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BU Terriers 2018-19: Albie in Charge

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  • Re: BU Terriers 2018-19: Albie in Charge

    Originally posted by Friend_of_BU_Hockey View Post
    I'm quite confident the Athletic dept and upper administration are aware of this trend, but am less confident that it's a high priority for them right now. Some of my observations include:

    The average age of a BU hockey fan / season tix holder is not getting younger. Look around Agganis and you still see many familiar faces from the WBA days; however, even some of those longtime fans are rarely seen nowadays. I worry that if young alumni and current students don't bolster their in-person support of the program, there will likely be an even steeper decline in attendance years from now due to this widening age gap within the BU fan base.

    I've also noticed that many of the hardcore Dog Pound members from the 2000s - early 2010s are not seen around Agganis (at least not regularly) anymore. IMO, factors such as recent BU grads less likely staying in the Boston area upon graduation, other life priorities (career, grad school), cost, etc. all contribute to the lack of young alumni attendance. This is quite different than when I graduated in the 90s, when the majority of my BU friends stayed in Boston, kept their season tix thru their 20s-30s, and are still going to games regularly -- now with kids in tow -- in their 40s.

    I also strongly believe the "typical" BU student has evolved. As BU has become as selective and difficult as ever for students to be accepted into, the "typical" BU student seems to be even more academic, community and research-focused compared to predecessors. Athletics seems even less likely to be a part of these students' lives, where the appeal of attending BU hockey games (or any athletics event) and becoming a devoted BU hockey fan seems like a lower priority nowadays for many students.

    In this digital age, it's also much easier to follow the team and find out what you need to know via social media. One can't underestimate the unintended consequences that current technology capabilities have had on in-person support of BU hockey. Local fans can feel connected/engaged to the program without committing the time & money regularly to attend games.
    My apologies. I didn't read this before I made my post - I just read the posts sequentially and responded when I got to the post I was commenting on). You essentially made all my points.

    Comment


    • Re: BU Terriers 2018-19: Albie in Charge

      Originally posted by brassbonanza View Post
      PC has wins over a tired/injured UConn, AIC, and Miami, got shutout by ND and tied Sacred Heart. They also lost a few players in the opening weeks. While they're certainly very good they don't appear to be world beaters at this point.
      You can be certain Leaman's been reminding his team about last season's HE tournament final. And then there'll be the banner raising with the Friars on the ice. PC will come out fast and hard; hope BU will be ready to do the same from the getgo.

      On a separate note, just received this email. Heard that Albie was very insistent that the lounge be re-opened:
      Boston University Athletics is excited to announce that the Friends of BU Hockey Lounge will be open to all Friends of BU Hockey donors following most games throughout the 2018-19 season. The lounge will open for the first time this year immediately following Terrier Hockey's regular season home opener against Providence College on Friday, October 26.

      Complimentary desserts and coffee will be provided in the space, which is located directly next to the Agganis Arena ticket office. Please note that the lounge may be closed after certain games due to previously booked rentals.
      Last edited by Rogie21; 10-25-2018, 03:15 PM.
      The Terrier Hockey Fan Blog

      Comment


      • Originally posted by chickod View Post
        What can they "do" about it? This discussion has been going on for at least five years. Attendance is down EVERYWHERE in college sports. The old days ain't coming back. There are too many other distractions in addition to the fact that it is just too easy to watch/listen/follow a game via technology. For many, there is not the attention span to sit through live games anymore.

        You'll probably say "marketing" or "promotions." But if the kids don't want to go, you can't force them to. This is not an isolated campus where it's the "only game in town." And again (I have mentioned this ad nauseum but apparently some people just don't want to accept/acknowledge it), college hockey is a NICHE sport (regardless of those of us who live and die with it). Even at Columbia in the middle of NYC you would probably get good crowds for a basketball game (for example), because people who come from ANYWHERE in the country/world are familiar with the game. That is NOT the case in hockey and anyone who thinks it is has their head in the sand.

        I'm not "absolving" the athletic department. Are there some things they "could" do? I suppose, but I believe they would have minimal impact. BU is no longer a blue-collar, local commuter school. Most people couldn't care less about hockey. Sorry if you don't like to hear that. After a while one would think that the results (I'm not referring to the "results" on the ice, but rather in the stands) would speak for themselves.
        I appreciate the response but ...

        - I never said college hockey isn't a niche sport. It always has been. In
        fact, the quality of the play is probably higher now than in the past (there
        are certainly more players going to the NHL than, say, 30 yeas ago). That
        doesn't explain the drop in attendance.
        - I would not "probably say 'marketing' or 'promotions'" are the solution.
        That might help a bit but it seems like the problem goes far deeper than
        that. Apparently, you agree.
        - Actually, I don't mind hearing that most people couldn't care less about
        hockey. I know that. And BU hasn't been a "blue-collar, local commuter
        school" for several decades. But many students who did not grow up with
        hockey, and some who didn't even like it very much, still came to games. The student attendance drop seems to be a very recent phenomenon.
        - Actually, Columbia's basketball attendance, especially when considering
        that it is located in New York City, is not very good (although better than at BU). No doubt many students there are familiar with basketball but sports aren't very important at Columbia and basketball is no exception.


