We all know the movie and love the sentiment “If you build it, they will come.” Sadly, it’s not a magical corn field you are trying to fill with legends and a handful of local fans. Instead, you’re dealing with large facilities and fans whose attention is fragmented.
Facilities spending is one of the biggest reasons otherwise profitable or self-sufficient athletic departments run deficits, according to a Washington Post review of athletic departments at 48 schools in the five wealthiest conferences in college sports. Big-time college athletic departments are taking in more money than ever and spending it just as fast, yet we continue to see attendance decline.
Think about this: many of the most iconic college football stadiums have always been about volume rather than quality. Michigan and Tennessee — two schools with stadiums with capacities greater than 100,000 — counted on fans wanting to be a part of the general atmosphere rather than wanting Wi-Fi or the ability to post on social networks.
While the old saying “if you build it they will come” may not be true in this case, another classic is true: “where there’s a will there’s a way.”
Here are a couple of tips to consider as you look for ways to improve your game experience for fans.
• Simple improvements such as tidying up the exterior look of a stadium with new graphics, updating concessions stands and connecting concourses can make a huge impact on the overall fan experience that exists within a stadium.
• Focus on technology. Smarter, better, and more connected stadiums have the potential to provide a game day experience tailored for the 21st century fan who don’t want to just have an experience, but also want to share it on social media.
While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to the collegiate athletics attendance problem, there is an approach that can help any program overcome their challenges. It’s called the Sports180 process and it’s offered exclusively by Old Hat. Our proven, research-based approach helps you clarify objectives, analyze your playing field, and develop a winning strategy by getting to the heart of your program’s unique position.
Contact us directly at 405.310.2133 or by email to learn more or to request a demo of our Sports180 process.