LEAD1 Byte of the Week: College Football Attendance

With the nature of college football consumption rapidly changing, it has become critical that our athletics directors take action to better engage with fans and meet the desires of the modern-day sports viewer.

With the college football season now underway, one of the national trends in the sport has been the declining fan attendance. In fact, according to a recent survey, 59 percent of sports fans prefer to watch sporting events at home, rather than attending in-person.

There are many reasons for the attendance drop, such as the expense and time of attending games, as well as the increasing number of fans watching from the comfort of their homes.

Technology has also contributed to this trend, as fans can now consume content any time and any place away from the stadium, by streaming games on apps.

But, while there is reason to be concerned about college football attendance, our athletic directors have recently taken actions to better engage with their fans. For example, Texas created “Bevo Boulevard,” a pregame experience featuring music festivals and food trucks, lowered the price of concessions, and now limits in-game sponsorship commercials. Similarly, LSU added “The Chute,” which offers discounted food and beverages, Syracuse developed an app experience, and Iowa implemented a state-of-the-art video board.

So with the nature of college football consumption rapidly changing, it is critical that the live experience also continue to evolve to meet the desires of the modern-day sports viewer.