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The capital District is full of sports snobs. If you look at the MSA data we are a bigger media market than Syracuse and just below Buffalo. We have more personal income than either market. Both of those markets support major athletics. Syracuse has AAA baseball and sells out the carrier done for football and basketball. Buffalo has NFL and NHL, along with AAA baseball. Both have strong attendance.

 

Albany couldn't keep a AA Yankee team, has a single A baseball team that doesn't draw as well as it should. Has an empty arena for AHL hockey. Has a 2/3s empty arena for a D1 MAAC team and a 1/2 empty SEFCU for a D1 AE team. That said, we sell out when March Madness is here, sell out most major concerts, and even had strong attendance for preseason NBA and NHL games. Capital District sports fans are snobs and only attend major stuff. The proximity to NYC, Montreal, and Boston gives them too many easily attainable major options.

 

It's the chicken or the egg problem. Want strong attendance? Get a major program, but you can't get a major program without attendance. When Siena made the sweet 16, people went to their games. When UA played Syracuse at the TU: people went.

 

When UA finally crosses that threshold and gets a few wins in March (or $iena gets back to that level) and attendance rises and UA (or $iena) takes the risk and jumps to a bigger conference, that is when the students and locals will care and the attendance will rise.

 

Isn't the single A Valley Cats have a higher attendance avg than the AAA Binghamton Mets? May have made that up but I swear I heard they have great attendance for being such a low level.

 

Binghamton is AA and the Mets will most likely be leaving there after next season.

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It's natural to want a sold out SEFCU every game..and of course that should be the goal. But I think this conversation ignores a number of points.   First..just because we all like sports doesn't me

Drop the championship banners down a bit and make them sit behind them with an obstructed view.

In the airport right now on my way to Albany. Here's to another sweet weekend.

 

 

30000 is not much for that level of football and is 60% of capacity isn't people going .

They are now a basketball school more than ever . Basketball fills that place and drives the donations . Football is an afterthought and currently an incredible easy (cheap on the secondary market ) ticket

 

 

 

Football attendance numbers aren't easy to find. But looking at the numbers on the wikipedia page for the 2013 team, they maxed out at almost 49,000 for the Clemson game, and had a minimum of 33,000 for Wagner that season at home. I agree basketball is what drives that place, but they still get a lot of people to go to a sporting event in Syracuse, which is a smaller MSA than Albany, even when the team isn't good.

 

I know it wont happen anytime soon - if ever - for either $iena or Albany to make a big conference jump - but lets say hypothetically that there was news conference tomorrow that said that UA had signed an agreement to move it's games to the TUC and in conjunction with that it will start competing next year in the ACC. The home schedule would include Syracuse, Duke, North Carolina, Louisville, Georgia Tech, Florida State, etc. I am pretty positive that season tickets would sell out on day 1, and the arena would be packed for every single game. Even if people thought that UA would go 0-30 on the season.

 

I guess what I am saying is that, in my opinion, a move to another - albeit higher - mid major conference like the CAA probably won't help our numbers that much. Helping those numbers will be based on marketing and continued success. If you want major area buy-in and the students to be excited - you have to go big or don't go at all.

Edited by godanesgo99
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Isn't the single A Valley Cats have a higher attendance avg than the AAA Binghamton Mets? May have made that up but I swear I heard they have great attendance for being such a low level.

 

 

They might. I don't know. I actually really like Bruno Stadium, and have been to a ton of games there. I wasn't knocking them at all. They do very well with what they have. That said, the attendance isnt strong enough to get a higher level team to think about coming, and we lost a AA Yankee team due to poor numbers. I am only saying that the Capital District only seems to get excited for and fully support "major" events.

Edited by godanesgo99
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I know it wont happen anytime soon - if ever - for either $iena or Albany to make a big conference jump - but lets say hypothetically that there was news conference tomorrow that said that UA had signed an agreement to move it's games to the TUC and in conjunction with that it will start competing next year in the ACC. The home schedule would include Syracuse, Duke, North Carolina, Louisville, Georgia Tech, Florida State, etc. I am pretty positive that season tickets would sell out on day 1, and the arena would be packed for every single game. Even if people thought that UA would go 0-30 on the season.

