College Football Attendance Trending Down

Found this article on the declining attendance number across College Football and thought I would share. A VT administrator is interviewed for it.

Of note:

FBS college football attendance was down again -- for the seventh time in the last eight seasons -- to its lowest average mark in 22 years.

Among that top 30, Virginia Tech had the fifth-largest decline, 3,700 fans per game in the 66,233-seat Lane Stadium, behind the likes of USC, Ohio State, South Carolina and Florida.

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The fact that attendance across college football is decreasing can definitely be attributed to how every game can be watched on the internet or high definition television these days. With that being said, I think Tech's trends are more attributed to the performance of team. From 1998 to 2011, we sold out every game. Then, from 2012-2015 when we went 29-23, the attendance dropped off. Then it went back up again in 2016 and 2017 when we won 10 and 9 games respectively, then dropped again last season when we went 6-7.

Marshall University student.
Virginia Tech fanatic.

The decline is noticeable across all sports and it looks like the NCAA Football is no exception. I have always thought it was mostly due to the availability of the games on TV and the increased quality of the broadcast. I think some of it has to do with a bit of shifting demographics and a population that can stay in contact with friends and family without coming together around events such as football games.

Come to Blacksburg and see what the Hokie Pokie is really all about

Sell beer....

Beer will make more money, but I'm not sure it will affect attendance.

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Using myself as an example (which isn't the best practice when making generalizations but its the internet!), I believe this to be true. Lane selling beer wouldn't be the thing that makes me decide to make the drive to see some game against W&M if I had already decided I wasn't going. What it would do is if I went, it'd keep me from chugging 3 extra beers before I leave the tailgate knowing I can buy a brew once I get inside the stadium

I could see this being a factor for someone who lives near Blacksburg, but I can't imagine that someone coming from Richmond or DC is thinking to themselves "you know, I wasn't going to travel 3-5 hours and spend $500 on food and lodging, but, now that they sell beer at Lane, I've changed my mind!"

Either way - there should be statistics on this. There's about 50 schools that sell beer - I''m curious to see if their attendance is better than the norm (again, I doubt it, but I'm often wrong about things).

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This is my issue and what's driving (ha!) me towards not being too excited about renewing my season tickets. Driving from PA and dropping $500 on traveling for two nights (not including the ticket costs) is alright when we're playing Clemson/ND but gets old real quick when we're playing the kind of teams we are playing this year.

If you're reading the above post and thinking, "is this guy serious?!?," you can safely assume I'm not.

If the ability to spend $30 on beer after spend $500 on travel, lodging, tickets is what changes your mind, you might have a problem.

Play better opponents, it will not only draw the best recruits, it will draw the fans back. Recruits want to play against the best if they are in fact hi level recruits. And i, and many of my hokie friends, are not interested on driving to blacksburg to see a division 2 cupcake game.

You know FBS teams get a say in if they want to come to Tech right? Look around very few teams are willing to do home and home games. You think Whit wants two FCS teams in one year?

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

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I understand the home and home,but we have done the neutral site thing many times, and with quality opponents. I want to see good football games, win or lose. And I guarantee that receuits are looking at this also. 4 of my friends have backed out of season passes, and they had 4 to 8 tickets each. They have had season tickets for,many years. They all said that it is a burden to try to get rid of the crappy games. I am not trying to argue, I am just giving perspective into our schedule,and the loss of fan base at home games

What marque games were you and your friends going to from '95-'15? I don't see a ton
Texas A&M
As home games.

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Don't @ me. They were decent some years.

Most of those years they were an in conference opponent. Whit has no control over how good or bad our conference opponents are.

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This is true.

I'm wrong a lot but I won't lie.

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You'll never get elected to anything with that attitude.

Right, when they were in the conference then UVA was the "marquee" game.

That was over 15 years ago....

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

yup, but if they are going to debate that WVU shouldn't count because they were a conference opponent then that was also 15 years ago.

Missed the 15 year importance...

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

I'm missing the whole concept of the argument. We're certainly not playing WORSE teams than we played before.

It could be that our expectations are higher, AND we can watch almost all the VT games on TV.

But certainly part of the fix is to schedule better marquee games.

no argument....
15 years...loluva...something something commonwealth cup...
15 years ago loluva was a "marque" game.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

OK, now I get it... lol

As a side note, people still want to attend the UVa game, even when it's held at Lane North. To the point where UVa wants to restrict the tickets... It is funny that that usually turns out to be a pretty good game.

