Randy Spetman Is Begging You To Buy FSU Football Tickets
Posted by William Kristoph
I’ve talked about this before, but it’s time to bring the subject up again.Â Randy Spetman is begging, pleading and asking Seminole fans to buy season tickets to Seminole football games. Why? Because season ticket sales areÂ down AGAIN this year, but this time at 11-12%. That puts Seminole ticket sales down a whopping $3 million over two seasons.
Here’s a newsflash folks: The Labor Day matchup against Miami is not sold out! DUH. I don’t understand why anyone is surprised by that, when both teams have a recent history of mediocrity, the Labor Day version of the game is plagued by mistakes and low scores, and with today’s economy, FSU fans are staying home in droves instead of driving to Tallahassee for jacked up hotel rates and inflated season ticket prices. (Yeah I know, it’s worse at a lot of places. I can’t imaging being a UF fan and having to donate $4,000 BEFORE paying for the tickets, but that’s what their demand commands.) On top of that, it’s tough for FSU and Miami fans to be at work Tuesday morning if they’re not local. Considering jobs are at a premium right now, I don’t think anyone is going to throw a shoe and risk losing their job.
Forget about the Miami game and the Labor Day / Monday night pain in the rear end that it is thanks to the ACC and ESPN though. The FSU Athletic Department made some very screwy choices heading into the 2009 season, which in my opinion directly relates to the 4% decrease in renewals over FSU’s projections of 7-8%.
- They made an oddball decision to reconfigure the seating at Doak Campbell Stadium without early enough warning to the fans. On top of getting a letter in the mail, telling me that I was in “on of the affected sections” out of the blue, I was treated to the fact that FSU expected me to renew my season tickets blindly, with only the knowledge that I would have “comparable seating” after the reconfiguration. Then, and only then would any “requests to move elsewhere in the stadium” be fulfilled. View the old seating chart and the new seating chart. I’m picky about where I sit. I don’t like being too low, and I sure don’t want to be back in a corner that I spent years waiting to get out of in favor of my current 10 yard line seats.
- In addition to moving fans, in FSU’s infinite wisdom, they’ve now isolated the Marching Chiefs from the student section. Instead of the small (but vocal) group of students near the Chiefs in the south end zone, Priority III season ticket holders will be there, and the small student section is moved to the north end zone with the rest of the students. Great, so now we either have less than enthusiastic fans around the Marching Chiefs, or with the way season ticket sales are going we have single gamers sitting there.
- The price! Once upon a time, FSU Football tickets were a great deal for a single day of entertainment. Â But now, season ticket holders get the shaft. They end up paying $40+ for a filler game against Jacksonville State, while single gamers show up for $20 and get a free Coke Zero because the Athletic Department is so deperate to get butts in the seats. $266 for one seat at the stadium may not sound like a lot, but let’s be honest, when the product is mediocre we can think of other places that ticket money (and concession money) can go. It makes a $9.50 movie look pretty good. Plus, with HDTV rolled out everywhere, the couch at home becomes a much more viable option than it was in the past.
- “Stadium Cushion Gate.” Again, FSU surprised fans at the spring game, by announcing they’d have to rent approved chairs for stadium use instead of being able to bring in their own. Then they backed off of that statement saying it was only chair backed seats. Then they backed off of that saying that it had to fit a certain measurement. I’m guessing that by the time the season rolls around, nothing changes. In reality, FSU tried to do a good thing, which is to put an end to these idiot giant chairs that some people bring in (in fact, I did it once unknowingly, and NEVER brought that kind of chair back because I realized how inconsiderate it was). FSU’s problem was that they AGAIN surprised everyone with this new rule at a time when the wallets are empty. Here’s a thought, why not quit paying laywers $200k plus for a stupid appeal, and put that Booster money into renting chairs for the stadium. At $40 for a season rental, that would be 5000 fans that could have seats. Even better, let’s quit trying to cram 80,000 into a stadium that should seat 65k with seats.
- The team itself causes sales to be slow. Fans aren’t stupid. The Seminoles won’t compete for a national title until Bobby Bowden retires. They struggle to compete for an ACC Title each year, and will continue to do that until Jimbo Fisher has control of the entire process. I don’t blame fans from Jacksonville, Pensacola, Tampa, Orlando or Atlanta for not wanting to drive that far to watch a team that’s been in disarray for quite a while. Until they actually win some more games and live up to the “this year we turn it around” mantra, the fans will stay away.
Instead of begging for fans to come out, maybe FSU and Athletic Director Randy Spetman should work on making it worthwhile for fans to watch a stagnant-until-Bowden-retires program. If filling the seats, and not making money is the ultimate goal, then FSU could reach out to their fans by giving them a price break for filler games, or tossing in a free stadium chair rental for 1 game. They might actually build fan support and loyalty with programs that benefit the fans, instead of only lining the pockets of the FSU Athletic Department. I know FSU is trying, but instead of trying harder, like it seems they are, they should try SMARTER. Give something back to the fans, be open, early and honest about changes, and reconsider not having a student section by the Marching Chiefs.