Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Sign of the times: BC cannot sell out Parents Weekend

There was a time when BC always scheduled our least desirable home game Parents' Weekend. The demand was such that we would sell out the game regardless of the opponent and it was always good to send the parents home with a win. This year BC will host Florida State for Parents' Weekend and unfortunately there are still seats available. (See this ad from BC's Tuesday email.)

Just like there were and are multiple factors in BC's recent decline, I also think there are multiple reasons why Parents' Weekend is no longer an automatic sellout. Some of the factors are probable social. I think there is a growing group of BC parents and students who just don't care about college sports. I also assume that as the student population spreads farther from the Northeast, it becomes harder for some BC parents to make the trip (or make it every year). But the ultimate factor is that the football team has not been fun to watch and the gameday experience has not been special. We all know that BC is working to improve both. When we do, I think parents will come back.


JBQ said...

Let's see what "Big Jack Krack" thinks about this. He went to the USC game and hobknobbed with the Rettigs from California who were tailgating. What better PR can there be than that? The game cannot be in and of itself. It has to be part of the BC experience. Parents are our most precious commodity. Football is only a means to an end. Father Leahy needs to be brought into the equation. It is all about the mission of BC and "BJK" appears to see that better than most.

Claver2010 said...

Look no further than the price.

$40/ticket just to get in the building?

Coming off a 2 win season, that's not how you build back your fanbase.

mod34b said...

Typially, BC schedules a patsy for parent's weekend. Maine comes to mind.

This weekend, BC is the patsy. We all expect BC to get blown out by FSU.

Last year BC lost to FSU 51-7 and gave up 649 yards. This year FSU has rolled up 533 yards v Pitt, 617 yds v Nevada and 492 yards v BCU.

I think we can expect to give up at leat 40 points and be lucky to score 14. So, the Pitt score v FSU, 41-13, sounds likely, if its not worse

Really, who wants to watch that?

I don't even want to watch it on TV!

Walter said...

Claver is right.

BC knows (or should know) it has attendance problems, has had attendance problems for years, but has yet to take the drastic step of slashing ticket prices to dirt cheap levels.

Is the publicity generated by cheap ticket prices really worse than the sight of a so-so filled stadium each week? I don't think so.

ORDEagle said...

I was at the BC-USC game and their tailgating is even more of a Have's and Have Not's than BC's. (Luckily I was with a group of USC Have's.) The ticket price was $65 for a seat that was the equivalent distance as the roof of the RecPlex at BC.

Bottom line is you need to win to have people show up and pay. But even that is no guarantee if your demographics are what they are. I look no further than in my backyard to Northwestern. They have been winning. They have an exciting style of play. Their Coach is connected, savvy and well liked. They have a pretty nice stadium set up and tailgating (and issues) similar to BC. They are a public transportation ride away from one of the largest population centers in the US. And yet...unless they are playing OSU, UW, Michigan, they don't sell out. You can get cheap group tickets with a phone call (And they'll throw in purple hats!) They too have a small alumni base in a pro football town. I don't think $20 versus $40 is what is keeping the crowd down at Parent's Weekend. Winning will help most of all but ATL's analysis is also spot on.

Knucklehead said...

There are not as many two parent families either

Knucklehead said...

Scenario is this, kid gets into Chestnut Hill on Labor Day Weekend from Orange, Westchester or Fairfield County. Skypes mom who is on Nantucket, Dad who is on the golf course and then texts siblings all to let them know he is moved in for the semester. Then nobody talks to each other until a week before Thanksgiving.

10's of thousands of dollars change hands between Boston College, the student and his parents. Thus, ticket prices are not an object.

The issue is everyone is too busy are doesn't CARE - about each other or the football game. They can track both on the internet so why meet in or go to a game in person.

Tom said...

Definitely think that price has a little bit to do with it, but the issues go much deeper. Haven't sold out a non Notre Dame game at Alumni since 2007. Obviously that includes a few rough years under Spaz, but also our 2008 division title season and at least a few big games.

It's parents weekend, the weather should be 68 and sunny, it's a 3:30 start time, and we're playing a top ten opponent. There's really no excuse for fans not to come out and support the team. I'd love to see a packed house.

Big Jack Krack said...

Well, no one likes to attend a blowout, when it's your own team getting blown out.

Winning (exciting) football will put fans in the seats.

We have to overcome the the circumstances we inherited from our two infamous stooges - but that doesn't mean we have to boycott the game because we are afraid. Our team is not afraid - I'll guarantee you that - and they deserve our support.

Mod34b, maybe you could come and hold up a big sign "We Suck"! FSU will probably score 5-7 td's - who knows?

I've been to Penn State games knowing we'd get killed - and it made me all the prouder when we did beat that Big Program. During my many years as a fan, we have been run over by Army, Syracuse, West Virginia, Texas, Virginia Tech, Miami, North Carolina, Michigan and Southern California to name several. And we have had big meaningful wins against most of those same teams.

I'm not going to miss this game because FSU is one of the best teams in the nation - that's precisely why I am going. I am a season-ticket holder from 1000 miles away.

JBQ is right - there's more to it than just the game. I attend to say hello to old classmates and to say hello to new friends - like-minded people. And it's nice to see players who understand the importance of their education and the importance of networking their way to successful careers.

It's going to be a beautiful day for a game and some pre-game activities.

Compared to USC, our campus is beautiful and while our stadium is not the Coliseum - that thing is a relic - and really ugly when half empty. Hell, USC has major attendance problems.

As ORDEagle pointed out, Northwestern has attendance problems and really should not. IMHO, this game should be a sellout. The Patriots are away, but casual fans will only come back when BC is winning in an exciting fashion.

In the meantime, real BC fans should be there!!

Go BC.

Big Jack Krack said...

I also think that the Athletic Department is really trying hard to get this program and game day experience back where they belong.

Maybe Brad Bates hasn't reached all of his goals yet, but his staff is really trying hard, and I appreciate it. I don't think the price of a ticket is the problem, but if so, I'm sure BB is evaluating the situation.

I have always felt that the combination of media buildup and last-minute ticket price reductions should bring out the procrastinators and fill up the stadium.

Myself - I like to get set with my season tickets and not wait to "test the waters" on whether or not I will attend the game.

I go to maybe see a Finance Major get a Pick-6 against the next "Greatest QB in the Country". :-)

It's like night and day compared to the debacle under the two co-conspirators the past 4 years.

Maybe Father Leahy should show up for the coin toss - wouldn't that send a good message?

BC Fans - Be there or be square.

mod34b said...

Big Jack Krack. A very unKrack-like crack.

But sadly, no sign will be needed. We all know already, don't we. Wish it wasn't so.

Erik said...

I don't there needs to be a formula for the parents wknd game - 1AA or Top 25. Parents are around for 4 years. If they played Maine last time then why put them through UNH this time. It doesn't have to be our best opponent every year but to occasionally through parents a bone with a food opponent is probably appreciated by them.

Erik said...

"good" not "food" iPhone.

Big Jack Krack said...

Mod - you're right - it came off as an ad hominem attack and I didn't mean it that way. Sorry.


Big Jack Krack said...

Mod - you're right - it came off as an ad hominem attack and I didn't mean it that way. Sorry.