Guess I'll just chalk this up to missed communication.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

My bad. Just didn't make the connection.


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1969 was the last time Bama played in blacksburg.

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Oh I thought the question was in general

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How would neutral site games help attendance for Tech?

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Again I thought this was referring attendance in general

Recruit Prosim

I would say big neutral site games help season ticket sales when they are included as part of the package like in years past.

I missed those years I didn't realize any neutral site games were included in season ticket purschases. Must have happened before I started getting season tickets. That's an interested strategy.

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IIRC the USC 2004, ECU 2008, and 2010 Boise State games were included in the season ticket package

Boise state was an extra purchase. It was not included in the regular season package.

I agree 1000%. As a season ticket holder for the last 20 years of 4 tickets, I always had friends asking for extra tickets. This past season I had extra tickets for every single game except Notre Dame. So it is that simple, if you play better teams and win, the people will come back. The total game experience just to get through the gates usually runs north of $600 for a regular game and north of $1000 for a Notre Dame. And that does not include lodging, gas and way too many cocktails. Quite frankly, I am starting ask if it is worth it?

The only way more teams will be willing to play tougher games is if the 5 major conference champs got automatic births to the playoffs. Than Michigan doesn't mind to play a tough home and home out of conference, winning the BIG would be all that mattered. It would also force ND to join the ACC as they wouldn't lose automatic bid chance. All teams outside of maybe 5 or 6 can't afford any losses and be in the playoffs without considerable help.

Among that top 30, Virginia Tech had the fifth-largest decline, 3,700 fans per game in the 66,233-seat Lane Stadium, behind the likes of USC, Ohio State, South Carolina and Florida.


We're a blue-blood now, FAM!!

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I just sit on my couch and b*tch. - HokieChemE2016

USC, South Carolina, and even Florida aren't living up to their fans expectations either. OSU you could argue the expectation is going undefeated but I really can't explain their downtick. Maybe that other Ohio sports suck less the past few years

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Ohio State actually recently reduced the capacity of their stadium, by adding some additional luxury boxes. If CBS didn't account for that it could explain the inclusion. Having family that have season tickets, I can tell you they have no trouble selling tickets. My uncle bitches about how they keep going up each year, but continues to buy a pair every year.

Some of the decline is probably do to the sport having less popularity. I don't think there is a massive exodus by fans, just that the crazy growth of ten years ago can't be sustained indefinitely.

Also, the ease of online viewing for multiple games makes paying a lot of money to go to a game a harder value-proposition. The switch to HD caused more people to watch at home, but they still sometimes had difficulty in viewing their team.

Now, I can see my team, my secondary team and whoever happens to be in the key match-up all from my house for no extra cost, drive time or struggle with parking/traffic. 1 game with high cost and lots of hassle < many games with virtually no cost and no hassle. And that is just accounting my my ticket. Add in my wife's, kids', etc and the cost starts to add up fast.

They can reduce the hassle a number of ways: shorter games, lower prices, easier parking or add something you can't get at home: better atmosphere, tailgating, unique experiences, marquee matchups, something that people can look back on and say "I was there". You have to provide something I can't get from my TV/phone/computer at a price point that is acceptable.

It isn't all that different from what brick and mortar retailers have had to do. You have to provide some service or benefit that the online alternative isn't going to do better/cheaper.

Make stadium rows deeper. Sell beer. Win more games.

It's not just availability. I truly believe the economic downturn rewired people's spending habits that just so happened to coincide with social media and changing internet habits. College football games right now cost almost as much if not more than NFL games. But consumers also demand quality. Which is why our program, Florida, USC had downturns coincide with onfield performance.

I say bring promotion/relegation to college football. Pair each conference with another lower conference. Win your way to the top and back. Mind you, UVA would be a middling CAA squad but I digress....

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BSME 2009

It would be interesting to know how many NFL fans spend 4+hours driving, hotels, etc fir NFL games each week. I'd bet NFL games are cheaper to most of the attending fans.

I mean, you can watch the game at home. Or on your phone.

I watched a basketball game on my phone in a restaurant, after they couldn't figure out if they could get a game on ESPNU.

If you go to a stadium to watch a game, it's for the stadium/fan experience, not because you have to be there to see the game.

