Student Attendance Crisis Hits Georgia

By DJ Byrnes on September 25, 2013 at 7:59p
Hard Out Here.

From The Wall Street Journal:

The scene at home football games here at the University of Georgia is almost perfect. The tailgate lots open at 7 a.m. Locals brag of the bar-per-capita rate. The only commodities in greater abundance than beer are the pro-Bulldogs buttons that sorority girls wear.

There's just one problem: Some students can't be bothered to come to the games.

Declining student attendance is an illness that has been spreading for years nationwide. But now it has hit the Southeastern Conference, home to college football's best teams and supposedly its most fervent fans, giving athletics officials reason to fret about future ticket sales and fundraising.

I think this problem relates to most athletics in the 21st century: ticket prices, as well as prices inside the stadium, have gone up substantially. Students can sell their tickets for massive profit (my girlfriend, for example, just sold her $34 Wisconsin ticket for $90). And with high definition televisions and parties on campus, some kids would rather drink and party with their friends outside the stadium.

The article goes deeper into Georgia's problems, and is worth a read if these types of stories are of interest. Thankfully, this problem hasn't happened at Ohio State... yet.


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BTBuckeye's picture

Obvious solution: donuts

NoVA Buckeye's picture

There is A problem at Ohio State, however.
Lots of students love to leave the games at halftime because they want a head start on pregaming for the night or it's "too hot" or "too cold". I don't know about you, but if I was a fan or alum (AKA a non-student) like 90% of the members here, I would not even think about leaving the games early because of the great deal I got on the tickets ($270 for the full season?!?!?!?!) and at what a special moment we could be observing.
"But Braxton's injured and we're already winning by a lot! I just wanna go home!"
You don't like Kenny G? Then you aren't a true Buckeye in my book. Besides, don't you want to wait and hear all the jokes that COULD be made if Cardale Jones checks in? I look forward to that moment.
I had to sell a ticket to FAMU because of a scheduling commitment I made earlier in the year (not a wedding, mind you!). I am going to be upset for a long time because I missed a blowout. And you feel displeased for seeing the first half. Shame on you.
Also, there was a picture of the 'Shoe just before kickoff. It looked like many of the south stand bleachers were empty. There were students trying to sell their tickets AFTER kickoff on the facebook groups. I swear one may have posted trying to sell their ticket AFTER THE FOURTH QUARTER!!!!!
I don't want to give Michigan s*** for their students not showing up because of how bad their upper half seats are compared to Ohio State's upper half seats AND that there is a growing problem at Ohio State, something I don't think people were expecting.

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

Norwalk's picture

Damn tired of people talking about who's a true Buckeye. Not all Ohio State students are football fans but they are true Buckeyes. I had as much fun partying before and after games on High Street in the late 80's as I had watching some of Cooper's teams; for God's sake he even left early when the weather got bad against USC. The students who pay tuition and then pay $270 for a season ticket (a lot of Ramen noodles) are as true as it gets, even the ones who leave early when we scrimmage play an overmatched FCS team. 1/2 the people that go to the games are not students or alum but they grew up fans-=true Buckeyes. I enjoyed watching last week's game for a while but it wasn't competitive. I'm not mad Gene scheduled it but I don't blame anyone for leaving early.

GOSUBUcks's picture

I'm sorry but you are worrying too much about something that really isn't a problem at Ohio State. As a student right now, I can tell you that the obsession with Ohio State athletics and Urban's football program is as high as I've seen in all of my four years here. No where in the world will every fan stay all game to watch a 76-0 blowout. At that point, some priorities become more important. I'm just giving some fans a voice because leaving a game like that at halftime doesn't discredit you as an Ohio State fan.

AlphaMaleBettor's picture


Sorry, we just don't want any of that stuff around here and discussing one of those topics is the quickest way to earn the banhammer. There are plenty of other places on the internet for you to talk about politics and/or religion.


Buckeye_Mafia's picture

The author knows what's up.  HDTV, DVR, your own food and beer, and the BEST SEATS in the house.  The only thing that makes being AT the game better watching it from home is NOT having to hear some of the "analysts" and "commentators". 

