It's not just New Mexico State that's having trouble getting its students to go to football games.
According to the Wall Street Journal, which looked at ticket scans from the last four seasons of Georgia home games, not one game saw the entire student ticket allotment used. And it's not just Georgia too. Alabama, yes, Alabama, doesn't fill its student section either.
As it turns out, Georgia students left empty 39% of their designated sections of Sanford Stadium over the last four seasons, according to school records of student-ticket scans. Despite their allocation of about 18,000 seats, the number of students at games between 2009 and 2012 never exceeded 15,000.
Winning isn't even necessarily a solution. The average student crowd to see last year's Georgia team—which finished the season ranked No. 5—was almost 6,000 short of maximum capacity. Even at Alabama, 32% of student seats went unused by students between 2009 and 2012, when the Crimson Tide won three national championships. Alabama coach Nick Saban wrote a flattering letter last week in the student paper to recruit students back.
This is likely a statistic that doesn't get an "S-E-C, S-E-C" chant in response. At New Mexico State, a school that's lost 15 straight games, students are being bribed with cash prizes to stay through the fourth quarter. If SEC fans started getting paid to watch, it'd only seem fair since players are getting paid to play, right?
Why aren't students going to games? Well, in addition to bad matchups (though North Texas hung with Georgia during the first half last week), high-definition televisions and a lack of cell service is to blame. We can't expect college kids to go an entire football game without using their phones. Georgia senior Kim Baltenberger told the Journal that ""you can't text, Instagram or tweet."
Think about it, that can be almost four interminably long hours watching football without any uploaded pictures. For college kids that may be hell. For a lot of us, that's bliss.
Another potential reason is that the SEC bans re-entry at halftime and alcohol sales are prohibited. So if you must get your fix (legally, if you're over 21 of course) during a game, you have to leave permanently.
The game-day experience has been a focus of the NFL after declining attendance and the explosion in popularity of fantasy football, and now it's shifting to colleges. And while watching football on television in the age of technology is great, the in-person experience has always been one of the draws of college football. The buzz around campus on a home football weekend is irreplaceable, especially at a football-crazed school. Some students need to recognize that now and take full advantage of game day rather than when they're 40 and reminiscing.
- American Football
- Sports & Recreation