A recent article on ESPN.com explored the issue of declining student attendance at college football games. The University of Michigan weighed heavily in the conversation.
Here are some quick stats about the past season:
- 26 percent of students that had tickets didn't show up for an average home game (that number has risen for three years now).
- Student season ticket sales dropped 10 percent this year.
- A $7.50 fee was added this year to support student programs.
- Reserved seating for seniors was taken away.
U-M still drew the most college football fans of any school for the 16th time. U administrators have taken several steps to improve student attendance, such as the HAIL Student Athletics Loyality Program, a smartphone app that gives users rewards for attending events. For football, users can only receive full points if they stay the entire length of the game.
At the end of the season, Athletics sent students a survey asking what could improve their experience. The resuls of that survey are yet to be seen.
Bethany Wilson, a senior at UM-Flint, brought up a common pain point when asked about her football-going experience.
"I think there should be more exciting programming going on before the game. I went in about 45 minutes before each week and it was so boring having to sit and wait for kick off."
Taylor Moreau, a UM-Flint senior, has only missed three games the past two seasons. We asked her what it was like in the student section.
"The student section didn't look as full this year as it did last year with assigned seats. It was kind of disappointing to see the aerial views of the stadium before the game or even after kick off. As far as how full it seemed while you were in the student section, it seemed much more full."
What are your thoughts on the future of student attendance at the Big House?