Leading from Behind: Does tailgating hurt TSU athletics?

Here is a quote from the Memphis Commercial Appeal concerning the Southern Heritage Classic. Based of the quote, are these classic a factor in diminishing our attendance?

Irwin said the study estimated 70,000 people attend Classic events, which range from Thursday night’s concert by Charlie Wilson and Fantasia at Landers Center to the Classic R&B Concert at Harrah’s Tunica Friday night. Surprisingly, the study found 10 percent more people attend tailgates than the game itself.

“I’m stunned every year at the number of people who come to the tailgate and aren’t even planning on going to the game,” Irwin said. “People plan their calendars around this event.”

That’s certainly the case for Hervey, 60, and her brothers. They’re University of Memphis fans, but they joined the tailgate 12 years ago because so many of their friends have ties to the universities in Nashville and Jackson, Miss. After camping out under a tent the first year, they added the creature comforts of a Winnebago.

“It’s not so much celebrating the teams,” Hervey said. “It’s celebrating family and friends.”

In 2012, TSU was ranked 10th in FCS attendance (2nd in HBCU) with the average of

16, 586. Our concern is that our tailgating culture takes away the attention from our football team and the band.

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