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SLU Attendance Discussion


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[Steve Edit: There was a really good discussion about attendance in another topic, so I split it into its own topic]

 

Found this pretty interesting. Seems we averaged 4,991 per last year.

- If this number isn't 125k or better that'll be extremely disappointing or something bad happened. 

 

 

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20 minutes ago, wgstl said:

Found this pretty interesting. Seems we averaged 4,991 per last year.

- If this number isn't 125k or better that'll be extremely disappointing or something bad happened. 

 

 

We averaged 5,517.  That number should be a wake up call for the athletic department that they need to do something different to get people in the building. It wasn't just the result of COVID.  There has been a steady long term decline in the attendance numbers for a couple decades now.  

That was are lowest average attendance number since 1985-86.  36 seasons ago.  The 85-86 season was the first winning season the Billikens had in 13 seasons.  

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Just now, brianstl said:

We averaged 5,517.  That number should be a wake up call for the athletic department that they need to do something different to get people in the building. It wasn't just the result of COVID.  There has been a steady long term decline in the attendance numbers for a couple decades now.  

That was are lowest average attendance number since 1985-86.  36 seasons ago.  The 85-86 season was the first winning season the Billikens had in 13 seasons.  

How do you measure what percent of the decline is attributable to COVID?

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6 minutes ago, 3star_recruit said:

How do you measure what percent of the decline is attributable to COVID?

It’s not truly quantifiable but it undoubtedly had an impact. I think this year will be a true litmus test. We finally have a team that’s getting national attention in a year where fans can attend, there’s no vaccine requirement, and COVID is not getting the same attention as it was a year ago. 

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16 minutes ago, NoCoBillsFan said:

It’s not truly quantifiable but it undoubtedly had an impact. I think this year will be a true litmus test. We finally have a team that’s getting national attention in a year where fans can attend, there’s no vaccine requirement, and COVID is not getting the same attention as it was a year ago. 

Some fans posted that they would stay away because of the mask mandate, vaccine or proof of a negative test to get in.  I read some posts that SLU was not strict enough and stayed away.

Hopefully all fans that did not attend because of COVID will come back and enjoy watching this team live and be rewarded with a special season.

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2 minutes ago, 3star_recruit said:

How do you measure what percent of the decline is attributable to COVID?

You can plot a graph yourself, if you want to.  It would show you a 24 year almost uninterrupted persistent decline in average attendance since the Billikens second best attendance season in 1997-98.  We have had a total decline of 69% in average attendance since the peak average attendance year of 1995.  Over the last four seasons without capacity restrictions, SLU has average 6,059 a game.  Those four seasons include the two lowest average attendance seasons since the 1985-86 season.  That is a two decade plus pattern of failing to retain your fanbase and failing to attract new people to your fan base.

Did COVID have some impact on attendance last season?  Sure, at the margins.  Just look at the Blues that suffered a 2.1% decline in attendance from pre COVID numbers.  Let's be generous to the Billikens and say attendance would have been 4% higher without COVID.  That would add 220 people to last seasons attendance figures.  So last season would have been the second worst average attendance in the last 36 seasons instead of the worst with 2016-17 becoming the worst.

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46 minutes ago, brianstl said:

We averaged 5,517.  That number should be a wake up call for the athletic department that they need to do something different to get people in the building. It wasn't just the result of COVID.  There has been a steady long term decline in the attendance numbers for a couple decades now.  

That was are lowest average attendance number since 1985-86.  36 seasons ago.  The 85-86 season was the first winning season the Billikens had in 13 seasons.  

1. SLU should absolutely have better attendance than 5,500ish per game.  Even given the caveats I'm listing below, this is number is too low.  AD needs to figure out how to get butts into seats.

2. COVID absolutely had an impact.  I'd argue more than 4%.  Apples / oranges comparing SLU to the Blues.

3. Long / steady decline has been affecting all of college basketball for the last 25 or so years.  The problem isn't specific to SLU.  

4. If you look year to year while at Chaifetz arena, SLU attendance peaked the final year under Majerus & Crews' 1st two seasons.  It then tanked hard (thanks Crews) & was building back up until COVID.  Lessons are - winning is the best was to boost attendance (I'd argue AD can't rely on that alone though) and it was trending positive until COVID.

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5 minutes ago, brianstl said:

You can plot a graph yourself, if you want to.  It would show you a 24 year almost uninterrupted persistent decline in average attendance since the Billikens second best attendance season in 1997-98.  We have had a total decline of 69% in average attendance since the peak average attendance year of 1995.  Over the last four seasons without capacity restrictions, SLU has average 6,059 a game.  Those four seasons include the two lowest average attendance seasons since the 1985-86 season.  That is a two decade plus pattern of failing to retain your fanbase and failing to attract new people to your fan base.

Did COVID have some impact on attendance last season?  Sure, at the margins.  Just look at the Blues that suffered a 2.1% decline in attendance from pre COVID numbers.  Let's be generous to the Billikens and say attendance would have been 4% higher without COVID.  That would add 220 people to last seasons attendance figures.  So last season would have been the second worst average attendance in the last 36 seasons instead of the worst with 2016-17 becoming the worst.

