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Actual attendance down almost 28% from 2019 for Kentucky basketball's opening homestand.

https://www.courier-journal.com/story/sports/college/kentucky/2021/12/09/kentucky-basketball-attendance-rupp-arena-down-28-homestand/6445649001/

“I don't blame anybody for not coming to the games because of COVID, because of the construction, and traffic, because now you can watch it on TV,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said this season. “And you're older. We got an old crowd."

 

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This may be a dumb question but how exactly is attendance counted?  By tickets purchased or people there?  For example I have 4 season tickets but live out of state.  For some games they get used and some they do not.  If no one uses my tickets is that 4 less in terms of attendance numbers?  

As well, is reported attendance done the same among teams?  Looking at Dayton's reported attendance from last year I have a hard time imaging they had packed houses for these games:

-Wednesday Nov 17th vs Lipscomb 13,407 attendance (coming off their L vs Umass Lowell)

-Saturday Nov 20th vs Austin Peay 13,407 attendance (coming off 2 straight L's and students possibly at home for thanksgiving break)

-Tuesday Dec 21st vs Southern 13,407 attendance (students home for winter break)

-Tuesday Jan 25 vs Fordham 13,407 attendance

-Wed Feb 9th vs Duquesne 13,407 attendance

I've been to a few games at Dayton and it was a good crowd but not every seat was filled.  What happens when students are home for break?  I imagine they have a lot of season tickets sold but doubt they all show up for all of those games I listed.  Maybe I'm just underestimating their fan turnout but it just seems almost unbelievable. (maybe I'm just jealous haha)

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My impression is that 

1 minute ago, BuiltFordBills said:

This may be a dumb question but how exactly is attendance counted?  By tickets purchased or people there? 

My impression is that it is tickets sold.  But I ma no 100% certain

(This is also a very nice discussion (that I am almost tempted to put into its own thread)).  Nice change of pace from yesterday.

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Just now, BuiltFordBills said:

This may be a dumb question but how exactly is attendance counted?  By tickets purchased or people there?  For example I have 4 season tickets but live out of state.  For some games they get used and some they do not.  If no one uses my tickets is that 4 less in terms of attendance numbers?  

As well, is reported attendance done the same among teams?  Looking at Dayton's reported attendance from last year I have a hard time imaging they had packed houses for these games:

-Wednesday Nov 17th vs Lipscomb 13,407 attendance (coming off their L vs Umass Lowell)

-Saturday Nov 20th vs Austin Peay 13,407 attendance (coming off 2 straight L's and students possibly at home for thanksgiving break)

-Tuesday Dec 21st vs Southern 13,407 attendance (students home for winter break)

-Tuesday Jan 25 vs Fordham 13,407 attendance

-Wed Feb 9th vs Duquesne 13,407 attendance

I've been to a few games at Dayton and it was a good crowd but not every seat was filled.  What happens when students are home for break?  I imagine they have a lot of season tickets sold but doubt they all show up for all of those games I listed.  Maybe I'm just underestimating their fan turnout but it just seems almost unbelievable. (maybe I'm just jealous haha)

Tickets distributed for the game is how SLU has counted attendance since, I believe, Chaifetz opened.  So the fans that have tickets and don’t use them for whatever reason don’t hurt the average attendance total.

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22 minutes ago, Compton said:

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

I agree that among very casual Cardinals and Blues fans the same could be said. 

In my uninformed opinion there are 2 ways SLU could improve attendance numbers going forward: 1)  @billikenfan05 touched on it above and that is by improving the Chaifetz experience, the game day experience; and 2) WIN. Win the A10,  win 2nd round tourney games. Winning cures all.

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45 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.

About 3-5 games per year I'm guilty of this.  But the #1 driver for me is sometimes its hard for me to want to deal with the above, when its 28 degrees on a Tuesday and we're playing an A10 team with a net of 298.  I could force myself to deal with the weather or the day if its an opponent with a pulse. 

 

Point is, man I wish we didn't have as many "bad" teams in our conference every year as we do. 

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8 minutes ago, BuiltFordBills said:

This may be a dumb question but how exactly is attendance counted?  By tickets purchased or people there? 

Not sure about SLU but it's pretty obvious the St. Louis Cardinals go by tickets sold. There is no other explanation for the PA announcer announcing a crowd of 36,000 when half the stadium is empty.

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Id like to see us give tickets to youth programs at a much cheaper rate.  1) its important to get kids involved with SLU basketball at a young age.  2) it fills the portion of the arena that barely get touched all year. 

 

When my kids get old enough for CYC, I'll do what I can for their team's to see as many games together as they can.

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1 minute ago, Slu let the dogs out? said:

Not sure about SLU but it's pretty obvious the St. Louis Cardinals go by tickets sold. There is no other explanation for the PA announcer announcing a crowd of 36,000 when half the stadium is empty.

