Jackson State has a fantastic idea for solving empty stadiums that most HBCU programs should consider duplicating.
If you want to fill your stadiums, let the young supporters come in for FREE!
Jackson State has a Fantastic idea to resolve empty stages that most HBCU programs should consider duplicating.
Fall football brings out the best of HBCUs. Homecoming, groups, dance teams, tailgating, reunions, parades and pageantry, plus big hits and dramatic finishes on the pitch. But none of that means anything unless the fans are in the stadium seats.
Fans are the lifeblood of most sports departments at HBCU. Low attendance and empty stadiums can have a negative impact on struggling programs. For example, most HBCU schools depend on fan participation in football matches to fund and maintain ancillary sports programs such as track and field, basketball, softball, volleyball, soccer, tennis, golf and bowling. It is a “trickle down” effect.
FOLLOW JSU’S MODEL
18 and under will get free entry to the Jackson State vs Texas Southern game! Must enter through Gate 10-G Parents and / or legal guardians are required to purchase #IBelieve x #TheeILove x #BleedTheeBlue x #ProtectTheeBlock tickets
JACKSON STATE ATHLETICS
Most athletic departments at HBCU should take a page from the Jackson State playbook to market their program. On Saturday, JSU will host Texas Southern for a SWAC battle. The Tigers have decided to offer participants 18 and under FREE entry to the stadium for the game.
It is an exceptional concept. Not new, but a fantastic idea to implement.
According to the Ticketmasters website, an adult ticket costs $ 30.00. Youth ages 6 to 18 have to pay $ 16.00 for admission to the game. If I were to buy tickets for my son and myself, it would cost me $ 46.00. A family of four (2 adults and 2 youth) would take a total hit of $ 92.00 for tickets. Jackson, Mississippi, is not a wealthy community and may prevent fans and citizens from attending routine games.
The priority should be to continuously educate young men and deliver a great product on the football field. One would think that these results should be enough to fill the stages. Wrong.
Average participation in SWAC home games
- Jackson State – 39,957
- Prairie View – 21,575
- UFA – 22 622
- Alabama A&M – 16,461
- South Texas – 7,887
* SWAC data in 2021
FULL STADIUMS RECRUITMENT ASSISTANCE AND MORE
Filling the stadiums is more than an immediate financial reward for football programs. It’s like planting a seed for future growth and opportunity. Rookies and parents take note if the fans are supporting the teams. In addition, media and broadcast networks, businesses, sponsors and donors are noticing the numbers in the stands. The result is simple: the number of seats attracts future players, students, donors and corporate sponsors.
On a sunny and cool Saturday afternoon, Texas Southern welcomed 2,712 spectators inside PNC Stadium, which can seat up to 23,000. The university is less than 3 miles from the sports complex and shuttles. could easily transport students to games.
As I took the field during the UAPB vs. TSU warm-ups, I noticed an uncrowded arena – especially on the TSU side. Longtime Houstonian and journalist Ralph Cooper told me that TSU should consider “selling suites and blocks of tickets to the oil and gas / energy companies” that dominate the city of Houston’s business world.
ATTRACTING YOUNG PEOPLE IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD
TSU has some famous and very successful alumni who live in America’s fourth largest city, but where are they during the game? HBCUs need to become aggressive and involve young people from surrounding communities.
Having something to do on a Saturday afternoon should never be a problem with “free tickets” and the opportunity to experience the pageantry of an HBCU sporting event. Teams, groups, cheerleaders, dance teams and people engaged kids and talked to family and friends. It would also expose them to a new world and become a catalyst for dreaming about their future.
I know it did for me when I was a kid. I witnessed the legend of Doug Williams, Southern and Grambling’s group, inside a sold-out Tulane stadium for the very first Bayou Classic. The experience was exciting and unique. I never forgot it and later became part of it in an HBCU.
There is something special about HBCUs. Jackson State to lead the way by sharing it for free. It’s a powerful way to grow your fan base. Exhibit them now, expose them early to the HBCU experience.