What about the Game?

Attendance Matters

The John Merritt Classic had it lowest attendance ever this past weekend at 15,000. I know there are a list of reasons that people stayed home:  the weather wasn’t the best, the Marching 100 was suspended, and all our big money games are in September.

While I do support a brand spanking new Hale Stadium with a hotel, conference center, and a museum, I think there is also misinformation about the LP field payment situation as well. We aren’t getting cheated. We are flat out not supporting our school.

According to Dwight Lewis in an article that was featured earlier this year in the Tennessean: “TSU pays $130,000 a year to rent 68,000-seat LP Field. It also pays for regular game-day expenses — ushers, cleaning and security. In return, TSU keeps all proceeds from parking, tickets, concessions and merchandise sales.”

I would also add in that I don’t think a brand new Hale stadium will fix our attendance woes. Of course, we will see a good spike for this year because we are playing back in the Hole, but the newness factor will were off.

First and foremost, we only play four home games a year in Nashville, creating a situation where fans are accostomed to travelling to see our team versus coming home. Secondly, We also have of habit a labeling those home games as a classic. Lastly , people are bombarded with the events surrounding the game. The parties, tailgating, and the halftime band performance take precedent over attending the game. I have seen more people post their party schedules than folks saying that they will attend the game!

Our athletics program needs to do rebrand our game day experiences.

Story Continued Next Week

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5 thoughts on “What about the Game?

  1. I disagree. I marched in the band from 77 to 80 and it has allwasy been that way since I can remember. The event is the football game foremost. Second if we played HBCU schools instead of being in the OVC then thing’s will turnaround dramaticlly. Speaking for self we are a black college and we should be true to who we are. If not then who are we? I thank God for the games coming back to THE HOLE. I can remember ABC WIde World Of Sports coming to the Hole and doing games live. I think we sold out when we went to LP field or whatever the name is un til the sponsor now sell oot or get bought out and chnage the name to another. If we keep our money at home instead of taking it other places then we would not be having this conversation. 68,000 fans attending a TSU game is not impossible but it has to be a game that will attract that many fans. That’s where the events surrounding the game come into effect. There were Thanksgiving day games back in the day. HMMMM. There are enough majoy black schools to attract this number. I can think of several schools of the top of my head. It’s a no brainer for me why not for those in authority? POLITICS. You do the math. I’m just glad I went to TSU singing glory hallelujah. Long live the Hole, Thank God the games are back on campus where they belong, emlarge our territory, it start’s at home not the Titans home but our home the students, and community.

  2. I agree with some but not all of your comments. First I’m going to assume from your comments that you are young and don’t have benefit of the past glory days of Tsu and black college football in general. Then are certain things that draw crowds into hbcu games universally. That’s the band pregane shows and halftime shows. The football team when they are dominating, and overall atmosphere. In that order. Lp field would have had overflow issues if the band had come just like vandy did in 96-97. The hole usage is about 40 yrs behind. My point is due to changes and turmoil mostly grime outside factors like the stipulation of settlement and poor financial support for programs that draw the crowds ie football and band. The school has suffered many years of core breakdown in image that fosters breakdown in student spirit which turns into negative views and lack of support from them when they becom alumni. It starts with campus activities. That create that community feel within I reach out to the community as a whole. With the advancements in facilities that Tsu has seen some o those very changes has had a detrimental affect on the community and family feel of the campus environment. The new apts and the decision for them to be placed essentially off campus proper removes the upper classmen from the lower classmen. Ye Internet and cable tends to leave student in their rooms, and then we lost the hole and on campus games. So no the hole is not the complete answer, when you factor in the times and advances in technology and decisions that were made to isolate the campus from itself and the community. But small steps in the right direction will help create the atmosphere that has long been missing from John Merritt blvd. I beg of you to take a poll of the actual students that attend the games downtown. It may be low, but it was never low in the hole when thy could walk to the games.
    Another issue is marketing to the schools heritage, we have been stunted by joining the ovc

    • The Ovc is not our market. If we played a season of hbcu’s every year for the last 20 plus years, like jstate, su, and other hbcu’s have done especially during the years when almost every hbcu game was televised on bet. We would have never lost credibility. But that was a mandate to appease the powers that be a ye state level during the stipulation of settlement litigation. It’s over now so we need our market back because most homepage will never be well attended hole or no hole as long as the competition brings no band, or fans that care about playing us. We need our market back. We need the hole for the home atmosphere and esprit de corp of the student body and community at large. We will still need lp field for large games once we build the competition and following back. It’s a systematic process, that takes time to build. The hole is a huge part of the equation. Noone mentions how big of a isore it was in the middle of a newly remodeled campus. With the future planned renovations and right financial support we will see a big change on campus and image as a whole. Not lets get out of the Ovc…..

      • Winning cures all. I can agree the the OVC isn’t our football market. Most HBCU’s don’t have great home game attendance. They only travel to classics so joining a HBCU conference or just HBCUs isn’t necessarily the solution either

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