Even the Yankees series. I mean, ya it was packed.  But no, it was not more packed than the dozens of playoff games Ive been too, nor the All star game. Wasn't even that close.  So it has to be tickets purchased. 

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1 minute ago, wgstl said:

About 3-5 games per year I'm guilty of this.  But the #1 driver for me is sometimes its hard for me to want to deal with the above, when its 28 degrees on a Tuesday and we're playing an A10 team with a net of 298.  I could force myself to deal with the weather or the day if its an opponent with a pulse. 

 

Point is, man I wish we didn't have as many "bad" teams in our conference every year as we do. 

Good points. It's also nearly impossible for me sell to some of my casual SLU friends on taking a 28 degree Tuesday trip down to Chaifetz to see SLU battle Fordham.

Hey what a great opportunity to open up the Big East can of worms and discuss how exciting a home schedule of Marquette, Georgetown, Butler, Creighton, etc. would be and how that would give us (at least initially) a nice bump in attendance!!!

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1 minute ago, wgstl said:

Even the Yankees series. I mean, ya it was packed.  But no, it was not more packed than the dozens of playoff games Ive been too, nor the All star game. Wasn't even that close.  So it has to be tickets purchased. 

I think the standing room only tix that are sold are hard to count.  These people are everywhere in the stadium and not always visible.  In fact, they often migrate to empty seats.

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40 minutes ago, ACE said:

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.

If you want scientific evidence of this all you need to do is step foot inside Rally House across from the Galleria. The SLU section has gotten even smaller since last time I was in there. It is essentially hanging up around one post in the back right corner. The Chiefs section is 10 times the size. 

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1 hour ago, 3star_recruit said:

Actual attendance down almost 28% from 2019 for Kentucky basketball's opening homestand.

https://www.courier-journal.com/story/sports/college/kentucky/2021/12/09/kentucky-basketball-attendance-rupp-arena-down-28-homestand/6445649001/

“I don't blame anybody for not coming to the games because of COVID, because of the construction, and traffic, because now you can watch it on TV,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said this season. “And you're older. We got an old crowd."

 

Kentucky is the program you want to use if you want to make the point you are trying to make.  SLU's percentage decline pre COVID season to past COVID season was 5 times that of UK's.

Kentucky averaged 20,160 in the 2019-20 season and 19,338 per game last season.  That is a 4% decline.  

SLU averaged 6,880 in the 2019-20 season and 5,517 per game last season.  That is 20% decline.  

http://fs.ncaa.org/Docs/stats/m_basketball_RB/2021/Attend.pdf

http://stats.ncaa.org/rankings/change_sport_year_div

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I think all of the factors mentioned have hurt attendance, but the primary way to bring back attendance is not pricing or game experience.  That's not to say these issues can't be improved.  The best way to pack the place is winning.

The evidence for this is the fact that big games get big attendance.  The Auburn and Dayton games last year were packed and the crowd was electric.  There is a market in St. Louis for folks to attend those sorts of game.  If we build a better winning tradition, casual fans won't be able to get tickets to those games as easily.  Then folks that want to attend those matchups now have to decide what is the next best option.  They end up going to VCU, Davidson, or Loyola games.  Once we make those tickets too hard to get, folks start opting to pack the Richmond, Bonaventure, Rhode Island games, etc. etc.

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1 hour ago, RUBillsFan said:

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.

The cheapest full season ticket package for the 1996-97 season was $120 for the upper deck ends in what is now called Enterprise Center.  The cheapest season ticket package now is $100.  That 1996-97 price adjusted for inflation is about $227 today.  So you can get a much better season ticket now for 56% less than a terrible view would have cost you in 1996.  

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11 minutes ago, brianstl said:

Kentucky is the program you want to use if you want to make the point you are trying to make.  SLU's percentage decline pre COVID season to past COVID season was 4 times that of UK's.

Kentucky averaged 20,160 in the 2019-20 season and 19,338 per game last season.  That is a 4% decline.  

SLU averaged 6,880 in the 2019-20 season and 5,517 per game last season.  That is 20% decline.  

http://fs.ncaa.org/Docs/stats/m_basketball_RB/2021/Attend.pdf

http://stats.ncaa.org/rankings/change_sport_year_div

We know that SLU attendance had a steep decline.  You're still tiptoeing around my question.  Where did you get the 4% COVID impact number as it relates to SLU basketball attendance?  If it's a number you made up, that's cool.  I expect we'll get have a 20% bump in attendance this year because the worst of COVID appears to be behind us.

 

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Is the Student section full for all games or just the big name games? I would start there, ie drum up student attendance.

In the salad days of Spoon the team got the attention of the general public. Largely due to Spoon’s good old boy aw shuck’s personality, and we were winning in a solid conference with long time well known rivals. However, Travis can’t be Charlie, and LaSalle ain’t Louisville. So, the only answer is winning winning winning and win some more to give the public the idea they are missing something special. 

