Spin Contest or the Hippity Hop Ball Race at the basketball games?  :D

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I usually go to 1 or 2 games per year.  I live 1 hour and 45 minutes away so it is not very convenient for me to bring my kids to a game especially with all the activities they are involved in.  I have yet to make it to a game this year.  Fortunately for me, but not the attendance numbers, I have been able to watch every game the Zips have played due to the many different platforms available to me.  So, while I am waiting for my daughter at her dance class or another activity I can watch the game on my phone.  It is so much more convenient for me to watch from ESPN, ESPN+ and other online platforms than to make the all day commitment to a game and the money involved. Same goes for football.  Let's Go Zips!

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3 hours ago, ZippyRulz said:

Buying a $30 cap and $25 snacks, then giving up a good entertainment option ... definitely a first world problem..

 

True words.

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I have not made an Akron game yet, but what comes to mind is a local single A baseball team, the Kane County Cougars. Even with 2 major league teams an hour away people find this to be an easier, safer, more comfortable and family friendly option. This is obviously apples to oranges in a number of ways to college basketball, but the Cougars are always setting attendance records. Ticket prices are not cheaper either, between $14 -27, $10 parking, but they do sell beer.

 

https://www.milb.com/kane-county

 

Or the Zips could make it to the final four. That might do it.   :)

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We like to rag on our Zips, but are any other MAC schools doing anything better (outside of winning more)?

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Bring back the Plate Spinner!

 

And the cheerleaders and dance team are really dropping off in entertaining the crowd

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12 minutes ago, NWAkron said:

Bring back the Plate Spinner!

 

And the cheerleaders and dance team are really dropping off in entertaining the crowd

You’re not the only one who’s noticed. Our cheerleaders aren’t half as good as they used to be.

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1 minute ago, Blue & Gold said:

You’re not the only one who’s noticed. Our cheerleaders aren’t half as good as they used to be.

Yeah.  Another person texted me during one of the games and said...what's up with the cheerleaders?

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You want some entertainment for $10 and you can park for free?  Come to the Stile Athletics Fieldhouse tonight and watch YOUR Zippies - MAC Champions by the way - track and field team battle it out against the Flushes in the Wagon Wheel Challenge parts 5 and 6!  Starts at 7!  Or like a lot of you on this forum, you can catch it for free on ESPN3 (but come, really...)

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1 hour ago, NWAkron said:

Bring back the Plate Spinner!

 

And the cheerleaders and dance team are really dropping off in entertaining the crowd

I'm not sure when it happened, but at some point the dance team became the main show and the cheerleaders became an afterthought.

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1 hour ago, LZIp said:

We like to rag on our Zips, but are any other MAC schools doing anything better (outside of winning more)?

 

EMU offers a deal called the Little Caesars 4 pack. You get 4 GA tickets, 4 slices of pizza, and 4 drinks for $34. The same 4 pack without a drink and pizza would have cost rowdyzip $87. I'm sure plenty of other schools are offering better promotions than we do.

 

image.png

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