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Bowden Says JAR Needs Replaced

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7 in a row, but who's counting?

Other than that, agreed wholeheartedly. Part of the reason fans don't come out is because of wooden bleachers. Part is because there are no suites or real club suites to entertain clients. Part is because fans don't see us as big time when we play BG in our crappy gym. The new arena solves all of these. Pitt was in a similar situation when they built the Pete, on an upsurge, in the crappy old Fitzgerald Field House. Obviously we're on a smaller scale, but we can use the arena as our springboard to the next level much the way Pitt did with the Pete in my opinion.. We have the perfect storm of success, coaching stability, and some great crowds last season. Just keep the momentum going and get it built.

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A new arena doesn't solve everything, but it does solve a majority of it. More is fixed by building a new arena than by any other action we could take, and the return on investment would be higher than anything else we could do.

To say that we shouldn't try a remedy because it is not a panacea is absurd.

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+11K fans, including 5K students, didn't come out on a Wednesday night in Feb to watch the Zips beat the Cats in OT because there was nothing else to do in Athens, its not that simple. If small towns= higher attendance then there are plenty of small towns in the MAC who should be doing a lot better.

Outsiders point of view- Zips need a new arena. It's the next step. How much more can Dambrot and the team do, really? 6 MAC title games in a row, 3 NCAA appearances, a million 20+ win seasons in a row, and on and on. Sure, making a run in the Tourney would be nice, but at this point its just the next step, not a game changer.

Look at what BGSU did- they fleeced a bunch of well meaning old men and got them to fund a new high school gym that seats 4,700. Its a nice, new flashing neon sign that tells students, alums, locals- we're small time now and forever. Akron needs to make a statement, but the right statement. Doesn't have to be too big and flashy, 7k-8k would be plenty.

If you build it, they will come.

The Dude speaks the truth. I checked the Athens events calendar and on the night of the game the Cats had to compete for customers with three hot tickets: a free lecture at the Grange Hall entitled, "Insulage is Your Friend," a manure spreader display at Mel's Farm and Fleet, and an exhibit featuring art created entirely from locally grown agricultural products by children enrolled in the Athens elementary school. In addition, Virgil was changing the light in the traffic signal which usually draws a BIG crowd. How they got 11K people to show up to watch a basketball game is a puzzlement.

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... You have to win. And you have to have a decent building. ...

Bingo. That's the basic infrastructure. On top of that you can add things like dynamite marketing, casual fans climbing on the bandwagon, etc., etc. It's like a multistage rocket launching a satellite into earth orbit. A single stage rocket alone will go fast and far for awhile, but not achieve orbit.

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According to the CSU data, they averaged a little over 2k fans per game over 13 years in the Woodling Arena, and a little over 3k fans per game over 22 years in the Wolstein Arena. So they got about a 50% average attendance bump from the new arena, with year-to-year averages varying according to how much the team was winning. It should be noted that CSU had winning records in 9 of 13 years in the Woodling and only 8 of 22 in the Wolstein. That suggests that the Wolstein has helped increase CSU attendance even more than winning. Very interesting.

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According to the CSU data, they averaged a little over 2k fans per game over 13 years in the Woodling Arena, and a little over 3k fans per game over 22 years in the Wolstein Arena. So they got about a 50% average attendance bump from the new arena, with year-to-year averages varying according to how much the team was winning. It should be noted that CSU had winning records in 9 of 13 years in the Woodling and only 8 of 22 in the Wolstein. That suggests that the Wolstein has helped increase CSU attendance even more than winning. Very interesting.

No correlation between wins and average attendance according to the data. You can however look at the shifts and trends in ave attendance and draw your own conclusions. I'll put some data together for other colleges (major, mid-major, and other sports).

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If you build it, they will come.

That's what we told people with the new football stadium, so we can't use that line again.

I think most of the Akron fans on this site are still living in some sort of fantasy land. My main point is still this - the University has done as much as they can possibly do given the size of the athletic program, so now it's on the fans to step up more than they already have.

Is everyone here a Z-Fund member? Does everyone attend games on a regular basis, including smaller sports like volleyball and women's basketball? Heck I could probably toss soccer in there. Is everyone trying to get friends out to these games with them? I'm sure a few can say yes. Many? I doubt it.

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That's what we told people with the new football stadium, so we can't use that line again.

It rang true for the soccer stadium just fine. Perfect example of what a suitable facility AND a winning team can do.

I think most of the Akron fans on this site are still living in some sort of fantasy land. My main point is still this - the University has done as much as they can possibly do given the size of the athletic program, so now it's on the fans to step up more than they already have.

Is everyone here a Z-Fund member? Does everyone attend games on a regular basis, including smaller sports like volleyball and women's basketball? Heck I could probably toss soccer in there. Is everyone trying to get friends out to these games with them? I'm sure a few can say yes. Many? I doubt it.

