Why I’m Not Renewing My FSU Football Season Tickets In 2011
Posted by William Kristoph
I have a personality flaw and that’s being Captain Killjoy sometimes. So, on the heels of a great 2010 FSU Football season, I have a confession to make to everyone. For the first time since 1997, I won’t have some sort of season ticket for FSU Football in 2011. I’m sure that’s a shock to many people, considering the team is on what I believe to be a HUGE upswing over the next decade. I’m out for many reasons which I’ll outline below. I thought I would share my thoughts about it with you guys since we’re all fans. I’m sure some of you will want to slap me upside the head because you’d kill to be close enough to Tally to attend the games. I’m sure others will understand my reasons. Either way I just wanted to share my thoughts, because maybe it can help spur more changes.
I Didn’t Take This Lightly
For some fans it’s an easy yes or no to something like season tickets. Some of you might live far away and others might not have the means. A lot of us fall in the middle somewhere though. I’m definitely in the middle. I’m blessed enough to afford season tickets, but it’s at the cost of other activities. Either way, I thought about renewing off and on for most of the season. I’ve discussed it with my season ticket partners in crime, my parents, to the point that we’re all tired of talking about it. We went through possibilities like reducing our Booster contribution or reducing the amount of tickets we bought. I looked at each choice closely, but at the end of the day while money is definitely related to my choice of not renewing FSU Football season tickets it wasn’t nearly the primary factor.
This is the number 1 reason I’m bailing out. The fan experience at Doak Campbell Stadium slowly and steadily tanked for me over the last 10 years even though Doak itself improved on a lot of things. What do I mean? I give credit for the new video boards, the attempt at a better entrance for the team, improved fan areas and concessions. There was some good done over the years, I can’t deny that.
But, there were also some major areas that tanked and really soured me on trekking to the stadium for seven different Saturdays in the fall. The first is the typical fan. When I started going to games in college, the college kids had a lot of fun in the student section. That probably hasn’t changed. Shortly though, I ended up getting season tickets out in Priority III with the “regular” folks. It was generally a fun time with generally kind people that were pretty considerate of those around them. I was even on the cusp of the old visitor’s section and ended up having lots of fun trading barbs with rivals. All in all it was a fun day to enjoy college football.
Compare that with 2010 and it’s like night and day. I had two folks in front of me that could not understand that their back should not hang 4 inches into the row behind them. I had one that went from an over the top obnoxious chair to a less obnoxious version by Game #3. Behind me was a fan that would yell at folks to sit down DURING PREGAME. Seriously, stand up or look at a scoreboard buddy. Down the road were some large chaw spittin’ drunks that poorly aimed at their dip cups. Most folks couldn’t have cared less how the game was going, since they were too busy dumping mini bottles into their Diet Cokes. It makes for a very uncomfortable situation for not only me, but especially my parents.
Keeping in mind that the in-the-stands experience devalues my overall fun at the game now, think about how an average ticket price + Booster contributions of $75 for my level starts to feel. After a throw away game against Samford (and more of those to come in the future) $75 starts to sound expensive to me. I’m just an average guy. Oddly enough as I’ve aged I understand that there are things more important than going to a football game. On top of that, because of the traffic at a game (partly due to what I believe to be a still reduced traffic control staff) it’s an all day affair no matter the kickoff time.
Granted, once upon a time I used to be an all day tailgate kind of guy. For those fans, it’s easy in and easy out because there’s no hurry. Today is a different story for me though. I don’t have the desire to spend the whole day down there, nor is it fun to wait for over an hour for traffic to clear just to get out of a parking garage. I have two days for my weekend and for seven weekends each fall FSU Football wants me to blow an entire day and pay for it too.
Another factor when looking at value, is that I have only a small amount of money to help Florida State Athletics each year. The money used just to guarantee some seats at at Doak Campbell Stadium seems to be much better used when I give it to an individual sport club. Seriously, I’m size 2 font chump change to the football team, but to any of the non-revenue sports I feel like a big help. I get more personal value knowing I helped out a non-rev rather than being lost somewhere in the machine.
Ten years ago, HDTV wasn’t an option for me. It just flat out was not really available and / or was very costly. Today, for the price of a couple of season tickets and a medium booster donation I can buy a HUGE HDTV. For that price, I can actually replace the TV EVERY YEAR if I wanted. Granted, I’m not “there at the game” but that doesn’t make me any less of a fan. I love the Noles and that doesn’t change because I watch the game on TV. Plus, the ACC and FSU subsequently make TONS of money from too with that big fat television contract, right? Watching the game and boosting ratings helps for the NEXT TV contract down the line. Seminole Boosters and FSU don’t like to hear that, but they can’t have it both ways. I understand that this is a business that needs money to succeed and compete, but please don’t try to guilt me into tickets or donations anymore.
My Plan For 2011
I still have mixed feelings ultimately. It’s hard to let go when the team is looking good and on the upswing for the foreseeable future. I really like Jimbo Fisher and his staff. I love the Noles. I want to enjoy being at Doak Campbell Stadium. I want to enjoy it from start to finish like I used to for many years. So, I’ll dip my feet in here and there next year. I’ll bet that there will be plenty of single game tickets available for a few of the less than stellar games on the schedule and pay $20 to the guys down the street for parking instead of hanging that shiny Booster Lot permit. I’ll have a few game watching parties either at home or at my parents’ place. I’ll pause the DVR when I need to use the bathroom in the middle of the game and I’ll eat some home grilled burgers and dogs during the game. All while Doak Campbell Stadium is 20 minutes down the road. I’ll watch all 4 quarters of the games before and after an FSU home game for the first time since high school and I’ll enjoy having to block off only 4 hours on a Saturday for the game instead of 8-10.