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08/20/2014

How TCU's players see the attendance "issue"

Tcu-kansas-640x347TCU remains a favorite target for its sometimes sporadic attendance at home football games, despite whatever number the school reports at the bottom of a box score. All teams that are not at capacity inflate attendance figures. It's standard practice.

This picture from a TCU home game in 2013, specifically the dog against Kansas, is fodder and provides the can't-miss line of, "Nobody goes to their games!"

TCU will open another home schedule with a "game" against Samford at 6 p.m., Saturday Aug. 30.

With an enrollment of less than 9,000, TCU football games will forever remain a challenge to fill up Amon G. Carter Stadium's 45,000 seats. Despite its inclusion in the Big 12, numbers are not in this team's favor for a good crowd. There are reportedly more Texas Tech alums in DFW than TCU alums.

Throw in the possibility of the awful 11 a.m. kickoffs and/or bad weather, plus the chance to drink booze at the tailgate, capacity crowds are a bad bet. It does not help that participation/attendance from TCU's student-body is erratic.

Attedance is only never an issue when TCU hosts Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Texas, etc. 

6674872Attendance is not a lack of effort on the part of the athletic department, or head coach Gary Patterson. Do not believe any "ranking" that the renovated Amon G. Carter Stadium is anything other than a wonderful place to see a college football game.

 

Be more inclined to believe this list that ranks TCU's stadium in the top 10 among college football venues.

One of the details that frustrated former TCU head coach Dennis Franchione in his tenure at the school was the constant struggle to fill the stadium. All coaches notice when there are large section of empty seats.

Do the players? 

"I'll be honest, and you can ask my parents, I don't look up in the stands," safety Sam Carter said. "If you are worried about the fans, then you are not worried about the game. Fans should not want you to make good or bad. Even on road trips, I don't notice the stands."

Fid8146According to Carter, he felt no different than TCU's home sparsely-attended home game against Kansas, and the packed crowd in Oklahoma against the Sooners.

"The fans do not ignite me or want me to play better," he said. "Now, some guys it makes a difference. A lot of these guys played at Lake Travis or Katy High where the place was packed. They are used to that. Me, I didn't play at that type of program. Fans never impacted me. Once I get to the game, my mind is set on the other team. I do believe I am different in a lot of ways."

Carter does not speak for the majority. Most players notice the atmosphere, and play with greater sense of urgency when the place is full. 

"You notice when you walk out of the tunnel," junior defensive tackle Joey Hunt said. "They get the environment going, and people do feed off of attitude. If you are around sad people, you are down. If you are around happy people, you are happy. It can definitely help us. It gets the sideline going, and then we get going. The more people the better."

I asked Hunt if he could ask anything of TCU fans what he would ask of them.

"I want it to sell out and come to the game and stay for the whole game," he said. "I know it can get hot, but we're hot, too."

 

@MacEngelProf
tengel@star-telegram.com
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Comments

red countrry

Horn Frogs suck. That's why their stadium is empty or half full. Never happens in with the Red Raiders.

Rob Tentoy

I was a season ticket holder for years. With few exceptions, I was in my seat before kickoff and stayed until after the Alma Mater was sung. It didn't matter if it was 100 degrees or pouring rain (such as the "Hurricane Game" vs Stanford). Time of day didn't bother me. Win or lose, I was there.
And then a new stadium and a new conference and increasingly stupid ticket purchasing priority schemes happened. My seats increased in price, which was not unexpected. But it was the "priority points" BS that really did it because that pushed me out of the seats I loved and gave me limited options (higher up or end zone).
When they did the seat selection for 2012 and the newly reconfigured stadium, they did it by "priority points." The problem with this is that you can increase your priority points simply by giving TCU money. And since they didn't really set a limit on how many tickets folks could buy (well, they did, but it had loopholes and was kind of absurd), there were folks with money to burn buying more tickets than they ever had before. Some of those extra tickets have undoubtedly found their way to StubHub or given to friends, likely because the friends are supporters of the visiting team.
Add to that the increased student section and by the time they got to those of us with limited funds, there wasn't much left.
So I said forget it. And I even said at the time that this was going to backfire because they basically created a situation where the most seats were taken up by students that may or may not show up and stay and the "Luxury Box" crowd that loses interest if the team isn't winning or the weather isn't ideal.

Rob Tentoy

Hey red... maybe if TCU was in the middle of nowhere with nothing else to do, their stadium might be filled too. That's the only explanation for a team that hasn't won an outright conference championship since the 1955 Border Intercollegiate Athletic Association season (3 co-championships since joing the SWC (1976 & 1994) and the Big12 (2008), has one Top 10 finish in school history (#10, 1965 Coaches Poll), and doesn't even have a particularly impressive bowl history.
Never mind the fact that Tech has more than 3 times as many students as TCU who need something to do in Lubbock on Saturdays.

Cole

The Kansas picture is so stupid, it was freaking halftime. Excuse me for opting out of watching the Kansas marching band when there beers to be drank in the parking lot.

HHAYAHH

HAHA that guy Rob Tentoy basically said there are better things to do than going to a TCU game...Thats your problem with attendance right there...Mentallity.

