SMU Struggling To Fill Seats At Home Football Games Despite Improved On-Field Product
SMU football coach Chad Morris this week made an "appeal to fans to fill Gerald J. Ford Stadium for the homecoming game this weekend against UCF," according to Adam Grosbard of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. SMU is 6-2 and second in the AAC standings, and Morris said, "We're putting a good product out there. Now it's time to show up." The announced attendance for last Friday's game against Tulsa was 14,930, but the "eye test told you that the number through the gate was a fraction of that." Sections of the stadium "hosted just a handful of fans each, especially in the north end zone." Morris said, "Coming here, one of the things I kept hearing over and over was, 'Coach, you got to put a product on the field that everybody will be proud to support.' I think we've done that. We appreciate those that are out in support. ... (Friday's crowd) was disheartening. I'm not going to sugarcoat that." Grosbard notes SMU AD Rick Hart "wants to appeal to people without a natural affiliation to SMU in areas like South Dallas and Plano with family-friendly features." This includes the "play area in the south end zone and the open invitation to go on the field after the game, in addition to less traffic and easier parking than at some events." Hart "hopes to see some response from fans on Saturday now that the team is bowl eligible and facing a top-15 opponent" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 11/1).