Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Unravelling of College Football Starts With All These Empty Stadiums -Eben Novy-Williams, Bloomberg

Attendance at the top division of college football dropped for the seventh straight year, according to Bloomberg’s analysis of data from the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The modest average decline—roughly a percentage point per year—includes consistently sold-out powerhouses that cover some steep drop-offs. In the Big 12 Conference, the average crowd at the University of Kansas has dropped by 50 percent since 2009. Western Michigan University never came close to filling its 30,200-seat stadium in 2016, in spite of the most successful season in Broncos history. Collegiate sports, particularly football, generate revenue in three main ways—media contracts, ticket sales and donations—and falling attendance is a double-whammy to the business model: unsold tickets hurt the bottom line today and deprive schools of alumni donations in the future. Research suggests that when students don’t go to games, they’re less likely to give money after they graduate.

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