 

YESSIR

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Isn't the single A Valley Cats have a higher attendance avg than the AAA Binghamton Mets? May have made that up but I swear I heard they have great attendance for being such a low level.

 

 

They might. I don't know. I actually really like Bruno Stadium, and have been to a ton of games there. I wasn't knocking them at all. They do very well with what they have. That said, the attendance isnt strong enough to get a higher level team to think about coming, and we lost a AA Yankee team due to poor numbers. I am only saying that the Capital District only seems to get excited for and fully support "major" events.

 

 

It's worth mentioning that The Valley Cats are not even a full-season Single-A baseball team. They are a Short Season-A team that does not start until after the MLB draft in June; full-season A teams begin play when MLB is still in Spring Training. If all the days are warm-weather, that affects the average attendance.

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Having lived in this area all of my life, I think part of the problem here is a lack of a single "identity" for the residents. The Capital District is very spread out and there's a lot of local pride/loyalty. People who

live in Cheektowaga or Sloan or Hamburg will tell someone in another state that they live "in Buffalo". Although I've been here 60+ years I have never lived in Albany and would not tell anyone I live in Albany.

People will show up and be loyal for an Amsterdam High football game, but would not travel to Albany for a UA game because it's "Albany". Syracuse has a monopoly on local D 1 sports and a long-time

history at the top level, which is way different than in Albany. Buffalo has their Bills and Sabres and pretty much everybody west of Utica supports those teams. The Patroons and Firebirds had some success

here, but they were minor league (Patroons) or new (Firebirds). But Albany is never going to be a major league area.

 

UA has yet to make big marketing penetration (IMHO). Go to Columbus and you can't escape Ohio State Buckeyes….it's everywhere. You can go into a store like Boscovs and get college apparel from all

sorts of places….but no UA (no Siena for that matter). I have not once seen UA apparel, decals, etc in any store other than the one on campus and on line. So there's lots more that can be done. Outreach to

local HS's, some 1/2 price tickets to lure younger people to be fans, ticket giveaway events, etc. Just my ramblings….

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^^ This. We need to start with better marketing (which Benson has improved night and day already but still tons of room to grow).

 

The fact that I can't buy a game replica football or basketball jersey...STILL...is a sign of how bad our marketing is. I had to buy my UAlbany ball cap from a non-School affiliated EBay seller because the school options are FUGLY.

 

Our lack of merchandise, etc. is sad.

We've see an uptick in billboards, etc. since Benson joined...so it's a start, but we need to keep the pressure on the Capital District and make sure they see "UA" everywhere they look just like Jimbo's example of OSU. Or Kentucky in Lexington (went to a wedding there once)...they even have sweatshirts in freakin gas stations. GAS STATIONS FOR PETE'S SAKE!

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It's not just sports snobs - a lot of it is geography. For Buffalo sports teams, they dominate everything in the Western part of the state. Albany is much more centralized and is a melting pot for the rest of the state where people have their own sports interests. It's a lot more complicated than just sports - it's the alumni group, marketing, etc. But there's a lot that can be done to ensure that the continued growth is there.

 

The scary part for me is that what happens if we have a couple of years where we aren't in the mix for the AE title, or have a poor record. Will we see attendance drop like a rock in the ocean? If we're seeing this uptick in winning years, what would you expect on the decline?

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A lot of great points why it is tough to draw fans in Albany--close to NY & Boston markets, regionalization of the Capital District, etc. But, I think we are making progress. With Bofo @ Casey Stadium and hopefully Sefcu upgrades soon, I think we have turned the corner. With success in Lacrosse and other sports as well, I think a down year or so in basketball {NOT that I expect this} can be weathered out. With better marketing already showing positive signs, no where to go but up.

 

Also, a little State Money {not that I expect this either} would help. The Carrier Dome was built with predominantly State funds. Professional sports in Buffalo has hung on for years with various State initiatives.