So the key is scheduling teams people would like to see, and of course, winning.

I watched a basketball game on my phone in a restaurant, after they couldn't figure out if they could get a game on ESPNU.

In this year's ACC Conference Tourney, I was traveling on business and stopped at a Buffalo Wild Wings to watch VT vs. FSU. Now, this is Buffalo Wild Wings....a place that has as much "supply" of TV broadcasts as any establishment. In the final few minutes of regulation, their satellite dish started wigging out.....and the VT game was the only broadcast being impacted (which was very odd). Anyway....after I panicked for a minute, I whipped out my iPhone and had the WatchESPN app streaming the game in HD within <45 seconds. I sat there in BWW, surrounded by 50 TVs, watching the end of the VT game on my phone. Haha.

Long way of saying, you are so today has just made it SO easy.

Virginian by Birth, Hokie by Choice

That said, I went to Tallahassee to see VT face FSU in football last year, and it was glorious.

Absolutely -- I'd still prefer to attend the game. If I lived closer, I'd most certainly have season tickets.

Virginian by Birth, Hokie by Choice

I hate tv and commercial timeouts or whatever they are called while I'm at a game. At least at home I'm not sweating, freezing my ass off, switch between other games, can get up to take a leak or grab a drink or some food while I wait. I love going to games in person, went to 5 this past season, but I complain about the tv timeouts every single time.

I don't go to any of the games in person any more. It's too much time and money that could be allocated elsewhere. Someone mentioned above that the financial crisis rewired how people spend money. I agree because it had that effect on me. Combine that with the quality of the games on TV and internet and the trend is only going to continue.

I believe it. tv's are better, tickets are more expensive, and in the case of our team it has rapidly declined the last 5 or so years and the caliber of home opponents has been less than stellar.

I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction:
“I served in the United States Navy"


I expect this to continue in the near and far future. At your own home, seats/couches are bigger and comfier, food and drinks are cheaper and quicker to get, no line for bathrooms, and TV's are clearer and bigger.

Unless its a big time opponent, these middle tier games will continue to decline in attendance IMO.

Bleeding burnt orange and chicago maroon

Agree with all that's been said here. It wasn't that long ago (or at least it doesn't seem like that long ago) that I'd up and trek down to the local sports bar, to sit on a stool in a smoky bar, where they'd hook me up with a black and white 13 inch SD TV over in the corner to watch VT vs. Marshall, or whatever. I did this on every Saturday when VT wasn't playing a major conference game shown on ABC or the main ESPN channel.

ESPN's streaming service now brings all the content to our living rooms, in HD/UHD and on larger and larger displays. It's glorious, really.

Virginian by Birth, Hokie by Choice

Not to nitpick here, but our stadium capacity went down to 65,632 a couple of years ago.

Ask me no questions, and I'll tell you no lies

I think the overall downward trend is at least partially attributable to the lack of parity. I know that my interest in college football drops a little more every year when a handful of blue-bloods are gobbling up all of the top recruits. It's fun to root for VT, but as a sport, college football is (in my opinion) in the trash heap as far as competitiveness goes between most schools and the top tier.

If you're reading the above post and thinking, "is this guy serious?!?," you can safely assume I'm not.

Something needs to happen at the league level that requires a tougher schedule uniformly across the sport. Not an easy task but it needs to be a focus instead of just saying "that will never happen".

"with all due respect, and remember I’m sayin’ it with all due respect, that idea ain’t worth a velvet painting of a whale and a dolphin gettin’ it on" - Ricky Bobby

The ACC needs to revamp our home and away rotation, badly.

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Agreed, it's not good to not have a game in Carolina every other year since we are actively trying to build our recruiting presence there. And having GT Miami and UVA all on the road in one year isn't good because those games all have a little something extra from a rivalry perspective that makes them more appealing.

Also with the new ACCN just about ready, the league needs to try and do something creative to get more and better cross-divisional games on a regular basis. It's just absurd to go so long between games with FSU/Clemson/NC State etc in the regular season. More intriguing football games means more enticing matchups for ESPN and the new network and more eyeballs and revenue. I think the current divisional alignment is fairly balanced, but we need our biggest football brands playing more consistently. By deciding to stay at 8 conference games and adding Pitt and Cuse, plus keeping the permanent crossover, it completely kills the conference scheduling.

