Student attendance is down at collegiate athletic events

Oct 15, 2013

Credit Scott Pham / KBIA

College athletic programs across the country are witnessing a troubling trend in student attendance according to The Wall Street Journal.  Students aren’t showing up to the games like they have in the past.

Journal reporter Ben Cohen found institutions with storied football programs like Georgia, Alabama, and Michigan have all seen drops in the amount of ticket sales to students this year. In his reporting, Cohen found many factors that may contribute to the decline including lack of cell phone service in stadiums, shorter attention spans of today’s youth, improved tailgates, and a better in home television watching experience.  

The University of Missouri is no different. This season, student ticket sales to MU football games are down by almost 2,000 tickets, or 16 percent from last year, a level MU hasn’t seen since 2007. MU junior Shannon Logan had student season tickets her freshman year but no longer does.

“I usually just tailgate throughout the game and if I (want to) watch the game I’ll go to like a bar or home to watch it,” Logan said.

Logan said her friends have similar tendencies when it comes to game day festivities and going to the stadium isn’t necessarily a priority. She said when she wants to go to a game, it is hard to find someone to go with.

MU Athletic Department Spokesperson Chad Moller said attending football games is an important part of upholding school traditions.

“The college tradition with the bands and our Golden Girls and Truman the Tiger, cheer squad…It just can’t be beat for an in-person experience,” Moeller said. “Those are the things that they can’t get at home.”

Moller said student attendance is a national topic that the athletic program is working to understand. He said it is on the university’s radar, but he is still happy about the overall ticket sales this season, which hit the second highest total ever.