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the Chronicle says Stanford has terrible football fans

Original post made by real Stanford fan, Stanford, on Dec 12, 2010

Despite having great teams in the last couple of years, Stanford has the second worst attendance in the Pac-10. Cal averages a 40% bigger attendance at home games. USC averages more than double Stanford's attendance. Only Washington State (the worst team in the conference) has worse attendance than Stanford.

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Comments (3)

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Posted by Mary Carlstead
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 13, 2010 at 4:27 am

Bay Area TV stations picked up on Jim Harbaugh's lament, re: attendance, but neither he nor his staff nor the TV stations nor the newspapers looked at the facts and the reasons. According to official sites of both Stanford and U. of California system on Google, here are some stats.

In the fall of 2009 Stanford had 6,878 undergrads and 7,036 grad students for a total of 15, 319. And for many of the students now, football is not in their culture...... basketball, soccer, even baseball, the 'Olympic sports are .... but football is not. Grad students are not known for being sports fans due to lack of leisure time. Been there, done that. In contrast, Cal Berkeley had 25,530 undergrads and 10,300 grad student for a total of 35,843. There are 15X , maybe many more, Cal alumni to Stanford alumni in the Bay Area.

In the 70's, going to a Stanford game was the family thing to do in this area. The old stadium had good attendance, even the end zone where our young family was a 'regular' with picnic lunch. Then band performances started going from absurd to censorship-fodder to boring. In the 80's ticket prices were raised big timefor employees as well as for the general public and alumni again. Attendance started to drop again.. Used to be that you couldn't find a parking space for 5-6 blocks EAST of the railroad tracks, and people walked to the games. Saturday WAS Stanford football day. Fast forward over the years - increased prices, bad coaches, poor records..and TV. Stanford is not the only game in town around here. Now there are night games to satisfy TV. What alums from Sacramento want to drive home at midnight? When the new stadium was built, Stanford refused to give discounted tickets to retirees, and there are many in the immediate area with not that much to do on Saturdays. No, Stanford does not have poor fans. It did have - and maybe still has - a clueless and greedy Athletic Department and Unviersity management which continued to escalate ticket prices, kicking long time fans out of their good seats in the new stadium which were then sold at premium prices (with a requirement to contribute big $$$ to Athletic Department Student fund) to well-heeled contributors who bought and reportedly didn't bother to attend. Stanford did the same thing when it rebuilt the basketball arena. The Athletic Department should bring in the School of Business Administration to advise it on how to 'run a railroad'...because the Athletic Department hasn't had a clue on how to do 'successful marketing' in a saturated athletic area. Stanford football is not the only show in town -unlike Norman and Stillwater, OK, Columbia, MO, Iowa City, IA, Champaign, IL, Athens, GA, Ann Arbor, MI (Yes, MICHIGAN), South Bend, IN (but that is in a class by itself)....the list is long and the stadiums crowded. And then there is Texas where football is a religion - next to Notre Dame. Those areas are concentrated with alumni, games are played in the daytime, the state schools are BIG. Suggestion: Stanford should "put up or shut up".....and so should the Chronicle and all the rest of the critics. Signed, a local resident of 52 years and Stanford retiree.

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Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 13, 2010 at 5:07 am

Once upon a time, Stanford had family-friendly ticket prices on under-attended sports and events and policies that let the kids in for cheap. I don't remember the exact year, but, at some point, they started charging more for every event, even for events that had very low attendance. Surprise, surprise -- attendance dropped. If Stanford wants bigger crowds, there is a simple solution-- cheap kid admissions. You would think that someone in the business school could explain supply and demand to the Athletic Director.

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Posted by Palo Parent
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Dec 13, 2010 at 1:29 pm

Well, there you have it. The "Stanford has Terrible Football Fans" thread and the "Huge rodent at 10.30 a.m. walked up my garden" thread were posted within an hour of each other yesterday. Yet the Rat thread generated 15 comments and the Stanford has Terrible Fans thread only generated 2 comments (until this one 12/13 1:25PM).

Seems that news about a rat in a yard generated more interest than Stanford Alum's defending their fan attendance records. Very interesting indeed.

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