Tuesday, October 12, 2010


I just wanted to tap out a quick note to say the comments about low attendance are not all on-target.

I agree the non-athletic department support from the administration could be better, but you'd have to be blind to miss how much the athletic department has done in recent years to get people in the seats.

Free beer and soft drinks in the picnic area, bonus plans for attendance for students, massive web site content, shuttles to and from games up the wazoo, and the list goes on and on.

Bottom line, only winning will fill the seats of the football stadium and now that we are winning, the fans will come back, but it isn't an instant thing.

That said, the crowd WILL be big for Homecoming. And if the Lions beat Penn Saturday, it may be a RECORD crowd.


At Tue Oct 12, 06:44:00 PM GMT+7, Blogger cathar said...

My "problem" with Homecoming is that it always becomes sort of like the old dismissal of New Year's Eve by (relative, anyway) drinking pros as "amateur night." It's nice to see everyone in the stands, yes, but really, where are they the rest of the season? So it also becomes the one day of the season when you actually wind up having to tell someone else that they're in your seats (and when you usually hear the grumpily mumbled reply that "they told us we should sit anywhere we could find a seat").

I also agreee the administration puts real effort into getting people to games, and to helping them enjoy the experience. But there's only so much that can be done, At some point alums and friends simply have to decide how much interest they have in supporting a Columbia team.

Any Columbia team, in fact.

Which is why I'm also much looking forward to basketball season.

At Tue Oct 12, 08:19:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For what it's worth. My wife and I went to NYC for a quick trip and I convinced her to go to the Columbia v. Princeton game and we had a blast. The ride out on the Metro North was wonderful (thanks Jake) and the weather was perfect. I was a little mad that we didn't get there early enough for the free beer, but I couldn't pull my wife away from shopping. We had a wonderful time.

While I usually attend Gator Games with 90,000 it's a nice change of pace and I can't believe you don't get more people out there. I guess it's Giants/Jet and that's it. We have the opposite problem in Florida and it's all College and the NFL takes a back seat.

Anywho, Jake thanks for the info on travel and I bought a Columbia T-shirt and consider myself a fan now. Good Luck this year!!

-Rob J.

At Tue Oct 12, 09:27:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No question that CU is making a dedicated effort to bring fans out but I think they can do more, and push harder. The football team deserves it; the loyal fans and parents of the players deserve it. The attendance is mediocre, and CU does not need to accept mediocrity anymore. That is one of the reasons coach Joe Jones of the basketball team was let go. He was good coach, but his record overall was average, barely .500. CU has started to demonstrate that they don't want to just settle for being merely competitive-- they want to win titles--so let's apply this attitude to marketing a campaign to get a record breaking attendance!

At Tue Oct 12, 10:11:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To fill the seats at Baker Field/Kraft/Wien you need winning + huge amount of publicity + tremendous creativity. I agree with you Jake, that winning is the key, but we need much more publicity and a great deal more creativity. The athletics department should be bombarding the Morningside Heights Campus and the local Upper West Side, Washington Heights and Inwood communities daily with detailed flyers about the team. There should be feature articles every day on the individual players on the Columbia Athletics website. Free or discounted tickets should be distributed to churches and primary schools in Manhattan and the Bronx. There should be giveways at every game. A fan bus should be arranged for away games, etc., etc., etc. Essentially, what Columbia needs to do is copy what minor league baseball team do to bring in the fans. Emphasize the huge savings and convenience to families of going to a Columbia game in Manhattan rather than fighting traffic to the Meadowlands.

At Wed Oct 13, 01:38:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake - We're just waving our hands and trying to stimulate others to think about ways to support and recognize the team. What about some sort of pep rally! Buses to the game! Something that recognizes what the fellas are doing!

Did anyone see that Columbia got a vote this week for top 25 in the FCS?

At Wed Oct 13, 03:21:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an 80s-era student, I am impressed with Dianne Murphy and the support that exists for athletics today. The baseball team did not have an outdoor batting cage in 1983. I remember standing on the sidelines at a soccer game because there were no seats. Football lacked a decent weight room. Things are so much better now, so let's at least be thankful the administration cares enough to improve the facilities and hire stronger coaches. If we keep winning the crowds will come.

At Wed Oct 13, 07:10:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger Jake said...

Actually, the department is really doing all the things you mentioned above. This is about giving the fans time to absorb the winning team. It will happen, just as it did it late 1994 and through 1995 and 1996.

At Wed Oct 13, 09:24:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems clear that the AD is making the effort. I guess these posters are just voicing their frustration about the lack of results, and that perhaps the AD, with all due respect, is not being effective enough. There is a statistical science to marketing--though I don not profess to be an expert--and it can apply here. Perhaps they need to rethink their advertising schemes. The Fairway Sign on the Henry Hudson is a nice start. There used to be a billboard on the highway for the basketball team -why not football (maybe too expensive?) I think if one looks into it, Columbia has the worst attendance every week in the Ivy league. That is what I have discovered after researching this a few weeks ago in comparing other games. Only 2900 people came to Wien to see the Lafayette game on a beautiful day.

At Wed Oct 13, 08:57:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We beat Penn on Saturday and there will be a huge swing in attendance for the remainder of the season and beyond


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