        I can't say I have a solution but please don't put words in my mouth.

        Comment


        • Re: BU Terriers 2018-19: Albie in Charge

          Originally posted by srsterrier View Post
          I can't say I have a solution but please don't put words in my mouth.
          I almost put "one might say" which would ensure that it was interpreted as a hypothetical, so that's my error. But I WOULD be interested to hear your suggestions about a solution, since you DID say "are they doing anything about it?" I just wanted to know what you think they should do. Because, unfortunately, I think you pretty much stated why it's so difficult today to get people to attend.

          Comment


          • Re: BU Terriers 2018-19: Albie in Charge

            Originally posted by srsterrier View Post
            I appreciate the response but ...

            - I never said college hockey isn't a niche sport. It always has been. In
            fact, the quality of the play is probably higher now than in the past (there
            are certainly more players going to the NHL than, say, 30 yeas ago). That
            doesn't explain the drop in attendance.
            - I would not "probably say 'marketing' or 'promotions'" are the solution.
            That might help a bit but it seems like the problem goes far deeper than
            that. Apparently, you agree.
            - Actually, I don't mind hearing that most people couldn't care less about
            hockey. I know that. And BU hasn't been a "blue-collar, local commuter
            school" for several decades. But many students who did not grow up with
            hockey, and some who didn't even like it very much, still came to games. The student attendance drop seems to be a very recent phenomenon.
            - Actually, Columbia's basketball attendance, especially when considering
            that it is located in New York City, is not very good (although better than at BU). No doubt many students there are familiar with basketball but sports aren't very important at Columbia and basketball is no exception.


            I can't say I have a solution but please don't put words in my mouth.
            I was reading an alumni publication recently that showed that the percentage of Bay Staters in each incoming freshman class at BU had been steadily dropping over a number of years. When I was a freshman (1984), 60% of our class was from MA, and now the percentage is in the 20s, apparently. I'm guessing the average BU student these days comes to school a lot less familiar with the game than we did, which could be one factor.
            Boston University CAS'88

            GO BU!

            Comment


            • Re: BU Terriers 2018-19: Albie in Charge

              Originally posted by wysi View Post
              I'm guessing the average BU student these days comes to school a lot less familiar with the game than we did, which could be one factor.
              I believe this is a factor, despite the growth of hockey in the U.S. in the last 20-25 years in non-traditional hockey markets.

              I also believe the BU student body is more diverse than ever by geography (domestic & international) as well as by race/ethnicity (i.e. 36.6% of current BU students identify as "White"). With hockey as a niche sport whose fans are predominantly white, along with BU now accepting only 22% of applicants and attracting the most academically-inclined students who are less likely to be involved/interested in sports, there's likely a declining population of BU students for whom hockey is a primary or even secondary sport they're interested in. And there are more activities and interests than ever before for students to pursue both on and off-campus, so the competition for one's time and attention is greater than ever.

              Honestly I don't even know if winning a National Championship anytime soon would have a major positive impact on student interest in the hockey program. So does the focus then shift towards retaining the existing fan base plus supplement the non-student fan base thru more aggressive marketing & promotion of the product throughout greater Boston (which there have been efforts -- i.e. local TV commercials, ads, billboards)?

              Comment


              • Re: BU Terriers 2018-19: Albie in Charge

                Everything mentioned could be factors... but... how much has attendance really dropped off vs the crowd seems sparse in the much bigger arena? 3,806 seems pretty empty in Agganis.

                Comment


                • Re: BU Terriers 2018-19: Albie in Charge

                  I am reading the responses to this thread in between periods of the BC-St Cloud game streaming on ESPN3
                  Granted it is a Thursday but the crowd is awful especially among season ticket holders
                  Attendance a problem at most schools
                  In previous years might have swung by BC tonight (only 10 minutes away)
                  However parking is tough there now and bruins, Celtics, Thursday night football also easy to watch
                  TV also having an impact on attendance

                  Comment


                  • Re: BU Terriers 2018-19: Albie in Charge

                    Originally posted by ericredaxe View Post
                    Everything mentioned could be factors... but... how much has attendance really dropped off vs the crowd seems sparse in the much bigger arena? 3,806 seems pretty empty in Agganis.
                    When I was in school (2002-2006), Agganis routinely had approximately 5k-6k (USCHO reports an average in the 5k for the first few years of Agganis as well as the years I was a season ticket holder (through 2009). I know for the friends that I used to attend games with some of the factors were weekly expense, grad school (either in Boston or elsewhere), but also the housing market in the Boston area. Even friends of mine who wanted to stay in the area couldn't afford a house. I moved up to NH, but the town I work in in Mass -- the average housing price is 568K and the average for the town my husband works in is 972k. The whole neighborhood around Fenway has changed dramatically since I was in school and the apartments being built don't seem to cater to students or the average BU hockey fan.