We played FSU more times as non conference foes than as conference foes as regular season games.

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Agree, the league needs to add a 9th game and our permanent crossover should be LOLUVA. Just like they do for FSU/MIAMI, UNC/NCST. How we got BC is ridiculous.

Unfortunately the 9th game isn't going to happen with Clemson having so much influence now as a football power. They basically quashed that a couple of years ago. Gives them a guaranteed 7th home game every year that they want and keeps their schedule manageable and flexible for a big OOC game, rivalry with USCe every year and Notre Dame basically every other year or so. I do completely agree the conference needs to go to 9, as it eliminates having 2 FCS games for us this year.

Question for someone who may know the ACC tiebreaker rules and all that fun stuff better than I do: what would stop the conference from maintaining divisions for the purpose of the championship game but just not scheduling on a divisional basis. Each team has 3 protected rivals, rotate the other 5-6 annually. Team with the best record overall in each "division" wins it and plays in the ACCCG. Divisions just mean so little anyway, as a conference win/loss counts equally regardless, and divisional records only come into play for tiebreaker situations. There may be some language in the NCAA bylaws preventing this, but their word holds about as much weight as a pebble these days. Challenge it and lawyer up and you're guaranteed to succeed.

The NCAA doesn't care how a conference picks the teams for a championship. See the Big 12. The only rule was that you had to have at least 12 teams, until they started granting waivers. Again, see the Big 12.

I'm pretty sure Tai has gone over it several times, but only doing "half-divisions" would cause a lot of headaches for tiebreaking. And with the ACC Wheel of Destiny, tiebreakers are important.

The league won't add a ninth game, because there are four schools that have an annual OOC rivalry game, and that makes it more difficult for them to schedule OOC. Some years they would be looking at:
9 ACC games, OOC rivalry game, ND, one OOC slot available.
That's the main argument against for GT, Clemson, Louisville, Florida State.

If you're not sure if my comment warrants a "/s", it probably does.

In the grand scheme of things, I don't know if adjusting the cross-divisional games really does much to help the content for ACCN, as eventually, it all adjusts out to a zero sum game. (Short of adding additional conference games.)

If we drop BC as a permanent game, sometimes we'll get FSU, but sometimes we'll get Wake.

If we consider VT/BC a solid middle of the road game, then there are a couple of games that would be better than that (FSU, Clemson), and the rest would be about the same or not as good (depending on the year).

All above being true about the lack of a quality OOC opponent, I will be out there supporting the Hokies in person. I will even be there for the FCS games. It gives us an opportunity to watch the second, third teams and occasionally walkons during actual game time. They come to Tech to support the team knowing they might not ever get any meaningful time. So I cheer for them when they do get to play.

Pretty fun take on things. I don't think any amount of marketing and video can make up for a team that's not winning games, but it's a decent stab at trying to make things more fun (when the team is winning).

If you're reading the above post and thinking, "is this guy serious?!?," you can safely assume I'm not.

Shit's too expensive for the casual fan and when you don't win the casual fans don't want to fork out the money to go. Especially when folks sell their tickets for way above face. I paid like $250 for tickets to the Clemson game in 2017 and was surrounded by clemson fans. I was not in the visitor section. Never doing that again.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Schedule more home and home games against quality opponents. That at least makes purchasing season tickets worthwhile. VT, as an athletic department policy, coupled the football program with donations and therefore wagered sales on program success. That paid off for awhile.

There was almost no outreach to outgoing students at the peak of the football program, therefore ensuring a ton of people that could afford to come down now were priced out of the market right when they were establishing their buying habits after college. They now watch at bars in DC instead of coming down to the Burg again because that's their gameday tradition.

Then football team hit a downturn and Whit raised prices. It made sense to do so to bring the funding rules into the modern age but there was some definite attrition as a result. The athletic fund is surprisingly well stocked given how tight our fans are with their wallets but it isn't surprising to me that attendance is down again.