So how do you explain the attendance figures of 6,890 and 6,880 per game the previous two years?  Those attendance figures are a lot higher than 4%.

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For years I spent 2 months in FL after 1/1 & gave away my paper tickets - I couldn’t do that last year - my “old” crowd isn’t tech literate nor am I to a great degree.  This year I’m only going for 1 month & I’ll let my friend, who is getting the tickets her name, dispense them.  I never charge for them. 😃

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2 minutes ago, Major Majerus said:

For years I spent 2 months in FL after 1/1 & gave away my paper tickets - I couldn’t do that last year - my “old” crowd isn’t tech literate nor am I to a great degree.  This year I’m only going for 1 month & I’ll let my friend, who is getting the tickets her name, dispense them.  I never charge for them. 😃

the ticket thing seems to be getting a lot easier concerts, cards, blues etc. transferring on phone etc. wouldn't surprise me @ all if SLU way behind in that area but they may be dragged n2 the future by march of technology. I bet MBM ticket exchange will be booming :) 

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8 minutes ago, 3star_recruit said:

So how do you explain the attendance figures of 6,890 and 6,880 per game the previous two years?  Those attendance figures are a lot higher than 4%.

Those high numbers are lower than the average numbers under Brad.  This isn’t a Travis issue.  Travis has prevented the cratering from being worse than it is. This is multi decade failure now on the part of multiple administrations at SLU to properly value and market it’s athletics programs.

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while i have always been successful with this tech tickets acceptance and transfer when need be, i wont lie and say it was easy with no stress.   i like to think i am at least average techwise, so i cant imagine how some of the fans wont deal with it.   i am sure it is a minor number, but it is another aspect of falling attendance.   

so take:

1. the chinese flue virus effect both too strict and not strict enough. 

2. technology "advances"

3. declining conference presense that doesnt interest the non season ticket holder.  i bet our walk up is horrible.  cant deny as to compared to the old conference usa back in the early 90's the allure is a fraction of then.

4. going along with 3 above, maybe it would be in our best interests to lower the cost of the upper deck and end zone tickets to attract more walk ups?  

it doesnt surprise me that attendance is falling off.    

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1 minute ago, billiken_roy said:

while i have always been successful with this tech tickets acceptance and transfer when need be, i wont lie and say it was easy with no stress.   i like to think i am at least average techwise, so i cant imagine how some of the fans wont deal with it.   i am sure it is a minor number, but it is another aspect of falling attendance. 

I am part of a very tech-literate generation and I find mobile-only ticketing to be a major hassle and poor consumer experience. It doesn't help that the ticketing runs through Ticketmaster, which is an absurdly bad platform. 

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28 minutes ago, RUBillsFan said:

2. COVID absolutely had an impact.  I'd argue more than 4%.  Apples / oranges comparing SLU to the Blues.

Much older crowd going to SLU games than Blues games. And a different vibe altogether, I’d imagine the Blues fan base would be a lot less worried about COVID.

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11 minutes ago, brianstl said:

Those high numbers are lower than the average numbers under Brad.  This isn’t a Travis issue.  Travis has prevented the cratering from being worse than it is. This is multi decade failure now on the part of multiple administrations at SLU to properly value and market it’s athletics programs.

Thanks for the information but that doesn't really address my question, which is how did you arrive at 4% as the COVID impact?  Attendance was about 25% higher before COVID.

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10 minutes ago, brianstl said:

Those high numbers are lower than the average numbers under Brad.  This isn’t a Travis issue.  Travis has prevented the cratering from being worse than it is. This is multi decade failure now on the part of multiple administrations at SLU to properly value and market it’s athletics programs.

Big time failure that I haven't seen discussed much on the board is that SLU majorly screwed up the price point when they first opened Chaifetz.  There were I'm assuming tons of casual fans used to walking up and not paying much to see games at Kiel/Saavis/Scottrade (now Enterprise) who balked at the lowest level prices which I believe was $15 or $20 to get into Chaifetz & sit on the ends.  I don't think average ticket prices have changed at all in the 14 years since Chaifetz opened which is kind of crazy when you think about inflation.  If anything they may have gone down.  They're a great value in today's dollars, but were horribly overpriced 14 years ago.  Many of those fans who thought it was overpriced 14 years ago have likely not come back.

Better would have been to go lower on the prices.  Consistently sell out Chaifetz / have a great atmosphere & then slowly raise prices.

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34 minutes ago, CBFan said:

Some fans posted that they would stay away because of the mask mandate, vaccine or proof of a negative test to get in.  I read some posts that SLU was not strict enough and stayed away.

Hopefully all fans that did not attend because of COVID will come back and enjoy watching this team live and be rewarded with a special season.

You are correct in this post. The country is divided along many lines of belief and thought at this time. What is way too much for some people is not enough for others. Trying to keep a middle of the road attendance policy results in criticism from both sides.