I agree with a TCU fan, there are better things to do in Ft worth than going to a TCU game, I personally would rather drive 4 hours and go to Tech game...so haha your right.

Rob Tentoy

You missed the point, you laughing fool. Tech is the only game in town and thus, is more likely to get people who didn't go to Tech (T-shirt fans) because LUBBOCK IS BORING WASTELAND. TCU just doesn't have advantage of pulling in that many T-shirt fans because DFW actually has a plethora of things to do and it's also filled with alumni and T-Shirt fans from all the other schools in Texas.

In simpleton terms:
If I lived in a town where the only thing to do was go bowling, the bowling alley would almost always be full. If there was a bowling alley, movie theater, museum, casino, zoo, and a library, then the bowling alley wouldn't be as busy.

Thank god I don't live in Lubbock. Anybody that isn't alumni that would drive 4 hours to go to a Tech game must not have much of a life.

THE Texas Christian University

red cuntry you are either stoned or a liar. I lived in Lubbock 3 years, plenty of games were half-empty. The stadium is high-schoolish. Your team sucks, your mascot sucks, and your family gene pool is ankle-deep in feed-lot poo.

HAHAHAHA that guy HAHAHAYA said HAHAHAHAHA. Apparently matriculated at Tee-Tee, and it's the biggest word he kin spell...-ish.

THE Texas Christian University

Rob Tentoy you are singing my song. DelConte promised at the "seating summit" he was "working on" making sure the seating scheme wasn't abused, but that was a trick play. My group, generationally loyal, went from the west-side 40, down-low-but-not-too-low, to the goal line, where the speakers can make an airline ground crew's ears bleed. No more. You want to make it so it's better for me to watch on TV, CDC? Congrats, you did it! Done with you now! Watching from home from now on. Hope you can find a camera or lighting system that can make orange look purple!!!

AGC

How do Star-Telegram writers view the declining circulation "issue"?

tcu

That Tech fan was trolling. Rob don't be so ridiculous though. I agree Lubbock sucks but Fort Worth isn't all that cool. It's a mid sized city. All the things I consider fun to do in Fort Worth involves driving to Arlington or Dallas (sports). This has nothing to do with football anyway. There is what, 5-6 home games a year? If you're a real fan you would be going to the games, especially since 2-3 will be big games. You bring up nothing to do on a Saturday in Lubbock? I can think of something. Cook out and watch college football all damn day on my big screen. I do that in Fort Worth too. You're really reaching and I don't see your why you feel the need to even respond with this trash. Why do you care what Tech fans are saying or if they fill up their stadium? Let's also address your t shirt fan comment.... Ignorant. Do you realize most schools have "t shirt fans" bc they are really damn good. Ppl in Texas grow up either an A&M fan or a UT fan. Why would you stop cheering for them after so many years just bc you spend 3-4 years at a school? Makes no sense. That's actually the opposite of being a fan. Only way that applies is if you play a sports. Also, don't you realize people don't choose schools for a football team? That is retarded. There are also probably more UT, A&M alum in Fort Worth than Frogs alums anyway. Then you attack their program like TCU is much better? Dude TCU is like 13-15 in bowls and only reason they had their recent run is the conference they are playing in. Worry about your own team and stop attacking people bc you're mad. It's really pathetic bro. Lastly, for anyone with negative comments for Mac Engel. Grow up. Anyone mad about this article needs to read it again. I can't believe TCU fans treat one of their own like they do just bc he's not a homer about everything. Sums up your fan base real nice. Take care.

Reality hitting you in the face

I remember SMU at Tech a few years back where the stands were 25% filled. Tech is simply awful and a drain on public resources.

Reality hitting you in the face

CDC: the new stadium sucks. The west side lower bowl was bought out by mega priority points holders who have more tickets than people to use them. You built a lower west bowl with 10 feet of concrete between rows. The best seats in the house and you have half as many seats as there should be. The gaps are so large between rows that even when that section is full it looks empty.

You wasted 200 level prune west side seating on club seats. A whole prime section of seats dedicated to keeping people out of their seats. Bar, AC, cocktails, lounge, food, TVs; all of which you charged people a premium for. You designed it to where by only sitting in your club seats you are wasting your money.

Your stupid reseating program allowed people to make one time donations to shoot up the priority list. You allowed people to add 4 seats for their "expanding families." Because hey, you only ever wanted 4 seats before the B12, but now you can purchase 4 more seats for your expanding family. Great deal for all those people who had 4 kids during the offseason.

Finally, your stupid stadium redesign pushed all your previous loyal ticket holders to the upper levels. Eastsiders forced higher. Really no west side seats before the upper deck. Thank you for providing me with a miserable gameday experience the past two years.

Camden Yards of CFB my ass. KMA CDC!

billee in lubbock

Here is the biggest problem with TCU's attendance. The team sucks and they have resorted to recruiting thugs and drug dealers.

Carter Lupton Walsh IV

Texas Christian University should charge the media to attend the games. No one reads the S-T that's for sure.

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