                    I'm not sure what the answer is, but I'm sure these things (plus those mentioned below) certainly play a role.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by bostonewe View Post
                      When I was in school (2002-2006), Agganis routinely had approximately 5k-6k (USCHO reports an average in the 5k for the first few years of Agganis as well as the years I was a season ticket holder (through 2009). I know for the friends that I used to attend games with some of the factors were weekly expense, grad school (either in Boston or elsewhere), but also the housing market in the Boston area. Even friends of mine who wanted to stay in the area couldn't afford a house. I moved up to NH, but the town I work in in Mass -- the average housing price is 568K and the average for the town my husband works in is 972k. The whole neighborhood around Fenway has changed dramatically since I was in school and the apartments being built don't seem to cater to students or the average BU hockey fan.

                      I'm not sure what the answer is, but I'm sure these things (plus those mentioned below) certainly play a role.
                      Indeed., attendance was up for the first few years of Agganis, but, how much of that was a new arena excitement bump vs the real popularity of BU hockey? For years and years we played in a 3806 seat arena that sold out for many (but not all) games, so it is not surprising that we are not routinely filling up a 6300 seat arena.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by bostonewe View Post
                        When I was in school (2002-2006), Agganis routinely had approximately 5k-6k (USCHO reports an average in the 5k for the first few years of Agganis as well as the years I was a season ticket holder (through 2009). I know for the friends that I used to attend games with some of the factors were weekly expense, grad school (either in Boston or elsewhere), but also the housing market in the Boston area. Even friends of mine who wanted to stay in the area couldn't afford a house. I moved up to NH, but the town I work in in Mass -- the average housing price is 568K and the average for the town my husband works in is 972k. The whole neighborhood around Fenway has changed dramatically since I was in school and the apartments being built don't seem to cater to students or the average BU hockey fan.

                        I'm not sure what the answer is, but I'm sure these things (plus those mentioned below) certainly play a role.
                        Good points, although I wasn’t referring to overall attendance, just the student sections (of course, the student sections impact the overall attendance). We try to come up to Boston once a year for a game and we are just amazed by the dramatic changes.
                        P.S. Haven’t seen you post here in a while ... welcome back.

                        Comment


                        • Re: BU Terriers 2018-19: Albie in Charge

                          Honestly, the dog pound hasn’t been as active as a whole recently. Very few trips, if any, to away games have been planned. There’s be no on campus events held by the dog pound and so why would kids show up? If your friends aren’t going, and the student section isn’t doing anything to make you want to go, or keep coming back, why would you? The Dog Pound used to be where you made friends/saw your friends. Games were a social event. But that environment has to be created by dog pound leadership and it hasn’t been. I don’t know how to fix it, but that’s part of the problem.
                          It's just as serious as you're willing to take it.

                          Comment


                          • Re: BU Terriers 2018-19: Albie in Charge

                            Originally posted by srsterrier View Post
                            Good points, although I wasn’t referring to overall attendance, just the student sections (of course, the student sections impact the overall attendance). We try to come up to Boston once a year for a game and we are just amazed by the dramatic changes.
                            P.S. Haven’t seen you post here in a while ... welcome back.
                            Thanks! Feeling a little removed from the program (and college hockey) these days -- though I do get to about 5-6 UNH games a year (the husband still has season tickets).

                            Was back at campus a few times this summer (saw Foo Fighters and Pearl Jam at Fenway and was hoping to score some free parking in my old haunts...but the neighborhood has changed )

                            Comment


                            • Re: BU Terriers 2018-19: Albie in Charge

                              Originally posted by srsterrier View Post
                              Good points, although I wasn’t referring to overall attendance, just the student sections (of course, the student sections impact the overall attendance). We try to come up to Boston once a year for a game and we are just amazed by the dramatic changes.
                              P.S. Haven’t seen you post here in a while ... welcome back.
                              Not only does student attendance affect overall attendance, it also will affect future attendance. Younger alums that went to a lot of games while they were at school are probably far more likely to be customers / season ticket holders than kids who never went to games while in school. If today's students are not going, the pipeline of future customers is smaller for sure.

                              Comment


                              • Re: BU Terriers 2018-19: Albie in Charge

                                Originally posted by ericredaxe View Post
                                Indeed., attendance was up for the first few years of Agganis, but, how much of that was a new arena excitement bump vs the real popularity of BU hockey? For years and years we played in a 3806 seat arena that sold out for many (but not all) games, so it is not surprising that we are not routinely filling up a 6300 seat arena.
                                Well, now you're introducing another issue. In case people don't realize it, Agganis was not built SOLELY for hockey. It was built to derive general revenue from many of the other events that would not fill an arena the size of TD Garden, but would be perfect for the "smaller" size arenas. I remember attending the Chicago/Earth Wind and Fire concert there in 2009, just to mention one example. And part of the season ticket "perk" was first right of refusal for tickets to ALL events.

                                So I would contend that much of that uptick in attendance WAS indeed the result of the arena bump, and "people" should have understood that it would level back off in a few years. Anyone who tried to correlate the temporary increase in attendance with an increase in "popularity" of BU hockey would have been promoting a misleading narrative. Taking the arena out of the equation, we are left with the original issue - why is attendance down everywhere? And it is exacerbated here because of all the reasons that everyone above has mentioned, but IMO primarily because of the changing student demographics.

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