Attendance

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Attendance

Post by Guest on Sun Jul 08, 2012 9:57 am

I know I am a little late in noticing this... We lead the nation in average attendance again. But, our overall attendance came in third this season with 31,103 people coming to our games. In the past three years we posted an overall between 45,000 to 47,000. Based on the previous year attendance (46,143) we had about a 33% decrease in attendance. I don't want to say that it is all because of the Timbers, but that is a large drop. Why reasons anyone can think of why?

Here is where I got my numbers: http://fs.ncaa.org/Docs/stats/w_soccer_RB/2012/attend.pdf

I'm not too worried about it, though. I just thought that I would point that out to anyone willing to read it.

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Re: Attendance

Post by Geezaldinho on Sun Jul 08, 2012 12:10 pm

The big reason for the difference is that we hosted no playoff games. I really don't see that the timbers had much to do with it. The Timbers were around the year before, and sold out their seats both years.

If we host 2 games, that's typically 8-10K in annual attendance.

Even the year before, the first weekend games, typically lower attendance in the playoffs than later rounds, accounted for 6200. Had we played two more matches at home, we would have easily topped 50K.

The year before that, we had three games at home in the playoffs for nearly 10K in attendance.

And the year before that, three home playoff dates was 12.1K of the total.

It also matters how many dates are at home during the season, and how many are on a Friday or Saturday night. These have been the big draws over the last few years.

I actually think that leading the nation with no playoff dates was pretty remarkable. For one thing, it shows how far ahead of the rest of the nation UP is.

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Re: Attendance

Post by Stonehouse on Sun Jul 08, 2012 1:01 pm

Geez hit the nail on the head. Even so - Portland trailed Texas A&M by only 456 total fans, and BYU by 596 total fans. Texas A&M reached that number in 12 games, BYU reached that number in 11, Portland reached in 10.

Had Portland played even one more home game (to equal BYU), that would have bumped us up to 34,213. Had we played two more (to equal Texas A&M) we would have had 37,323.

More telling is comparing the year-to-year average attendance numbers:

2011: 3,110
2010: 3,549
2009: 3,472
2008: 3,622
2007: 3,608
2006: 3,408
2005: 3,403
2004: 2,101
2003: 1,440
2002: 1,685
2001: 1,440

Though people with purple-colored glasses like to think that attendance at Merlo Field has always been huge, it really only took off during the magical 2005 season, when UP was one of the greatest teams in all college soccer history. Even the 2002 championship didn't bump attendance... we actually averaged less fans in 2003, the year after we won the title. To put things in perspective, we averaged more than twice as many fans last year as we did the year after our first NCAA national championship.

It's pretty clear that the team's performance last year affected the attendance, which is understandable. We had six straight years of remarkably consistent attendance (2005-2010), where the average was somewhere between 3,400 and 3,600 fans a game. Last year, that fell to 3,110.

Part of that - as Geezer pointed out - is due to the fact that we didn't host any playoff games, and those tend to draw a large number of fans. But that doesn't explain it all.

I anticipate that in 2012 we'll have a bump from last year's 3110, but we probably won't get as high as those previous years... maybe somewhere more in the 3,300 range. Great home games like North Carolina, Notre Dame, Oregon, and BYU will help, and I think we all expect the team to shake off last year's struggles and return to form. Maybe not Top 5 form (though possibly!), but Top 25 form for sure.

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Re: Attendance

Post by Psychotic on Mon Jul 09, 2012 10:40 am

Thoughts on how to increase attendance.


• "Gate prizes" and promoting to student bodies will help bring attendance
• Competitions or events before - halftime - after as being a possible attendance draw.
• Local band (musical) setup on track performing before and at halftime.
• Bringing in some young area teams to play before or at half time a short game (that would bring their parents in).
• 30-Second television public service announcement (PSA), logos, posters, ads, radio PSA scripts and more, to promote home games.
• People love kids and animals, particularly dogs, for halftime shows; try something that incorporates both.
• Brochures in hotel lobbies about upcoming soccer games to target the tourist audience
• Keep giving stuff away. College kids love free stuff. Ideally, the stuff will promote Portland... t-shirts, scarves, bobble heads, mini soccer balls, cheap zorro-like masks, etc.
• Increase apparel offerings.
• Giveaways include white mini-balls tossed into the stands after victories, T-shirts tossed after goals, trading cards for each player and a free full-color poster featuring a team photo and schedule.
• Post video highlights of matches that include the fans and atmosphere.
• Hit the dorms hard! The most important students are the frosh. Make them believe it's cool to go to games, give away free stuff and play highlight videos in the lobby.
• Academic night when school students and their parents get free admission with a report card showing A's and B's.
• Halftime Games
1. HIT THE CROSS BAR: Hit it and YOU WIN!
2. KICK into a Pick Up, Sunroof, Hot Tub, Grocery Cart: Make it and YOU WIN!
3. INSIDE the CIRCLE: Kick into a Circled area and YOU WIN!