"At critical moments throughout the season, we learned about the character of this football team.  This was a team of true character, of true resilience." -- President Barack Obama

sloopy88's picture

That's a big thing.  Also, the band.  And I don't mind the human contact either. 

northcampus's picture

You think these kids that are selling their tickets and/or not showing up to games are sitting at home watching alone?  There is plenty of human contact for 99.9% of the students not showing up to games.
It's a totally different ballgame now with the Millennial students at OSU.  Their views on life are quite different than most of the Baby Boomers or Gen X OSU fans that fill Ohio Stadium each home game.  Same deal with students at Michigan and most any other school.

cajunbuckeye's picture

Money eventually ruins everything. Demand grows, ticket prices increase, the reasons students sell their tickets grow exponentially.

An angry fan...rooting for an angry team...led by angry coaches


The one thing this article fails to acknowledge is that these games students aren't coming to aren't the best nor the most interesting. I can guarantee you TTUN, Georgia or Bama fans would never miss a rivalry game. Yeah ticket prices suck and one can never underestimate the lure of drunken college debauchery, but there's also something to be said about giving a rat's ass about a lesser opponent.

"Sherman ran an option play right through the south" - Greatest Civil War analogy EVER.

Notor's picture

This idea that students aren't "real fans" when they leave at halftime or early is a joke. Students bring it to the max when it matters, i.e. against any team that's semi-decent or in any big game. You honestly expect students to hang around past halftime during the early September noon games when they've been baking in the sun for 2.5 hours in 95 degree heat? During a drubbing of an FCS or MAC team? Students pay good money to both attend school and attend the games. The fact that they even show up in force to the clowny, joke games early in the season is testament to that dedication.
If you want to blame anyone, blame the athletic department for scheduling Noon games in extreme heat against garbage opponents while consistently raising the cost of tickets year in and year out. Blame the other Big 10 schools who can't figure out how to recruit and put a competitive team on the field. I honestly do believe that we have the best fans in the country, but you are really trying the patience and wallets of said fanbase when you expect them to get hyped week in and week out when they schedule is filled with creampuffs and the games are noon kickoffs.

DJ Byrnes's picture

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

Doc's picture

Completely agree.  Look at the home schedule for next year.  It's a crapfest until AACC comes to town.

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

Baroclinicity's picture

It looks like I'm in the minority, but give me the live experience at the 'Shoe, weather and all.

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

AeroBuckeye2001's picture

Absolutely. There's no one person on this site that can tell me that they're glad they were at home watching on TV instead of at the Shoe when we beat Michigan in 2006, Iowa in 2009, Wisky in 2011, and Pudue last year.

The Ohio State University Class of 2001

BS Aero & Astronautical Engineering

Buckforlife's picture

Exactly. I was at the Iowa and Wisconsin games you mentioned. Two of the best and most amazing environments that I've been in.

No relation to OSUFORLIFE...

hetuck's picture

OSU is adding 2500 more student seats. We'll see.

Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.

Vince Lombardi

KBonay's picture

Yeah...staying at home and watching on TV is MUCH better....

ATXbucknut's picture

Who is he, Kbonay?

D. Anthony's picture

Worst announcer EVER!!!!!!

D. Anthony

jthiel09's picture

I would rather watch this Nic Cage movie, or have the very same bee helmet put on my head than have to sit through another game with her. Stick her with the EssEeeSee and see how they like her.


doodah_man's picture

This is the face where erections go to die....

Jim "DooDah" Day

"If I were giving a young man advice as to how he might succeed in life, I would say to him, pick out a good father and mother, and begin life in Ohio.” --Wilbur Wright, 1910

40 Degrees North's picture

I know this is specifically about student attendance, but I am wondering if this is something that is a "sportswide" problem. There have been small hints here and there in each major spectator sport in the USA. A recent example was three MLB teams competing for playoff spots or positioning getting just over 10,000 in attendance.'s picture

I expect the team to stick around. Why would I no expect the fans to stick around? Today's students are living through a golden age of buckeye football. Enjoy it any way you want, but more power to thOse who stay through to sing Carmen with the team. 

741's picture

$56 is a "massive profit"?
I guess I have arrived.