I don't invite friends to come sit in the JAR because I don't want them to get that impression of my alma mater. I take them to real Division I facilities on campus. Not the JAR. Not the ball diamond.

Football has a good venue. Soccer has a good venue. Softball has a good venue. When is it mens basketball and wonems basketball's turn?

Look I'll do you one better, Buckeye fanboy. If they ask for benefactors for a new arena, I will put my own money on it. And I know others who will as well. And when we help build it, we will throw you off the bandwagon if you get anywhere near it. ;)

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According to the CSU data, they averaged a little over 2k fans per game over 13 years in the Woodling Arena, and a little over 3k fans per game over 22 years in the Wolstein Arena. So they got about a 50% average attendance bump from the new arena, with year-to-year averages varying according to how much the team was winning. It should be noted that CSU had winning records in 9 of 13 years in the Woodling and only 8 of 22 in the Wolstein. That suggests that the Wolstein has helped increase CSU attendance even more than winning. Very interesting.

What is the ratio of (attendance : empty seats) in each arena? I guess my question is, did CSU pay for 5,000 empty seats?

Enjoy the JAR everyone.

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It rang true for the soccer stadium just fine. Perfect example of what a suitable facility AND a winning team can do.

I don't invite friends to come sit in the JAR because I don't want them to get that impression of my alma mater. I take them to real Division I facilities on campus. Not the JAR. Not the ball diamond.

Football has a good venue. Soccer has a good venue. Softball has a good venue. When is it mens basketball and wonems basketball's turn?

Look I'll do you one better, Buckeye fanboy. If they ask for benefactors for a new arena, I will put my own money on it. And I know others who will as well. And when we help build it, we will throw you off the bandwagon if you get anywhere near it. ;)

What are you helping to build? I already contribute plus I'm dragging people to the JAR, and no one complains about it. One friend is in his 70's. His statement was yeah, the bleachers suck, but it's two hours, get over it. Toughen up.

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One friend is in his 70's. His statement was yeah, the bleachers suck, but it's two hours, get over it. Toughen up.
You think your friend has it tough?...

The new arena might be a shoebox in the middle of the road!

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I can't believe we wasted so much money on the Student Union and the Rec. And we provide FREE Wifi. Kids these days are so spoiled.

Back in the 1930's when I went to college there, we didn't need all that shit. We walked 8 miles a day, uphill both ways. :lol:

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Interesting study conducted by an alumni/baseball fan. Me. Even considering the early season games played in bad weather at the Canal Park (because Lee Jackson was unplayable), attendance at Canal Park was 17% higher at the off-campus site. The three best attended games were at CP. Same team. Same season. Same record. The numbers are skewered a bit because of the distance CP is from campus. Imagine if CP were on campus how much the needle would move.

We had 60,505 fans at mens basketball games last year. Using that figure, a modern arena downtown would increase that by 10,286.

Factor in the increase by being on campus, and you have another nice increase IMO. Comparing the popularity of college basketball to college baseball in this region, and IMO the increase could be a multiple of that figure.

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I can't believe we wasted so much money on the Student Union and the Rec. And we provide FREE Wifi. Kids these days are so spoiled.

Back in the 1930's when I went to college there, we didn't need all that shit. We walked 8 miles a day, uphill both ways. :lol:

You had legs!! We had none.

We had to crawl uphill 12 miles through broken glass, then roll 12 miles downhill through pools of Iodine just to get to the place where you started your stroll through the park.

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What is the ratio of (attendance : empty seats) in each arena? I guess my question is, did CSU pay for 5,000 empty seats? ...

The Wolstein is grossly overbuilt for what CSU really needed. The Woodling Gym seated just over 3k and averaged just over 2k per game. The Wolstein seats over 13k, and the average game attendance since it was opened is just over 3k, so typically more than 10k empty seats. That has no bearing on the fact that a new facility resulted in a sustainable 50% attendance increase despite teams with fewer winning seasons. The Zips do not need a huge arena, just a moderately larger one than the JAR. A modern arena with great sight lines, comfortable seating and quality amenities will result in more attendance. The hard part is determining exactly how much more attendance in order not to overpay for too many seats that go empty.

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No correlation between wins and average attendance according to the data. You can however look at the shifts and trends in ave attendance and draw your own conclusions. I'll put some data together for other colleges (major, mid-major, and other sports).

I think you have to look at the attendance in multiyear trends rather than as individual seasons. For example, when CSU goes from having a losing record to a winning record, there's a lag in attendance going up. When attendance does start going up, it carries over even into the next season when they might have a losing record. The same is true when they transition from winning seasons to losing seasons. I think this is based on paid attendance including season ticketholders, whether they show up or not. So after winning seasons, season ticket sales tend to go up for the next season even if the next season turns out to be a losing season. It defies everything I know about sports to think that winning does not positively impact attendance and losing does not negatively impact attendance. Of course there are other factors that also need to be considered when comparing annual attendance, such as state of the economy from year to year, etc.

