As I was reading Mlive’s game preview I noticed something interesting:
“Nebraska has averaged 15,312 fans per game since moving into the arena and ranks 11th nationally in average attendance.”
Now I’ve been to nearly every home Michigan basketball game for 8 years, and This brings up a good question. Why are Michigan fans not showing up to games? Obviously students don’t want to show up knowing that they’ll be relegated to the upper deck which creates massive sections of empty seats behind the basket. However, the entire stadium has far more empty seats than even last year. Against the #3 team in the country here were less than 9,000 people in there (My estimation. Official attendance records count the student tickets where nobody actually sat). It’s was even worse, albeit more understandable, against Minnesota.
My issue is that we shouldn’t have to be a top 10 team to sellout the stadium. We were in the Elite 8 and championship game as recent as 2 and 3 years ago. Are we as a fan base really that fair weather? I can’t get on board with the “we’re a football school” excuse, as all you have to do is look at Nebraska. They’ve been a 100% football school for as long as I can remember and yet here they are, nearly in the top 10 in attendance. Schools like Illinois, Iowa, and Purdue, despite being very mediocre in recent years always seemed to pack the place against most teams.
I know most of you already agree with me, so my real point to this thread is this: we likely have a new AD coming in who will be listening closer than usual at the beginning of his term to get a read on what the current issues are. What can they do to fix this issue of attendance? Obviously moving far more students to the lower bowl would be invaluable. I think the two sections to the left of the seperate lower deck student section would be great. This doesn’t help with the rest of the rest of the fans though. Do we just accept that we have late arriving and apathetic fans, or should we try a different marketing strategy to change it? I don’t know.