It’s been an unavoidable topic during the offseason: attendance is lagging at live sporting events. Teams, even good ones, are finding it tough to sell out of season tickets. Teams are struggling with ways to compete against home viewing where the fridge and restroom are steps away, parking is ample, and you can see 43 different camera angles from your HDTV.
Quality of competition counts, but we’re in a part of the world where 40,000 people will turn out to watch a team scrimmage itself. Of course those spring scrimmages are free with (at least in Athens) open parking. So any discussion about attendance that doesn’t spend most of its time on cost and convenience seems misguided. Wi-fi in the stadium is nice, but I have that at home, too, and it’s not going to be what draws me to a game. Besides, I’d rather we not have a stadium full of fans with heads buried in their phones. Attendance is a participatory sport.
So I guess the extreme in bring-home-to-the-stadium is this concept at Michigan. They’ll tow a loaded FEMA-like trailer up to campus, cater to you during the weekend, and then tow the thing away when you’re ready to leave. It looks like the portable version of a Cockaboose.
Looks great – but why would anyone leave this to actually go to the game?