• At Fan Appreciation Day, each player presents a carnation to her favorite fan, who is then invited to the year-end banquet and appears in the annual slide show
• Special nights of free admission for high school teams and coaches, businesses, Girl Scouts and others. Ties to a pizza place, shoe manufacturer, and custard shop franchise mean freebies for fans.
• Invite the press
• Short music segment (Salsa, Rock, ect) that identifies each player during introduction & goals scored

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Re: Attendance

Post by VillaGorilla on Sat Jul 14, 2012 9:47 am

Stonehouse wrote:it really only took off during the magical 2005 season

Great points all, especially the Friday and Saturday games. I think it should also be noted that it was the installation of the LIGHTS in the year before the second championship that really made attendance start to take off. The lights are what allowed night games, which is where the huge student turnout came from. I remember Friday afternoon games during the first championship season where we only had a few dozen students turn out. The Sunday afternoon contests were even more poorly supported, something that unfortunately continues to this day.

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Re: Attendance

Post by Geezaldinho on Sat Jul 14, 2012 9:55 am

VillaGorilla wrote:
Stonehouse wrote:it really only took off during the magical 2005 season

Great points all, especially the Friday and Saturday games. I think it should also be noted that it was the installation of the LIGHTS in the year before the second championship that really made attendance start to take off. The lights are what allowed night games, which is where the huge student turnout came from. I remember Friday afternoon games during the first championship season where we only had a few dozen students turn out. The Sunday afternoon contests were even more poorly supported, something that unfortunately continues to this day.

I agree. The biggest jumps were the 600 butts in the seats when the lights went in.

Think about it. A packed house for Weber State? That would never have happened otherwise.

I will note that there has been some curious scheduling the last couple years for home dates. Things like Thursday double headers don't help attendance, and you aren't going to get students or folks with kids to show during school breaks.

2006 and 2007 not only rode a championship success, but there were well planned ( or lucky) scheduling and very good promotions.

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Re: Attendance

Post by VillaGorilla on Sat Jul 14, 2012 9:59 am

Psychotic wrote: Thoughts on how to increase attendance.

• Hit the dorms hard! The most important students are the frosh. Make them believe it's cool to go to games, give away free stuff and play highlight videos in the lobby.

Sure this doesn't belong in the basketball attendance thread?

Back to topic, that's a great insight in how to continue the momentum with the students. It's the event to be at on Friday or Saturday night (well, early evening to those youngsters!) and keeping the dorms involved is key.

Although I'm less keen on some of the other suggestions, as we hit 3,500+ average without many of those items and will again, broadening the fan base is a proper long-term strategic goal. While some of the ideas may seem "gimmicky" to the sometimes haughty established base, getting new fans in the door in the first place is how you continue to build upon the program. Such a quandary has been playing out with the city's professional team and fan base for the past two years.

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Re: Attendance

Post by DaTruRochin on Sat Jul 14, 2012 10:52 am

Yeah, I see it more a function of a team winning, and while I think we'll continue to average around 3K regardless, if the team wins thats what gets the extra thousand butts in seats/benches... We really aren't in need of gimmicks hahaha and we still had the highest average attendance in the country so there isn't THAT much to complain about.

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Re: Attendance

Post by Psychotic on Fri Aug 03, 2012 12:08 pm

2012 UNIVERSITY OF PORTLAND SOCCER PROMOTIONS

On the right track to increase attendance. GOOOAAAALLL!!!!




http://www.portlandpilots.com/sports/2012/7/23/GEN_0723125338.aspx

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Re: Attendance

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Sun Nov 17, 2013 12:12 pm

I decided to resurrect this old thread rather than start a new one.

It looks like the Pilots again will be leading the nation in average home attendance. Average attendance has been 2,937. BYU comes in second at 2,794.

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Re: Attendance

Post by DoubleDipper on Sun Nov 17, 2013 12:32 pm

Yea, I saw the official attendance last night at Merlo Field was 2,366.  I was a little surprised there were not more folks there on a comfortable and dry Saturday night.....
 
I will say this....there were quite a few more people at Merlo last night than I saw at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis last Monday when the Pilots Men's Basketball team played.....and the Gill crowd was announced at over 3,000.......so I'll leave it to the smarter people in the know to tell us how these attendance figures are calculated.

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Re: Attendance

Post by Stonehouse on Sun Nov 17, 2013 12:35 pm

UPSoccerFanatic wrote:It looks like the Pilots again will be leading the nation in average home attendance.  Average attendance has been 2,937.  BYU comes in second at 2,794.
Nine years in a row now!!! Pretty incredible.