I have no idea how the Chaifetz is doing with attendance at their non sports events, I assume the attendance policy for these events is the same as it is for basketball.

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19 minutes ago, billiken_roy said:

while i have always been successful with this tech tickets acceptance and transfer when need be, i wont lie and say it was easy with no stress.   i like to think i am at least average techwise, so i cant imagine how some of the fans wont deal with it.   i am sure it is a minor number, but it is another aspect of falling attendance.   

so take:

1. the chinese flue virus effect both too strict and not strict enough. 

2. technology "advances"

3. declining conference presense that doesnt interest the non season ticket holder.  i bet our walk up is horrible.  cant deny as to compared to the old conference usa back in the early 90's the allure is a fraction of then.

4. going along with 3 above, maybe it would be in our best interests to lower the cost of the upper deck and end zone tickets to attract more walk ups?  

it doesnt surprise me that attendance is falling off.    

i would add that every game is televised, i live a good distance away and a weekday game gets me home in the wee hours, so i watch the tv and dont attend no matter how attractive the opponent

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41 minutes ago, Major Majerus said:

For years I spent 2 months in FL after 1/1 & gave away my paper tickets - I couldn’t do that last year - my “old” crowd isn’t tech literate nor am I to a great degree.  This year I’m only going for 1 month & I’ll let my friend, who is getting the tickets her name, dispense them.  I never charge for them. 😃

I think if you called the ticket office they could produce a paper ticket for you. 

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50 minutes ago, RUBillsFan said:

1. SLU should absolutely have better attendance than 5,500ish per game.  Even given the caveats I'm listing below, this is number is too low.  AD needs to figure out how to get butts into seats.

2. COVID absolutely had an impact.  I'd argue more than 4%.  Apples / oranges comparing SLU to the Blues.

3. Long / steady decline has been affecting all of college basketball for the last 25 or so years.  The problem isn't specific to SLU.  

4. If you look year to year while at Chaifetz arena, SLU attendance peaked the final year under Majerus & Crews' 1st two seasons.  It then tanked hard (thanks Crews) & was building back up until COVID.  Lessons are - winning is the best was to boost attendance (I'd argue AD can't rely on that alone though) and it was trending positive until COVID.

This is a key point that is often lost in these discussions. There are way more games on tv now and a lot more other things competing for the entertainment dollar. A better measure is how is SLU comparing against our peers - similar programs.

There are always things that can be tweaked to try to drive attendance, but to sustain it will require sustained success on the court. Multiple tourney bids, plus a couple of deep runs. When we play big games, the fans usually show up - Butler, VCU games back in the day and always Dayton. The key is to have a good team that is playing important games. If we crack the Top 25 this year and stay there for a long time, the crowd will respond. 

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18 minutes ago, dennis_w said:

i would add that every game is televised, i live a good distance away and a weekday game gets me home in the wee hours, so i watch the tv and dont attend no matter how attractive the opponent

I think this certainly plays a role in the declining numbers over the years, even for those closer to Chaifetz.

Why deal with the "hassle" of driving down to midtown, paying for a ticket, parking, food, and drinks when you can just watch every game at home on your 70 inch flat screen? At least from the casual fan's perspective.

It's not just that every game is now televised it's also how incredibly accessible they are. I remember 20 years back when my brother and I would have friends over for the first round of March Madness how big a pain in the butt it was. We'd have to wheel in multiple, extremely heavy tvs, feed cable cords through every window in our family room including from an upstairs bedroom window.  Now you can watch any sporting event live from your phone while you sit on a toilet inside Arby's.

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7 minutes ago, Slu let the dogs out? said:

Why deal with the "hassle" of driving down to midtown, paying for a ticket, parking, food, and drinks when you can just watch every game at home on your 70 inch flat screen? At least from the casual fan's perspective.

I suppose the same can be said of the Cardinals and Blues.

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11 minutes ago, Slu let the dogs out? said:

I think this certainly plays a role in the declining numbers over the years, even for those closer to Chaifetz.

Why deal with the "hassle" of driving down to midtown, paying for a ticket, parking, food, and drinks when you can just watch every game at home on your 70 inch flat screen? At least from the casual fan's perspective.

This is definitely an issue.

I think the availability of other games hurts too. 
People m can catch every Gonzaga, Duke, Kentucky, game they want so they latch onto these teams at a young age.  When they get older they continue rooting for these teams so instead of getting season tickets they go when offered tickets.

It’s a problem everywhere and I’m not sure there is a fix. 

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1 minute ago, Compton said:

I suppose the same can be said of the Cardinals and Blues.

One of the challenges SLU has is that they are not in some small college town - where everyone including the townies tend to rally around the team.

Many folks in St. Louis didn't go to SLU and therefore don't feel a connection to the team and school. Some are even hostile or dismissive of it.  I've heard Ford try to market the team as "St. Louis'" team - meaning it belong to the whole town, not just the SLU community. I think that's the right idea when looking for growth, but challenging to pull off.

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