Attendance Goals: Cement Ceiling

mcHale

 

Recently, a hashtag has surfaced on the Temple football twitter page #fillTheLinc18 with photos of several returning Owls in action.

It might have had something to do with seeing that stadium vibrant and exciting and filled to capacity and sound for the Eagles’ season but, while an admirable goal, that ceiling is out of reach.

bestoftemple

 

A university with 40,000 full-time students, 320,000 alumni and 12,500 employees should be able to fill a 70,000-seat stadium

 

It should not be, but it is. A university with 40,000 full-time students, 320,000 alumni and 12,500 employees should be able to fill a 70,000-seat stadium but only a small fraction of those numbers are even interested in college football. (We have a great ex-Temple basketball player who posts photos of him and his sons at Eagles’ games every Sunday on Facebook but who I’ve seen at about one Temple football game in the last five season. #Sad.)

A glass ceiling is an Invisible but real barrier through which the next stage or level of advancement can be seen, but cannot be reached by a section of qualified and deserving individuals.

Temple football, though, does have a real ceiling of interest and it’s a cement one, harder than glass.

The 2016 Owls were set up for a nice season—which they eventually had—but fell flat on their faces before a crowd of 34,005 against Army. On the way out of that game, I heard several dozen fans saying “same old Temple” and “I’m not coming back” and these were the soft core fans, not the hard core ones. There is a reason why Temple always gets good crowds in the opener and it is because the soft core group is giving them one shot. Big wins in the opener usually mean good attendance years; big losses in the opener are almost impossible to recover from.

Getting that soft core wrapped around the hard core should be the goal and build from there.

Wayne Hardin was asked what it would take for Temple to fill Veterans Stadium—their long-demolished home then—on a consistent basis. “We’d have to go undefeated for 10-straight years,” Hardin said.

The comment was just a little tongue-in-check.

The ceiling of Temple football interest is about 35,000 fans and that’s why the university is creating a demand for tickets by building a stadium of exactly that size. So while the hashtag of #halffillTheLinc18 may not be as sexy, it certainly is a lot more realistic and the best the Owls can do until the new Temple Stadium is completed.

Meanwhile, a nice 52-7 win over Villanova would do much more to fill the Linc the rest of the season than another 16-13 one.

Wednesday: Great Expectations

11 thoughts on “Attendance Goals: Cement Ceiling

  1. Yes, 35K capacity is the perfect size for Temple’s present fan base. But design it so future expansion is possible if and when the fan base consistently increases. If it doesn’t 35K is perfect. BTW, lots of schools only seat that many, slightly more or less – even bigger programs.

  2. With the Eagles involved in the ultimate game this season, it will be even more difficult to get that soft core fan’s interest next season. Beating BC and MD would get attention but wouldn’t move the needle much compared to what the Eagles are doing (and maybe even Penn St).

    I’d like to see if one game could be moved from LFF (with a pro-rated refund) in order to play it at CBP. Enough of a twist to interest the non-committed, and would be a blast for the regulars. 40,000 seats there are sufficient and may create demand given the lesser availability as game day approaches.

    Perhaps Bull’s BBQ could be enticed to be operating for such a game.

    There were three games played in November at Fenway last season. None were remarkable. But they were played there.

  3. James McHale , #74, a 6’6″ 300 lb stud out of the Scranton area. Nice addition to the OL. Hopefully he stays healthy this year .

  4. Years ago with the old Big East matchups, my wife and I really enjoyed going up the old version Rutgers stadium. When that coach got there Greg S who made them win I think they did a big stadium improvement, he went pro to Miami and washed out too. Where is he today….
    Was that improvement easy or difficult to make, was very expensive for sure.
    I miss the Rutgers games, easy to get to, nice old stadium and food/drinks were cheapest I ever saw in old Big east . Army games are close to that experience but a long drive away.

    • Greg S. left Rutgers to coach Tampa Bay in the NFL. He is currently the defensive coordinator at The Ohio State. Last month he was in discussions to become the head coach at Tennessee, before they moved on to another candidate due to fan reaction.

  5. I believe we have surpassed the 300,000 Alumni designation a few years back.

  6. The cumulative IQ at six Temple games exceeds that of 10 Eagle games.

  7. See that Austin Jones has traded cherry for crimson, Temple for the Tide. Maybe Coach C made a call to T-town to his old boss?

  8. The Trump tax reform may interfere with funding for the stadium. Under the new law donations to Temple Athletics that are tied to seating rights are no longer tax deductible. Depending on how Temple structures its donations for the stadium, seat licenses or something like that, the donations for the stadium may be affected. This might substantially raise the cost of big donors contributing to the stadium.

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