Technology. It can bring us closer to each other, or farther apart. There are great benefits when it comes to the use of modern technology. Facetime a family member across the pond, keep in touch with old high school friends, and watch sporting events in high definition.
These few traits in technology can be positive. In the world of college sports and specifically for Boise State Football, the ever growing expansion of technology poses a big problem for the future. The attendance at Bronco football games has been serviceable… for the first half.
Followed by the second half when we see Boise State students and many other fans leave at halftime to either go party, or hang out in the dorms.
This is an issue across most major college football programs. Technology is one of the reasons Boise State has a disconnect with it’s fans. You don’t feel the same excitement Bronco fans used to get before a game in say September of 2004. There’s a lack of spark, anticipation, excitement for you to punch your ticket into the gates.
In a recent study by the Wall Street Journal, the average student attendance at games is down 7.1% since 2009. You don’t have to be a statistician to see that Boise State has this problem. You look in the upper deck in the second half and the student section is gone. No matter how big the game. No matter how nice the weather is. Gone.
It doesn’t help when your kickoff times are at 8:30PM MT and you’re getting home at midnight. It’s not feasible and it certainly shouldn’t be a long-term solution. Not only are kickoff times late, but in order for you to reserve a ticket to the biggest game this season, you had to buy season tickets.
Now you have an angry fan base, where many believe that their beloved team is not looking for their fans interests, at all, and are looking to cash in.
With all this being said, I’m not here to dog on Boise State with their late kickoffs and how they sell tickets to games. I’m simply stating that, there has not only been a decrease in attendance, but a decrease in engagement.
Here are some ways Boise State can fight to keep fans engaged in Albertsons Stadium.[title]Engagement[/title] Wifi. If fans aren’t coming to your games because of technology a solution is this: bring them the technology. Millennials are the future of the fan base, they want to be connected to their phones at all times. A tweet here, a check-in there. In a recent study, Millennials find internet connectivity just as important as having food, water and shelter. To install a WIFI connection in a stadium, it’s quite a hefty penny. A multi-million dollar purchase price, but may be worth it. Late kickoffs. Who wouldn’t take another $500,000 bonus to play on ESPN networks on a Saturday? Boise State does just that. At some point, athletic director Curt Apsey is going to have to examine this, and find a balance in catering to ESPN and catering to the needs of the fan base. This is not a long-term solution, and you wonder how long Bronco Nation will continue to show during these 8:30PM kickoffs. Beer. If Boise State is looking at all options, and looking to tap into all possible revenue streams, they may want to look at schools like SMU and Troy. According to an article by ESPN, Troy receives 43 percent of gross beer sells.
Troy athletic director John Hartwell estimated that beer would account for $200,000 in commissions this season. According to its contract with concessionaire Sodexo, Troy will receive 43 percent of gross beer sales at its 30,000-seat stadium, or better than $2 for every $5 beer.
This will keep fans from going outside of the stadium to down a few cold ones. West Virginia produced about $516,000 in revenue each season from 2011-2014. To counter the problem of fans showing up late in the 3rd quarter? West Virginia doesn’t allow fans to re-enter the game. Keep the money in-house.
Not only will Boise State benefit, but local breweries would jump in on the action in a heart beat. A win-win situation for both parties.Tradition. Boise State is still relatively young. The number 1 tradition I hear from Boise State fans is winning. Although a great tradition, what is the gameday tradition at Albertsons Stadium? The Bronco walk is great for fans, players and coaches, and the fans chant, “Boise…. State..” but what happens after that? Before the game, during the game or after the game?
Strides have been made here by the athletic department with the opening of the indoor practice facility, but there is still a sense of tradition missing around campus. What’s the student section’s traditions? The great thing about where Boise State is, is that new traditions can be caught on like fire. Where do the traditions start? Most of the times, traditions are started by the fans. You have to keep it fresh, every time someone comes to a game in Albertsons Stadium there should be something new they see every time.
What are your thoughts? How does Boise State keep you in the seats and engaged? Let us know in our comment section below.