Especially when you consider that the Thorns, while a wonderful addition to the Portland sports scene, are a direct competitor for things like youth team group sales and the casual women's soccer fans. Thorns games are in the summer with better weather and less schedule conflicts for kids, feature well-known star players, and their season ticket prices are very comparable to UP's.

Also keep in mind that the conference switched to a Thursday-Saturday format instead of Friday-Sunday, which made it A LOT more difficult... traditionally UP has always done very well with families and youth groups on the Sunday day games, and it's pretty much impossible to get those same people there on a Thursday night.

A lot of hard work from the athletic department went into keeping the streak alive, and they deserve a lot of credit. The student support was easily the best it has EVER been this year, and that doesn't happen by accident. The athletic department has never had a better relationship with Residence Life and the dorms. There's no way we would have taken the top spot again were it not for some incredible turnouts by the students.

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Re: Attendance

Post by purplehaze on Sun Nov 17, 2013 1:51 pm

I think the attendance was impacted by having two Thursday games this year. Having BYU in the conference does that.

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Re: Attendance

Post by VillaGorilla on Sun Nov 17, 2013 2:00 pm

purplehaze wrote:I think the attendance was impacted by having two Thursday games this year. Having BYU in the conference does that.
So why can't we have a Friday-Sunday schedule for the teams not playing BYU during a two-game weekend?

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Re: Attendance

Post by Harry Redknapp on Sun Nov 17, 2013 3:09 pm

I coach a U 13 girls team and Friday/Sunday is way better for a team deal than Thursday/Saturday.

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Re: Attendance

Post by Stonehouse on Sun Nov 17, 2013 3:25 pm

VillaGorilla wrote:So why can't we have a Friday-Sunday schedule for the teams not playing BYU during a two-game weekend?
Wouln't that give BYU an advantage? When they play a team on Thursday, that team would have had one less day of rest (because they played on Sunday instead of Saturday).

It might not mean that much in one individual game, but I would say that over the course of a conference season playing 4-5 games with an extra day of rest would give an advantage.

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Re: Attendance

Post by My2cents on Sun Nov 17, 2013 3:36 pm

The Texas A&M numbers are deceptive.  They have two games where  attendance  is mandatory for certain students. Fish orientation camp, where the incoming freshmen are required to attend as well as with one game where the cadets must attend.  Take away those two games and you see their game average drop below 2000 per game.  

Texas A&M  attendance numbers have been steadily dropping off in recent years. While they have had many winning seasons and have won a lot of conference and tournament championships, they have never been able to reach the Final Four, this after appearing in 19 straight NCAA tournaments. That is starting to wear a bit with some of the A&M faithful. There are some that argue that with the current coaching staff, it is never gonna happen.

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Re: Attendance

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Sun Nov 17, 2013 3:54 pm

My2cents wrote:The Texas A&M numbers are deceptive.  They have two games where  attendance  is mandatory for certain students. Fish orientation camp, where the incoming freshmen are required to attend as well as with one game where the cadets must attend.  Take away those two games and you see their game average drop below 2000 per game.  

Texas A&M  attendance numbers have been steadily dropping off in recent years. While they have had many winning seasons and have won a lot of conference and tournament championships, they have never been able to reach the Final Four, this after appearing in 19 straight NCAA tournaments. That is starting to wear a bit with some of the A&M faithful. There are some that argue that with the current coaching staff, it is never gonna happen.
This fits with TAMU's attendance for the opening game of the NCAA Tournament, which was 1400. Their average attendance last year was 2,304 and this year is 2,281, so they are about the same. BYU was 3,257 last year and at 2,794 this year is down 463. The Pilots are down 376 from last year, although I'm betting that UP students' attendance is up.

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Re: Attendance

Post by DoubleDipper on Tue Aug 18, 2015 11:04 am

In an article today from ESPN titled, 5 Things You Need To Know For The NCAA Women's Soccer Season.....
ESPN wrote:  Portland's attendance supremacy: One of the quietest but most complete dynasties in sports is the University of Portland's reign as national attendance leaders in women's soccer. The Pilots again led the nation with an average crowd of 2,971 in 2014, the 10th consecutive season in which they held down the top spot. Yet for the second season in a row, Portland's average fell below 3,000 fans. Coupled with steady support at Texas A&M and BYU, among the top five in attendance almost every season, and surges from South Carolina and Louisville, that seems to put the title in play. All five schools averaged more than 2,000 fans per game (although Portland's rates are the most expensive, particularly at the upper end, ticket prices at all five schools are comparable).
http://espn.go.com/espnw/news-commentary/article/13454624/5-things-need-know-ncaa-women-soccer-season

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