One problem is Florida fans expect national championships every year. They could hardly sell Sugar Bowl tickets, while Vanderbilt and Ole Miss sold out of their allotment easily.
If you want a perfect example of how the American sports fan has changed his habits, look no further than the University of Florida. The Gators were 11-2 last year. They played in a BCS bowl. They have a third-year coach who’s considered to be one of the nation’s fast-risers. And they play in what for 20 years has been one of the most difficult gameday environments for opponents.
And with a month to go until football season, UF is still trying to sell out The Swamp.
“We have a lot that is in the pipeline right now to try to make a final push before the first game on August 31st. We feel great about the position that we’re in right now based on the numbers, but we still have more room to sell…
We’re hovering right around that 50, 51 (thousand) mark now so we’re closing in on that same number from a year ago, which is great. We’re really please with that, but, that said, the job isn’t complete.”
You already know the reasons for declining ticket sales across the country:
* The economy isn’t as strong as it once was.
* Every game is now on television.
* Those televised games are almost exclusively broadcast in high definition.
* Ticket prices — as well as the cost of parking and concessions — have continued to rise.
Here’s another that impacts the SEC: stadium size. The league has eight venues that can top the 80,000 mark in attendance. They are buildings from a bygone age. To sell out football games in massive stadiums today, a program had better be in the running for a national title.
Unfortunately, not even an 11-win campaign is enough to guarantee sell-outs in this era.