Game attendance in the SEC has declined for four consecutive seasons, even while leading all conferences in attendance (having more schools with large stadiums is apparently quite helpful).
College football is as popular as ever. Why is attendance going down? Tony Barnhardt counts the ways:
Cell phone service and WiFi are spotty at best in most large stadiums.
In Ohio Stadium it's virtually non-existent, but that doesn't keep the stadium announcer from telling you "to please text XXXX" to vote for its latest promotion. /MESSAGE NOT SENT
In the past, the SEC would only show one replay of any particular play in a game. And it had to be in real time, not in slow motion. The objective was to protect the officials from an overexcited fan base.
This happens in Ohio Stadium as well. Our "overexcited" fans *love* not seeing replays - almost as much as they love seeing real-time replays from a camera from the bench capturing footage of an excited trainer's butt. O-H!
Student attendance overall has dropped or, if the students do come, they show up late and leave early.
Why go sit in a giant, dry non-party with old people shouting at you to sit down when you can [everything else in the world goes here] while watching Ohio State football?
The existence of StubHub, Craigslist and other services that allow fans to buy and sell tickets has made it possible for people to pass on season tickets, and the contribution that goes with them, and simply pay a premium for the games they really want.
This has happened in professional leagues too. The way they've countered this secondary market: The Chicago Cubs, for example, quietly "resell" many of their own tickets. They've surreptitiously become their own scalpers. Everyone wants a piece of the action, least of all the proprietor of the product.
Fans say they are growing tired of paying premium ticket prices for cupcake opponents.
There are also HD televisions with surround sound, an economy still recovering, students with more debt than ever and...well, those are enough reasons, right?