Edited by dslyank
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The scary part for me is that what happens if we have a couple of years where we aren't in the mix for the AE title, or have a poor record. Will we see attendance drop like a rock in the ocean? If we're seeing this uptick in winning years, what would you expect on the decline?

We had been drawing around 1900 before the Jamar championships. Immediately bumped to over 3000 for two years, then drifted down to 2200 before the last three years got it back up again.

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The scary part for me is that what happens if we have a couple of years where we aren't in the mix for the AE title, or have a poor record. Will we see attendance drop like a rock in the ocean? If we're seeing this uptick in winning years, what would you expect on the decline?

We had been drawing around 1900 before the Jamar championships. Immediately bumped to over 3000 for two years, then drifted down to 2200 before the last three years got it back up again.

 

 

I expect this again, maybe 2500 or so but definitely below 3k when we start winning 13-14 games again.

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The capital District is full of sports snobs. If you look at the MSA data we are a bigger media market than Syracuse and just below Buffalo. We have more personal income than either market. Both of those markets support major athletics. Syracuse has AAA baseball and sells out the carrier done for football and basketball. Buffalo has NFL and NHL, along with AAA baseball. Both have strong attendance.

 

Albany couldn't keep a AA Yankee team, has a single A baseball team that doesn't draw as well as it should. Has an empty arena for AHL hockey. Has a 2/3s empty arena for a D1 MAAC team and a 1/2 empty SEFCU for a D1 AE team. That said, we sell out when March Madness is here, sell out most major concerts, and even had strong attendance for preseason NBA and NHL games. Capital District sports fans are snobs and only attend major stuff. The proximity to NYC, Montreal, and Boston gives them too many easily attainable major options.

 

It's the chicken or the egg problem. Want strong attendance? Get a major program, but you can't get a major program without attendance. When Siena made the sweet 16, people went to their games. When UA played Syracuse at the TU: people went.

 

When UA finally crosses that threshold and gets a few wins in March (or $iena gets back to that level) and attendance rises and UA (or $iena) takes the risk and jumps to a bigger conference, that is when the students and locals will care and the attendance will rise.

Isn't the single A Valley Cats have a higher attendance avg than the AAA Binghamton Mets? May have made that up but I swear I heard they have great attendance for being such a low level.

Binghamton is AA and the Mets will most likely be leaving there after next season.

Still what is the actual average attendance for the valley cats, is it really that bad or is it just exaggerated in the post like other things?

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The capital District is full of sports snobs. If you look at the MSA data we are a bigger media market than Syracuse and just below Buffalo. We have more personal income than either market. Both of those markets support major athletics. Syracuse has AAA baseball and sells out the carrier done for football and basketball. Buffalo has NFL and NHL, along with AAA baseball. Both have strong attendance.

 

Albany couldn't keep a AA Yankee team, has a single A baseball team that doesn't draw as well as it should. Has an empty arena for AHL hockey. Has a 2/3s empty arena for a D1 MAAC team and a 1/2 empty SEFCU for a D1 AE team. That said, we sell out when March Madness is here, sell out most major concerts, and even had strong attendance for preseason NBA and NHL games. Capital District sports fans are snobs and only attend major stuff. The proximity to NYC, Montreal, and Boston gives them too many easily attainable major options.

 

It's the chicken or the egg problem. Want strong attendance? Get a major program, but you can't get a major program without attendance. When Siena made the sweet 16, people went to their games. When UA played Syracuse at the TU: people went.

 

When UA finally crosses that threshold and gets a few wins in March (or $iena gets back to that level) and attendance rises and UA (or $iena) takes the risk and jumps to a bigger conference, that is when the students and locals will care and the attendance will rise.

Isn't the single A Valley Cats have a higher attendance avg than the AAA Binghamton Mets? May have made that up but I swear I heard they have great attendance for being such a low level.

Binghamton is AA and the Mets will most likely be leaving there after next season.
Still what is the actual average attendance for the valley cats, is it really that bad or is it just exaggerated in the post like other

 

I'm going to say that's pretty good attendance.

 

http://www.milb.com/content/page.jsp?sid=t577&ymd=20090721&content_id=5973136&vkey=team1

Edited by MRSGDG
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