Monday, November 22, 2010

Washington Post Column - Football fans aren't buying what ACC is selling

Here is Monday's article for The Washington Post --------------

There were two ACC football games played on Saturday that were critically important to the postseason hopes of the teams involved: Virginia Tech at Miami and Florida State at Maryland. The Hokies went south looking to clinch the ACC Coastal Division title, while Miami tried to stay alive in the division race. The Seminoles traveled north to play the Terrapins in a game that would keep only the winner still in the running to win the ACC Atlantic.

On a perfect fall night, a crowd of 48,115 showed up at Byrd Stadium- easily the best of the season, but well short of the building's capacity of more than 54,000. The attendance at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, now the home of what was once the vaunted "U," had far more empty seats with a crowd of 40,101 spaced out comfortably in the 75,000-seat stadium.

ACC football isn't exactly a hot ticket these days-to put it mildly.

Consider this: On the same day that Maryland people were giddy about a crowd of 48,000 showing up to see a team that has already won five more games than it did a year ago, a crowd of 78,790 gathered a few miles down the Beltway at virtually impossible-to-get-to FedEx Field to watch a game between a bad Big Ten team (Indiana) and a slightly-better-than-mediocre Big Ten team (Penn State).

In short: an unattractive Big Ten game played in an NFL stadium hundreds of miles from either campus drew 10,000 fans fewer than two key ACC games combined.


Click here for the rest of the story: Football fans aren't buying what ACC is selling


bgbassist said...

Greetings, John. I respect your writing, and I certainly can't disagree that ACC attendance everywhere except Blacksburg, VA is abysmal. But I have to know - what did you attempt to accomplish with this article? The ACC-bashing train began accepting reservations a couple of years ago and is already sold out (how ironic). Let me guess - you didn't get your ticket order placed in time and were hoping that yet another kick-'em-while-they're-down article could get you a seat on the Caboose, right? C'mon John. You're better than that.

Anonymous said...

Reality Check: The National Championship will come from one of 4 conferences. The SEC, Big 10, Big 12 or Pac-10.
The Big East will sneak in often enough to keep us all guessing, but overall, that's the reality.

The ACC remains a basketball conference. The Big East is what the ACC used to be. A basketball conference with just enough credible football schools to surprise us now and then.
The ACC is, for better or worse, a "mid-major" conference like the MAC, WAC and C-USA. It should have the same BCS standing as those conferences.

Anonymous said...

bingo- lik too many columumnits writes wha we already knwo and offers no soutions. Also sez ACCraidd big eats- you mean the aideeshad no say like at Harper' Ferry and Entebbe. asbodily hrm thraened?

Anonymous said...

Remember that the ACC didn't even want Virginia Tech when they expanded in 2004 -- they wanted Syracuse. Imagine how much more depressed ACC football would be if that had come to pass. So the team that wasn't on the ACC's A-list is vying to play for its 4th football championship in its 7 seasons in the league. Hokie fans enjoy every bit of the irony.

Anonymous said...

Hey John - why not compare apples to apples? Comparing a Miami or MD game to a PSU game is not really fair (if you look at their alumni bases). Miami NEVER sells out - they just don't have the number of alumni that have stayed in the southern Florida area. And Maryland - well we all know about their fans.

How about comparing the PSU game at FedEx field with the Virginia Tech - Boise State game played there earlier in the season. I would estimate that Boise and Indiana brought the same number of fans. Yet Virginia Tech put far more butts in the seats than did the esteemed Big 10 powerhouse PSU (with a HUGE DC-based alumni presence). I didn't see any comparisons on that.

How about providing the SEC and Big 10 attendance figures for proof - or are supposed to believe your brush-off statement that they are better? I believe that you will find the downed economy has hurt all fanbases - not just the ACC's.

Keep hating and bashing - the Hokies will keep winning the ACC championship and going to BCS games.

Anonymous said...

Yes John - more are buying than you want to believe. You criticize the Hokies, but they put more butts in FedEx than PSU. Why don't you analyze what is really wrong with the ACC, and be honest about it-- too many blue hose snobs- You know who they are. The ACC will never turn up its football attendance until the culture changes for some of the schools- meaning Duke, Wake, Virginia, BC, UNC, maybe Maryland need to take on the football culture of Stanford, which turns out good football teams and fans and great academics. VT, Clemson, Florida State are not the problem with the ACC- they are part of the solution to attendance.

Anonymous said...

Oh Feinstein. I assume this article was only intended to serve the "value" of stirring up anger regarding how meaningless it is? Ok, so if you don't like teh ACC here's one... MOVE! I will remind you that NC State sold out ALL it's home games thank you very much and for one school- shows spirit and committment that rivals ANY school in the nation. I know. I've attended games at many of the "big program" schools such at Texas Austin and USC and they have nothing on how loud NC State's stadium and fans get. John, try harder to come up with an idea for an article son.