Is Alumni OK? Sifting through stadium myths and perceptions
One of the common digs rivals make about BC is our “rinky dinky” or “high school” stadium. While I love Alumni, I recognize that it is small. But is size a factor in success? In general, I don’t think so. Extra seats do generate extra revenue but BC, and other schools like BC, have done a good job raising money from other sources to hire top staffs and build new football facilities.
Here are some schools smaller whose stadiums are smaller than Alumni’s 44,500 capacity who have gone to BCS bowls in the last ten years.
Louisville -- 42,000
Washington State -- 37,600
Wake Forest -- 31,500
Schools only slightly bigger than BC have not used seating capacity as a crutch either. The following all have gone to BCS bowls in the past 10 years.
Oregon St -- 46,000
Maryland -- 51,500
Oregon -- 54,000
Colorado -- 53,750
**Please note that all of these schools are public with much larger alumni bases than BC, yet no one ever gets on them for not having bigger stadiums.
BC is in a very unique position of being a private school in a pro sports town (have at least 1 one NFL team in their immediate market) with an on campus facility. In BCS conferences, only the following schools also fall into that category.
Stanford -- 50,000
Northwestern -- 47,130
Vanderbilt -- 39,773
The other critique from our rivals is that “BC can’t even fill its own stadium.” Our capacity has been very strong the last decade. In 2006 a monsoon during a game against MAC basement dweller Buffalo brought down the average attendance to 38,483 or 86% of capacity. Nothing to be proud of, but certainly not a sign of overall support for the program. Take a look at all BCS programs that play in pro sports towns and how they fare when it comes to percentage of seats sold (all averages courteously of Phil Steele’s preview).
|Team||Capacity||2006 Attendance||Capacity %|
As you can see, BC is within many of our peer programs.
We don’t have a huge stadium, but Alumni is modern with great football-only facilities, has field turf and is in a major city. There is no reason the stadium should serve as an excuse or hindrance for BC’s success and Alumni should never be used by rival fans and recruiters as a point of embarrassment. As the Under Armour ads used to say “we must protect this house!”