COLUMN: Lower your ticket prices and (other team's) students will show

The athletics department is incompetent.

Really, I thought long and hard about that opening. Perhaps it sets me up as being too biased. Perhaps it is too offensive. Maybe a tad too provocative. It's certainly inflammatory.

But no matter how hard I tried to transform that opening to something a little more tame, a certain factor always gets in my way.

The athletics department really is incompetent.

Personally, I understand the urge to drain your fans of their financial wealth, especially when they're attending one of the only two games that anyone actually expects fans to attend.

After all, Central Michigan University even charged students to attend the Michigan State game, and it got a record attendance of 35,127.

Newsflash: Everyone only came to see the Spartans play.

Unfortunately, Central Michigan and Western Michigan University don't share that prestige, no matter how much you pump up the rivalry between the 3-7 Chippewas and the 3-7 Broncos.

As my brother remarked rather loudly in the middle of the first quarter, "This is basically a glorified high school football game."

And, not even joking, all of the alumni around us nodded in agreement.

As one of the mere 15,000 fans attending Central Michigan's "biggest game of the year," I couldn't help but notice a certain significant void in the demographics who attended the game. Western Michigan students were nowhere to be found.

It's not like they didn't make the trip. There was literally an entire army of them performing keg stands outside of the stadium. Yet, ask any one of them if they are attending the game, and the answer is the same "$30 tickets bro, no way."

Did it ever occur to anyone that after spending $25 on gas, another $20 on alcohol and $15 on food that a strapped-for-cash college student couldn't afford a $30 ticket price?

Did it ever occur to any suit and ties that what is seperating you and a full house could be as simple as lowering student tickets to a lower price, say $15?

Did it ever occur to any of our athletic administrators that a full house for a university that has struggled to make Division 1 attendance requirements might just be a good thing?

It's simple economics. The reason an eight-year-old sells his lemonade for a quarter is that he realizes that although he has all the customers he needs in his city block, they're not willing to pay $3.50 for a five-ounce cup of powdered lemonade.

It's the same concept here. Your football team has already shot you in the foot; no reason to shoot yourself in the head.


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