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I think you have to look at the attendance in multiyear trends rather than as individual seasons. For example, when CSU goes from having a losing record to a winning record, there's a lag in attendance going up. When attendance does start going up, it carries over even into the next season when they might have a losing record. The same is true when they transition from winning seasons to losing seasons. I think this is based on paid attendance including season ticketholders, whether they show up or not. So after winning seasons, season ticket sales tend to go up for the next season even if the next season turns out to be a losing season. It defies everything I know about sports to think that winning does not positively impact attendance and losing does not negatively impact attendance. Of course there are other factors that also need to be considered when comparing annual attendance, such as state of the economy from year to year, etc.

You can interpret whatever trends and attempt to apply logic to them. The data is there for all to see but arguments and conjecture are fluid enough to live on their own.

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This topic seems to reappear every couple months, and it always seems elicit a large number of comments and a good deal of passion.

IMHO, the arena is one piece to a bigger puzzle, but it is a piece. A new arena will not directly result in greater fan support and general interest (see Infocision), but it probably is a prerequisite.

The problem is a larger one, involving image, perception, value, history, and dozens of other factors, all of which prevent the development of passion.

One of the largest involves the media. When the largest sports talker in NE Ohio is an affiliate of Columbus State, you're fighting an uphill battle. When the largest radio stations in Wooster, Canton and Akron are as well, uphill becomes nigh unto vertical. The OSU is "big time," while all other college options are not. If I'm a basketball fan but not an alum, I don't view any of the MAC schools as anything more than glorified D-II, even though that's completely incorrect.

Thus, the arena is just a piece, but all the pieces form a bigger picture on which perceptions are based. (The biggest of those pieces is the conference and the miserable state to which it has sunk, IMO.)

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This topic seems to reappear every couple months, and it always seems elicit a large number of comments and a good deal of passion.

IMHO, the arena is one piece to a bigger puzzle, but it is a piece. A new arena will not directly result in greater fan support and general interest (see Infocision), but it probably is a prerequisite.

The problem is a larger one, involving image, perception, value, history, and dozens of other factors, all of which prevent the development of passion.

One of the largest involves the media. When the largest sports talker in NE Ohio is an affiliate of Columbus State, you're fighting an uphill battle. When the largest radio stations in Wooster, Canton and Akron are as well, uphill becomes nigh unto vertical. The OSU is "big time," while all other college options are not. If I'm a basketball fan but not an alum, I don't view any of the MAC schools as anything more than glorified D-II, even though that's completely incorrect.

Thus, the arena is just a piece, but all the pieces form a bigger picture on which perceptions are based. (The biggest of those pieces is the conference and the miserable state to which it has sunk, IMO.)

Well said. If nothing else, a brand new, state of the art arena gives coach Dambrot a lot more help recruiting and room for the program to actually grow. The level of talent he's been able to recruit in the past few years has certainly been excellent, but with a legitimate gym to play in, I'm sure he would be able to land some of the level of players that he might have missed out on in the past because a new arena provides tangible proof to a recruit that the school is very dedicated to winning basketball games and to the pursuits of the players. In this case the arena would be part of an equation that would go something like: Great Coach + Program Stability + Winning Tradition + Elite Facilities = Elite level recruits. And when elite level athletes are paired with a great coach, unparalleled heights can be reached, at which point promoting basketball games in order to sell tickets would be an afterthought.

Certainly it's not quite that simple. But if basketball had the kind of facilities that football now has, I can only imagine where the basketball program could be right now.

Also, in response to your comments regarding the media and the school in columbus, I think the Ohio/Akron rivalry has actually started to gain some traction in this state. People (the media included) have started to notice what's been going on with these two programs. Without Zeke and D.J., who knows what will happen, but the last four years could not have been much better in garnering interest for this in state rivalry with the excellent level at which both of these heated rivals have been performing.

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Also, in response to your comments regarding the media and the school in columbus, I think the Ohio/Akron rivalry has actually started to gain some traction in this state. People (the media included) have started to notice what's been going on with these two programs. Without Zeke and D.J., who knows what will happen, but the last four years could not have been much better in garnering interest for this in state rivalry with the excellent level at which both of these heated rivals have been performing.

I don't see that as as big a problem as some.

The Force was completely ignored by the media, they HATED soccer and laughed at indoorsoccer. Yet they drew 18,000+ for big games. They were the only profitable team in the sport. Probably still are. The Aeros are never on radio and TV sports, but at one time ranked 5th in all of minor league baseball and broke AA records.

The best example is right across from the Student Union, alongside the baseball diamond. If you want a seat, you better go early. Or wear pants that don't grass stain. ;)

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