The attendance will continue to trend down many reasons
** Young people not as interested
** Cost is high and they want to charge for everything Parking ect.
** Baby boomers aging out.
** Time commitment
** Interruptions commercials TV timeouts,Play reviews security ect.
** Competition same schools are winning or competing for titles
** I saw empty seats at Bama and Penn Ohio st this year its changing
** How much do you pay to win see buzz heading to A&M .
** Football liability fewer kids willing to play and changing the game were you can't touch a QB or receiver
** I will use Basketball as the example 4-8 schools get to pick the top 50 players they want and everyone else gets to try to beat them with the left overs with camps video ect the top schools can pick and choose the rest are scrambling to fill some needs and depth .
** We play Duke this week and we have what looks to be a first rounder in Naw . Duke has what is to be the top 2 guys picked and Redick 1st round also . Naw is our first ever or at least for a very long time . Duke has these guys every year .
** Same is true in football and it is taking the fun out of it people not being able to compete
** It has turned out to be about money the best players coordinating to go to schools to play with the other best players
** College sports were to be about a level playing field for competition but it is anything but that . At least the NFL awards the losing teams earlier picks to try and catch them up . The college powers just load up every year .

Coastal 1

Things I am confident are contributing to a decrease in interest/attendance:

  • Availability (of broadcasts) - The availability factor cannot be understated. There's one comment on TKP from a few years ago that really stood out to me. The poster said something to the effect of "If I wanted to see the #1 recruit in the nation (Kevin Jones) play in his first collegiate game, I had to go to the game. No one was broadcasting VT vs. UConn." Can you imagine that in 2019? Not being able to watch the number 1 recruit on TV?
  • Quality (of broadcasts) - HD/4K is nice, and can be better than being in the stadium.
  • Competition (from content providers) - TV shows are better than ever before. Gaming is better than ever before (according to the CEO of Netflix, at least). There's just more things that are nearly as exciting as live sports.
  • Quality of Opponent - No one wants to spend money to see Furman/VT.
  • Quality of Team - Better record = better late season match ups, more things to be excited about.

Things I highly doubt are contributing to a decrease in attendance:

  • Change in consumer spending caused by the great recession - Travel and events are now the new medium of social comparison. You want to 'keep up with the Joneses' in 2019? It's not about having the coolest car or the biggest home, it's about going to Asia, Coachella, the big football game, etc. If I recall, the OSU game at VT sold out. The ND game and Clemson games were close too (someone can look this up and validate for me). If the games are good, people will pay the money to attend.
  • Timeout Length - Length of timeouts/commercial break my contribute to over interest in the support, but I don't think it's a deciding factor for people who are already fans.
  • Lack of Parity - Bluebloods always had a significant advantage. I don't think this impacts a fan's decision to watch the game in person or on TV.

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Yes, timeouts suck the lifeand the momentum out of the game

No one wants to spend money to see Furman/VT.

In '99 the year Tech almost won it all they played UAB, LOLUVA, JMU and a bad Clemson program. What's different about that than current OOC schedules? This idea that Tech had some amazing OOC games every year is revisionist history brought on by the good memories we have of the time.

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Exactly everyone plays the same basic schedule 2 cupcakes a challenge and a medium threat team. Then they play the conference schedule the SEC the Big and the ACC . VT can't play Bama and Wisconsin multible power teams no one does and VT fans are crazy to expect it .

Coastal 1

Rhode Island

If ODU weren't a team we lost to recently, there wouldn't even be an asterisk next to saying this year was all cupcakes. At least Clemson was a decent name to play back in 99. Hopefully we're just in an anomaly.

If you're reading the above post and thinking, "is this guy serious?!?," you can safely assume I'm not.

I think the difference is right now people will pay for those games because of a chance to see something special (ie little shitty VT team knocking off a big dog). Right now, no one (fewer) people care about watching a little shitty VT team beat an even littler and shittier FBS team. In 1999, people came to Tech's crappy OOC match ups because we were a contender and folks wanted a chance to see the team that year, even if against the lesser teams. Again, paying for the chance to see something special.

Not saying I share these opinions entirely, but I definitely understand the difference between investing $500-1000 per weekend to see a good team (either our own or our opponent) vs seeing two mediocre at best teams.

As someone who went to see FSU@WF the year FSU won out, can confirm this is a thing. :D

If you're reading the above post and thinking, "is this guy serious?!?," you can safely assume I'm not.

Definitely clicked the link thinking it was intentional, only for my phone to try to send an email to FSU@WF.

But yeah, it's definitely a thing. Most people I've talked to have said as much. Win, and butts will be in seats. Lose but schedule good quality opponents and butts will be in seats at least for those games. Lose and only schedule crappy teams, then you get discussions like this. It all comes down to winning for consistently good attendance.

