Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Pitt Realizes They Don't Have Fans, Acts

Heinz Field 5 Minutes Before Kickoff

One of the biggest mysteries in all of sport has to be Pitt's ability to recruit somewhat talented players. They haven't finished over .500 in three years. They don't have their own stadium. The one they play in never sells out. Their coach's most notable achievement is his mustache.

"Pitt sold a little less than 30,000 season tickets last season but is hoping to increase that number to 50,000, which would be a sellout (not including student tickets and tickets reserved for visiting teams)."

Again, we are talking about a half full stadium, and besides that, just because you sold 30k seats doesn't mean they all show up....look at PSU Basketball.

Maybe that's why they gave up on grooming the field this year.

I'm embarrassed to admit, despite not being a Steelers or Dolphins fan, that I actually watched that game start to finish. It was that whole "it's so ugly I can't look away" thing.

Anyway, Pitt is shooting for the glory days, when the popularity of other teams drove up ticket sales:

Pederson recalled the 2003 season when he and former associate athletic director Jim Earle came up with a ticket pricing plan that enabled the Panthers to sell out all of their season tickets. The team averaged 59,197 fans that year and had more than 60,000 for four of the six home games.

Guess why?

The funny thing about this whole plan is that the majority of the tickets are going to be bought by ND fans. According to the article, one third of season ticket packages cost less than $100. Considering I paid an average of $200 a ticket the last four times I made the treak to Beaver Stadium, it's not hard to imagine there being more Notre Dame faithful with Pitt season tickets than, you know, Pitt fans.

So what looks like a great effort to fill seats is really going to have the benefit of increasing ticket sales, but is it really going to affect actual attendance at all? Doubt it, but then again football programs don't see to have a problem with situations like this anymore.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent post, dude. Friggin' Pitt... thank God I'm a Penn State fan!