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I think the biggest thing hurting SLU's attendance is not ticket prices, the Chaifetz experience, lack of enough big time opponents or not winning big enough.  We didn't average 85% capacity when we were ranked in the top 10 and had a loaded schedule during the Majerus and Crews run.  Ticket prices for the general public are actually less than they were before.   Maybe improving the Chaifetz experience would help marginally, but I think any college program in a Major League sports town is going to have an almost impossible task competing against the pro teams when it comes to attracting the audience that is looking for the experience atmosphere event.

The problem is that you don't have as many family with kids going to the games as you used to have.  This has become a even harder demographic to compete for and you really aren't going to compete for them with the concession prices being what they are.  The unpleasant feeling a parent gets when they feel they are constantly being took for every dollar possible leaves you with a bad impression of the whole event and no real desire to return.  You could charge higher ticket prices and have parents feel like the are getting a better family experience if they didn't feel like they were getting held up when the buy a pretzel and a bottle of water for their kid.

 

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It doesn’t make sense except for Covid:

1. Highest year on year winning percentage in program history. 

2. Best local recruits and players in the last 20 year's.

3. Outstanding arena, best arena in the program’s history.

Covid just changed people’s behavior, and we probably have had a lot of fans aging out of attendance, ie. fan turnover. Just pass the word that there is a major buying opportunity for fans at Chaiffetz. It should resolve itself.

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13 minutes ago, 3star_recruit said:

We know that SLU attendance had a steep decline.  You're still tiptoeing around my question.  Where did you get the 4% COVID impact number as it relates to SLU basketball attendance?  If it's a number you made up, that's cool.  I expect we'll get have a 20% bump in attendance this year because the worst of COVID appears to be behind us.

 

I provided a local example of a team SLU competes directly with for using the percentage I did.  You provided UK over 3 games as an example to counter my claim not realizing UK's overall attendance drop last season further justified my 4% number. UK's attendance decline was exactly 4% overall last season from the pre COVID season. I thought I pointed that at in my post by saying Kentucky wasn't the program you wanted to use to make the argument you are trying to make.  I don't see how I am dancing around anything.

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15 minutes ago, slu72 said:

Is the Student section full for all games or just the big name games? I would start there, ie drum up student attendance.

In the salad days of Spoon the team got the attention of the general public. Largely due to Spoon’s good old boy aw shuck’s personality, and we were winning in a solid conference with long time well known rivals. However, Travis can’t be Charlie, and LaSalle ain’t Louisville. So, the only answer is winning winning winning and win some more to give the public the idea they are missing something special. 

spoon's team was the high point of billiken basketball.   

 

they won.   

they played an exciting style of basketball. 

 they were in the high profile conference playing marquette, louisville, memphis, cincy,   

 

i seem to remember we had anywhere up to 20,000 for games and the low might have been like 12,000.   heck i think one of our top three attendance games of all time was during the spoon years vs like austin peay and we had like close to 18,000 maybe?   if anyone has an old printed yearbook it would have those attendance games.   the leading attendance games on slubillikens.com only has chaifetz records.   

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Just now, brianstl said:

I provided a local example of a team SLU competes directly with for using the percentage I did.  You provided UK over 3 games as an example to counter my claim not realizing UK's overall attendance drop last season further justified my 4% number. UK's attendance decline was exactly 4% overall last season from the pre COVID season. I thought I pointed that at in my post by saying Kentucky wasn't the program you wanted to use to make the argument you are trying to make.  I don't see how I am dancing around anything.

So our attendance is only going up 4% this year?

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Just now, billiken_roy said:

spoon's team was the high point of billiken basketball.   

 

they won.   

they played an exciting style of basketball. 

 they were in the high profile conference playing marquette, louisville, memphis, cincy,   

 

i seem to remember we had anywhere up to 20,000 for games and the low might have been like 12,000.   heck i think one of our top three attendance games of all time was during the spoon years vs like austin peay and we had like close to 18,000 maybe?   if anyone has an old printed yearbook it would have those attendance games.   the leading attendance games on slubillikens.com only has chaifetz records.   

We had two seasons under Spoon where we averaged almost 18,000 a game.

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Just now, 3star_recruit said:

So our attendance is only going up 4% this year?

I have no clue what our attendance will be this season.  I would love for it to be great.  I haven't heard anything suggesting that there has been any increase in demand for season tickets.  Maybe there has been.  I would hope so, but the history with this program has been a dramatic increase in attendance follows a NCAA appearance with attendance declining each year we are further removed from the NCAA tournament.  A really good team really only supplies a small boost in attendance during that season.

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1 hour ago, SluSignGuy said:

(This is also a very nice discussion (that I am almost tempted to put into its own thread)).  Nice change of pace from yesterday.

Yes.  I'd love seeing the attendance discussion moved to it's own thread.

Having vague / overly generic catch all threads is not optimal.

At the same time, I understand you not wanting to constantly re-organize posts on the board into appropriate threads all the time.

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