That's our state rival and very good program at the time under Welsh and an decent ACC team. That 99 OOC schedule is light years ahead of the 2019 one for example.

Don't we play Notre Dame? Not at home, but that's not a bad OOC opponent.

Tech plays LOLUVA every year, that OOC now in conference game was never changing. So again what marque scheduling happened from '95-'15 that isn't happening for next 5 years? This year is an outlier let's look at next year and beyond. PSU, ND and WVU at home the next three years.

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What's different about that than current OOC schedules?

No difference in schedules; the difference is in consumer demand and competition. This goes back to the bullet about increased competition from other mediums (and to some degree the keeping up with the jones's bullet). There's just more good stuff to spend your time and money on now than ever before. A VT/OSU game still ranks pretty high on that ladder. VT/Furman (especially in a year when there is not a lot of hype around either team) does not.

I don't expect Whit to schedule 3 OOC ranked opponents every year - that's unrealistic, impractical, and probably a bad decision (I'm sure this will happen one year - we'll go 10-2 with two close OOC losses, and everyone will be pissed at Whit for building a schedule that keeps us out of the playoff, but I digress...). However, I do think that generating more buzz around 'boring' match ups by focusing on improving the fan experience. Part of this is opening the team up to the media. Another part is improving the gameday experience (I haven't been to a home game since OSU in 2015, so I'm not sure if much improvement is needed here).

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I believe the low attendance at the Marshall game contributed to this to some extent.

Watching on TV is easy, comfortable, and a lot more economical. The extras (replay and commentary, for example) are great.
However, the experience of attending in person can not be measured in my opinion. Perhaps because I can only get to one game a year, the in-game experience is very special:

    • Seeing the campus again and the changes,
    • Picking up some fan stuff from the Campus Emporium,
    • Meeting people at tailgates and in the stands,
    • Experiencing "Enter Sandman" again (or introducing that experience to some one new),
    • Hearing Skipper roar and screaming out the "Hokie, Hokie, Hi" cheer for the team.

Ut Prosim Ad Dei Gloriam

I think a major factor that is not being mentioned enough is that there are simply too many options now. market saturation is a real problem. I know there is a big thing about parity in the sport so that the little guy can catch a break but if the P5 programs were on their own as an independent top tier division it would make a difference.

Look at Virginia, it used to be Lane and Lane-north. That was it. You were either a winner or a loser drinking Wine Coolers with soda water (Zima-lite) with your 5 friends watching a Spring Festival. Now ODU and Liberty have joined to make it 4 D1 schools in the State. That may not seem like much but when compiled together with all 50 States it really gets to be significant and even bigger when you consider all divisions.

that amount of expansion in an already saturated sports market is insane. D1 is growing at 8% right now.

The market is already fatigued with traditional professional sports as it is not to mention the advent of alternative sports and the X-games generation of sports. Don't get me wrong I love the concept of snowboard half-pipe being a professional sport but it all adds to market fatigue.

So why would a school want football? Because there is still money in it, if not directly, then indirectly by helping to establish the brand to a larger audience. eg. See Beamer, Frank putting VT on the national map. Add to the fact that there are over a 1 million HS kids playing football and roughly 75k spots on existing teams the resource pool is still very much there and as we all know recruits are getting better training than ever before. Yet that is in direct contrast to the decline in sports viewership and attendance.

It's hard to say stop when the positives outweigh the negatives. Unfortunately I think it's going to take a few universities in a mid-major conference going bankrupt before the expansion stops. The question is who is it going to be.

1) It is expensive. Ticket prices have gone up and hotels in Blacksburg are insane. People are paying it, and I don't blame the hotels for charging the prices, but it is really expensive if you want to stay close and enjoy your weekend. Add a two night minimum, and it is a big bill.
2) HD TVs are awesome. They are getting better and cheaper
3) For me, it is an effort to get to Blacksburg from Chesapeake. It is a 5+ hr drive. It wasn't a big deal when I was single or married with no kids. Now I have a 4 year old and a 1 year old. Money goes in other places and there is more on my plate.

I try to go to a game once a year, and that's enough for me.

