Attendance

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Re: Attendance

Postby E-Villan » December 30th, 2017, 12:06 pm

I agree with some of what MVCFan wrote, but others, not so much...

I agree attendance is an issue..and there are a lot of reasons. Societal changes are certainly part of it, but a lot of it is self inflicted..particularly in the historically larger drawing markets like Peoria, Evansville and Springfield. These programs have a history of drawing 10K plus, but have pretty well sucked for the better part of the last decade. If you put UNI's performance over the last decade at any of those schools, you would see near sell outs every night. UNI can't put up big attendance simply because they are in a small town. I would even say both ISU's and SIU will put up decent attendance by being competitive. I have been to games in both Terre Haute and Carbondale that were pretty well sold out in the past.

I do think you are putting too much on the larger state schools. For example, there has always been a lot of IU fans and alums in Evansville. That didn't just start happening when the attendance dropped...I would say the same of Illini alums in Peoria, or Bloomington-Normal, even with IU and Purdue in Terre Haute. Let's face it, when UE and InSU were drawing well, IU was much more of a force than it is now.

I do think TV is an issue, but not for the same reasons you listed. Most of our games aren't really on TV..they are on ESPN3. Casual fans are not streaming ESPN3 looking for MVC games. In Evansville, we used to have local broadcast of all away conference games, and tape delay of most home ones..that was when we were drawing over 10K. We need local awareness in our communities. Now we don't, and ESPN, along with talking arsehats like Vitale, Digger etc are telling us every night how wonderful Duke, UK, NC etc are..and broadcasting all of their games. That impression is what hurts. Local pubs and restaurants, that supported the local teams, are being replaced by BW's and Applebees, who only follow a corporate mandate to show nationally televised sports.

Along the lines of impressions, you state many in our communities think we are D-2. I don't think that, but I do agree that many think we are much lower than we are. I have been critical of our fans who post links to so-called mid-major polls, etc. There may be some talent differences from P5 to us, but we managed over the years to pull plenty of upsets, and years ago, people didn't dwell so much on the difference between the Big10 and the MVC. Now we have this imaginary term "mid-major" that no one can adequately define. The P5 schools, along with ESPN, Vitale, etc use it to draw a line in the sand...but where is the line, and if there is a mid, why isn't there a low? We sit on here and debate why conferences like the A-10 get more love, when top to bottom, most of us feel we have the better overall conference. We certainly do in terms of facilities and attendance. The bottom of the A-10 is pretty low. The A-10, and the MWC do not participate in the mid-major poll, yet we jump in and wear it like a badge of honor. Perception is reality. If Elgin wants to raise the profile of the conference, the first thing he should do is eliminate participation in any such non-sense that calls us mid-major.

Like I said, I think much of our attendance woes can be addressed within. In Evansville's case, the Ford Center isn't 60% empty because of IU or video games..it's due to 19 years of no postseason, and a stubborn, entitled introvert running the program. You can't get people back if you are losing and not engaging the community. UNI is the only program I would say is getting all they can draw at this point.
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Re: Attendance

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Re: Attendance

Postby mule » December 30th, 2017, 2:06 pm

I can agree with your assessment except for the following statement.

E-Villan wrote:UNI can't put up big attendance simply because they are in a small town.

Valpo, ISU blue, and SIU all draw from metropolitan areas from 1/3 to 1/2 the size of Cedar Falls.
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Re: Attendance

Postby pafan » December 30th, 2017, 2:07 pm

E-Villan wrote:I do think you are putting too much on the larger state schools. For example, there has always been a lot of IU fans and alums in Evansville. That didn't just start happening when the attendance dropped...I would say the same of Illini alums in Peoria, or Bloomington-Normal, even with IU and Purdue in Terre Haute. Let's face it, when UE and InSU were drawing well, IU was much more of a force than it is now.


Back then in Evansville you might have heard IU or Purdue on a scratchy AM radio station and read 3 column-inches the next day about the game in the Courier & Press. Meanwhile the Aces were on a big FM radio station, had a few games televised, the newspaper would usually put them on the front page of the sports section - and Roberts Stadium was nearby and tickets were cheap.

The Big Ten Network made IU and Purdue (plus Illinois, Minnesota and Iowa) way easier to follow. Given a choice between watching the Hoosiers at home for free, or paying $30 for a ticket+coke+nachos for an Aces game, what would you do?
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