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SEC Schools Making Concerted Effort To Improve In-Game Experience For Fans
Published August 22, 2014
TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL? USA TODAY's Dan Wolken reports schools have seen a "boom that has seen college football grow into America's second-favorite sport," but the people athletic departments "count on to be their lifeblood -- students, who turn into alumni, who turn into season ticket buyers and donors -- are seemingly less and less interested in spending their Saturdays in football stadiums." Oklahoma AD Joe Castiglione said, "It's a very real concern. It certainly gives reason for pause because right now the demand for tickets may still be high overall in the marketplace, but within that segment the demand isn't as strong." Wolken cites data showing athletic departments are "finding it harder to draw students into the stadium and keep them there." The "bigger potential issue is difficult to quantify and even harder to fix: Are the so-called 'millennials' simply not as interested in college football?" Schools in some ways "have done this to themselves," as college football "is now owned by television and increasingly available on streaming video." Wolken asks, "If schools are struggling to get their millennials to come to the stadium now -- when tickets are plentiful and cheap -- how can they reasonably expect to convert them into ticket buyers and donors down the road?" (USA TODAY, 8/22).