Football team needs support with attendance

During a tough football season that has seen a lot of growing pains and heartache, BGSU football has had another issue hanging over its head – attendance.

As it turns out, that issue may almost be solved. According to Assistant Athletic Director of Communications J.D. Campbell, the athletic department has reported that ticket sales for tonight’s game against Miami were around 18,000 yesterday morning. Campbell could not give an exact number but he said the program was confident it would meet the quota.

“We feel really good about the number of people, businesses and friends that have stepped up in the past weeks,” Campbell said. “We still have some work to do and it’s really dependent on the students who come out.”

At the beginning of the season the Falcons received a letter of compliance from the NCAA stating they had to average 15,000 people at each home game or else they would have to go on probation for 10 years. During probation the Falcons would have to meet the attendance quota or they would not be bowl-eligible and the sanctions could pile up, eventually leading to a demotion from Division I-A.

Although these sanctions would be devastating, it would take a lot for them to go into motion. The football program and its marketing department are doing their best to keep it from happening.

“We’ve put out a lot of ads throughout this area, television, radio, and newspaper ads,” Campbell said.

The university has also reached out to its alumni. The athletic department sent their latest E-Ziggy Zoomba BGSU Alumni e-mail newsletter, asking alumni to buy tickets for the game. The newsletter gave alumni the choice to give the tickets to whoever they wanted or just to donate them to the Falcon Club. Alumni can buy the tickets in blocks of 20 or more for just $7 per ticket. It has been accepted.

“That’s been huge for us,” Campbell said. “That is one of the main reasons we’re doing so good right now.”

This game has grossed more ticket sales prior to gate sales than any other game this year. The community has showed a sense of urgency.

The issue solely lies on the shoulders of the student body at this point. Alumni have come through and so has the community. If there has been 18,000 tickets sold, then the game will need to see 2,000 to 3,000 students in attendance.

“We need good student turnout. This is a nationally televised night game so it’ll be a lot of fun,” Campbell said.

The athletic department hopes their students are not afraid of a little rain. The forecast is calling for low to mid-40s with 13 mph winds and rain. Although it is not ideal weather to be outside in, that is what football is all about.