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