Miami football simply doesn't draw as many fans as Florida and Florida State do. While the Gators and Seminoles routinely draw over 75,000 fans, Miami's average attendance was almost 54,000 in 2013.
While it was a 6,000 person jump from 2012, the average still doesn't come close to filling the 76,000-seat Sun Life Stadium the school leases from the Miami Dolphins. With Florida State coming to town in 2014, the Hurricanes know that a big crowd will be in attendance for that game. And in an effort to get those fans to go to the North Carolina game, the school has an interesting pitch.
In the ad in South Florida newspapers (via the Palm Beach Post), Miami implores fans to "Go to fewer games." Yes, it sounds brazen, but the school isn't targeting season-ticket holders. (Click to view the full ad here.)
Because of the popularity of the Florida State game on Nov. 15 the school is coupling the game with the North Carolina game on Nov. 1.
The justification in the ad is that the Florida State game will not go on sale to the general public and the price for two games is cheaper than it would be for a Florida State game on the secondary market, and there's a hat thrown in as well. Ticket plans for both games start at $108 on the Miami website while according to StubHub, tickets for the FSU game alone start at $99.95. (Though UNC tickets start at $8.95.)
It's another way to attempt to ward off Florida State fans too. If Florida State fans are going to pay for both games, they'll likely attempt to get rid of the North Carolina ticket. And the buyer of the UNC ticket will probably be a Miami fan, boosting the support at that game.
It's necessary to point out the bit of truth-stretching in the ad, however, as it touts "rocking, sold-out environments." Last year's Florida-Miami game was the highest-attended game at Sun Life for the Hurricanes, and there were still swaths of empty seats in the upper deck. And lots of fans clad in Florida-blue.
Will the mini-plan strategy work? The North Carolina game will be a much better indicator than the Florida State game.
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