I think the biggest universal reason for decreased interest in the sport is the decrease in parity and consolidation of power. The sport is predictable. There has to be a 99% chance that at least 1 out of Alabama or Clemson will be in the title game, if not their 4th rematch. Other teams in the playoff will be a spattering of Georgia, Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas, Florida State, or Notre Dame. Nobody will care about the other bowl games as the season's success now completely hinges on making that 4 team playoff for any team worth watching. It is boring and predictable. The most exciting part of the season is hoping 3 SEC teams make the playoff to piss off the other conferences and maybe get another shake up in the post season structure.

Recruit Prosim

I blame the growth of the area. When I went to college it was a small town with nothing to do but football and sex. Now there are tons of stores and other activities like watching basketball (wasnt really an option when I was in school).

Yes not everyone was having sex, the M:F ratio wasn't the ideal 1:2. And it wasnt always easy for a guy like me, my Adonis physique intimidated a lot of women. In addition, my title of King probably scared away some women as in my experience being rich and powerful is a turn off for most women.

Let's see here. Sir, yes we are going to now charge you triple for your parking spot and we are going to pain a gray line 2 feet behind your vehicle where you can't have any chairs or a grill or coolers etc. Cool? Oh, also we are going to charge you PSL's to buy seats in certain areas of the stadium to see Liberty and ODU 15 times each at home. As we make these "improvements" the team is also going to not win a P5 home game for a month and a half and hover around .500 for a few years. Yes, I wonder why attendance is dipping.


The point is that attendance is dipping for all live football, except for the teams where attendance is part of their religion (The Alabamas, Ohio States, and Notre Dames of the world) If we want to get back to the sellout stage, we need to win and to schedule marquee games at home.

The reality is that game attendance is more expensive than it used to be, and most people have other options to see the games via streaming or TV. Going to live games is a lot of fun, though. I still like to go to a game or two a year, in spite of the inconvenience and expense. Because of my location, the games I go to are usually when we play someone within four hours of where I am, or a bowl game in roughly that same area...

Folks talking about marquee games at home . . . here's the games I would consider the marquee home games since 2001:

2018 - Notre Dame (mandated by conference)
2017 - Clemson (conference game)
2015 - Ohio State
2012 - GT or FSU (both conference games)
2011 - Clemson or Miami (both conference games)
2009 - Nebraska
2005 - Miami (conference game)
2003 - Texas A&M and/or Miami (conference game)
2002 - LSU
2001 - Miami (conference game)

Some of those might be stretching a bit, but I tried to think in terms of which game I would go to if I could only go to one.

Several of the other years had neutral site games, so we weren't really scheduling big games at home, unless we lucked out with a conference team being good and coming to Blacksburg (see 2017 with WVU at FedEx and Clemson at home). A few of the more recent even years didn't have a single marquee game, but had the GT/Miami/UVA home schedule.

Either way, there's four non-conference games on that list (not counting ND since we were told to play them).

As far as "marquee" games goes, it doesn't matter than Notre Dame is part of the ACC agreement. It's still a game worth going to.

And some games like West Virginia and Tennessee are premium OOC games, just not a part of the home schedule, so not part of the value that a season ticket holder gets (though they would have gotten priority in terms of seat selection).

As far as "marquee" games goes, it doesn't matter than Notre Dame is part of the ACC agreement. It's still a game worth going to.

True, but I'm looking at the approach where a certain faction believes that one way to improve attendance at Lane is to schedule more marquee games. Having ND on the schedule is not a VT decision, that was mandated by the ACC, just like our division schedule and cross-division rotation. However, it does affect the rest of our scheduling as we are less likely to schedule another big name team in the same years that we play ND.

Over the last 17 years, I only see four games with a marquee opponent that VT scheduled on their own.

And some games like West Virginia and Tennessee are premium OOC games, just not a part of the home schedule, so not part of the value that a season ticket holder gets (though they would have gotten priority in terms of seat selection).

Again true, but it doesn't affect the attendance issue at Lane. Unless you consider that the neutral site games take away a home game. However, we're not getting Tennessee to come to Lane, so whatever home game we might have had in their place would not have been of the same caliber.

Personally, I kind of like the "lesser" schedule that we have this year, because hopefully it means that I'm more likely to attend a game that the team will win, regardless of how many games I try to go to. Last year, I went to the W&M game simply so I could see a Hokie win, as going to the marquee games of the past few years had not provided that experience.

2002 also had a preseason ranked Marshall that I believe was ranked above LSU.

Millennials have no money because we have too much student loan debt. I think this is definitely a contributing factor.