Change is about more than tailgating
BC announced their 2013 Football tickets sales Wednesday. The prices are unchanged and the school is opening up new parking spots and rolling out a "You're No. 1" theme intended to change the whole BC-fan experience. I am not a season-ticket holder so it is easy (but slightly uniformed) for me to rail against what BC does and doesn't do on game day. But the reality is demand and attendance dropped the past few years. Even outside of the lackluster product on the field, BC is now facing the changing marketplace for sports. These are a few suggestions.
1. Keep the action constant. I actually got this idea from Mark Cuban. He says his worst nightmare is seeing people looking down at their smart phones during games. I understand that BC cannot have a juggler running out on the field during every TV timeout, but there has to be something to fill the breaks in the action. Give people a reason to be there in person. If all they are getting is the game action, you will lose them to the TV experience. This probably means a significant upgrade in the scoreboard and the scoreboard features.
2. More dynamic pricing. The internet has already done this to a certain extent on the reseller's market, but I think BC should test new ideas. The Army game is not as valuable as the Virginia Tech game. They should probably be priced accordingly. Even if it is net-revenue neutral for BC, the perception of the customer changes. They don't feel they are being "ripped off" by a less-exciting home slate.
3. Market and communicate culture changes. The two big ingrained fan behaviors need to change. The first is the late arriving crowd. The second is the fans who get mad at other fans for standing and cheering. BC has tried a few things here and there to change both, but nothing took hold. I think BC has to communicate its desire to change both and change the marketing around it. For getting to the seats on-time, that involves adjusting the tailgating policy in a friendly way, but also creating some sort of "must see" tradition to get people to their seats (a live eagle, maybe). For the "down in fronts" I think BC needs to potentially segregate the crowd. Ask people when they renew if they want a "loud" or "reserved" section. It might be weird to have whole sections sitting while others stand, but at least the fans will be with others like themselves.
What other ideas do you want to see?