BucksfanXC's picture

That's 165% ROI. Yes, massive profit on a $34 investment.

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

741's picture

Son, $34 isn't an investment, it's a nice lunch, or a bar tab.

jaxbuckeye's picture

It happens everywhere when they play crappy opponents.  If the games are close, no one leaves.  My kid attends FSU.  I have been to games against Boston College, etc and by halftime the stadium is empty.  The kids go to Mellow Mushroom, bars, etc and get their drink on.  They watch the rest of the games from the bars.  Not a big deal.

OSU_ALUM_05's picture

Definitely depends on the opponent

Yeti's have feelings too.

TheBadOwl's picture

I saw someone on Facebook sell two student tix for $400 total. Face value is $34 each.
As for the debate about leaving games, I think we're usually pretty solid. Some people leave at halftime, but it's not that many people. Most people stayed through the third quarter last weekend, at least. The Purdue game pissed me off because a lot of people left, but we still got really loud when it mattered.
I'm in my third year here. I've left two games before Carmen. The first was Michigan State my freshman year, at the height of Bauserman and Bollman's ineptitude. Left with about 45 seconds left. We something like 40 total yards IIRC. The second was Illinois last year. Left with about a minute left because my friends all wanted a head start on the evening. I wanted to stay for Carmen, but I also didn't want to leave alone. And I usually get to the games about 30-40 minutes early, sometimes earlier.
Our students stands are packed for every game. Our student tix are substantially more expensive than most. I think people here care too much to not show up.

When I walked in this morning and saw the flag was at half mast I thought, "Alright, another bureaucrat ate it." but then I saw it was Li'l Sebastian. Half mast is too high. Show some damn respect.

BuckeyeMark's picture

Live in Texas.  Practically never get to see the Bucks live.  You in Columbus just don't know how good you've got it!

Grayskullsession's picture

Luckily Ohio State doesnt have an attendance problem, even at opposing stadiums:

"if irony were made of strawberries, we' d all be drinking a lot of smoothies right now."

Bucksfan's picture

This might be of some surprise to some of the lunatic fringe here, I'll whisper it so as to not incite a riot, but....not everyone cares about football.  I know, it's a crazy thought.  But college kids have other things on their mind, and football often doesn't come into play.  I'd go so far as to argue that today's college kids are way more concerned with their grades than previous generations, since they are well-aware that they will likely need to go to graduate school, and anything less than a 3.0 GPA doesn't get you anywhere.  Plus, if it's a chance at extra cash, it's a no-brainer.  I had plenty of friends in college that would sell their Michigan ticket to pay for their books.  I personally couldn't believe they did that, because I knew that they were missing out on a rare opportunity to see that game for cheap, something they weren't going to be able to do later on in life.
Attendance is going to suffer as young people want to stay "plugged in."  It's not just the price, as the 11W Staff indicate above, it's also the requirement to be able to tweet and chat with their their network.  It's a similar problem with the car industry, which is having trouble selling to teenagers and 20-somethings because you can't be online while you're driving.  People are more willing to carpool and take public transit these days so that they can network and send emails.
So, sporting venues all across the nation are trying to set up powerful wifi and tech zones to attract more 21st century beings to the game.  As an example, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway just unveiled a plan to add these features before their 100th race in 2016.  Other venues are trying to adapt as well.  It's an interesting problem facing colleges, but you have to give a college kid more than just a football game for 35 dollars.

Bolt's picture

It's totally fine and ok to not like or care about football...but why buy the tickets if you aren't going to go? If you don't buy the ticket someone else who really wants to be there will pay and actually go. "But what if there isn't someone else willing to go," you're asking. Even better! That means ticket prices will go down for all of us that do want to be there instead of continuously rising until they reach a price where someone is willing to pay...even if that doesn't guarantee the stadium being full, it at least means cheaper tickets for the rest of us!

Bolt's picture

Also, I don't have a problem with students selling their tix for profit...go for it! Someone who's willing to pay them and go through the hassle of seeking out and obtaining the tickets is going to actually go to the game. Please, sell your tix to someone like me (I still have my old BuckID) or another student that somehow missed out on getting tickets when they went on sale.

kb1's picture

Solution= Sell beer in stadium.