Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Skip navigation

FAU fan attraction info

Add topic

Post

FAU fan attraction info

FAU aims for growth in fan base
By Marcus Nelson

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

BOCA RATON ? Florida Atlantic is 3-0 this season, with all three victories coming against Division I-A teams.

Unfortunately for the Owls, when it comes to successfully moving up to Division I-A what's accomplished on the field doesn't matter. It's how many people are in the stands that ultimately will determine if FAU is on its way to I-A.

The most important number to FAU is 15,000 ? the average number of fans it must draw this season to continue its transition to Division I-A, according to NCAA rules.

After drawing just 5,850 fans per game last season when the Owls went 11-3 and advanced to the I-AA semifinal, FAU knows that nearly tripling its attendance won't be easy.

"To expect that kind of growth is tough," FAU Athletic Director Craig Angelos said. "If we don't get it, I'll know we've done everything to try to get it."

The Owls will get their first opportunity to see how big a concern attendance will be when they play their first home game of the season at 4 p.m. Saturday vs. Illinois State at Lockhart Stadium.

FAU has sold nearly 9,000 tickets for Saturday's game vs. the Redbirds, and an additional walk-up crowd of 4,000 is realistic, according to Dick Berg, FAU's director of ticket sales.

However, if FAU fails to draw 15,000 for the first game it doesn't mean school officials will panic.

"If we don't have 15,000 for the game I won't be happy that we didn't reach our goal," Angelos said. "But if we're close, I'll be pleased that we're getting closer."

FAU's main instrument for selling tickets this season is 250 "outlets" at small businesses that deal regularly with the public. At those outlets, primarily in Palm Beach and Broward counties, the proprietor of the business deals with the public and can serve as an ambassador for the team, Berg said. Most outlets were contacted by FAU at the beginning of the summer while others contacted the Owls after the team's recent success.

"The feeling is to have sports as a community-based entity," said Berg, who was director of marketing for the 49ers from 1969-74. "It creates a bond and helps you get through the lean years. The spillover is when tickets are available in the neighborhoods."

While the FAU players' priority is preparing to play Illinois State, they are hoping for a big crowd Saturday.

"I'm not too worried about it, but I know to get to I-A we need to have lots of people in the stands," junior linebacker Shomari Earls said.

FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger is optimistic the Owls will have more than 15,000 fans in attendance Saturday.

"I'm very concerned that we show improvement in our attendance," Schnellenberger said. "I think we will and sometime this year we'll achieve that magic number that will give us a sellout and that will put is in a whole new ballpark."

It's a possibility that the I-A attendance requirement could be lowered or removed completely, but since the NCAA didn't vote on amending the rule the last time the management council met, FAU officials are planning to meet or exceed the minimum.

"I'm hoping the NCAA will continue to look at that, but in the meantime we are doing everything we can to obtain that goal and more, " Angelos said.

Florida International in Miami is also moving to Division I-A and is charged with drawing 15,000 fans per game this season. But FIU is taking a different approach.

The Golden Panthers are promoting a concert featuring rap artist Method Man after their game Saturday vs. Western Kentucky.

FIU has sold 11,000 tickets for Saturday's game at FIU Community Stadium and is optimistic of a crowd of about 18,000 for their home opener.

The Owls aren't employing that strategy yet, because it can be expensive. FIU is expected to spend $80,000 to $90,000 to stage Saturday's post-game concert.

"You have to be realistic," FIU Athletic Director Rick Mello said. "We are a three-year program and while there are a lot of things you can accelerate, tradition isn't one of them. I think you have to supplement the game with some events."

FAU, however, is reluctant to stage concerts for its games.

"We talked about concerts, but we are trying to drive revenue, too," Angelos said. "This grass-roots approach is much better for us and more comprehensive. It's building a strong foundation."


Back to the top

Post

FAU fan attraction info

FIU's is a little expensive but I like it. It will get the butts in the seats. To save a few dollars maybe we can downgrade the acts. Boca Residents will sure come out.
Englebert Humperdink and Wayne Newton as the headliners.

Then sneak in Trina and Trick Daddy before the rest of us falls asleep.. ;D
Back to the top

Post

FAU fan attraction info


FIU's is a little expensive but I like it. It will get the butts in the seats. To save a few dollars maybe we can downgrade the acts. Boca Residents will sure come out.
Englebert Humperdink and Wayne Newton as the headliners.

Then sneak in Trina and Trick Daddy before the rest of us falls asleep.. ;D

Haha, that was pretty funny O.G. but I am leaning more towards the Jackie Mason route lol. Maybe Mason can open up for Newton and Humperdink.

Are they doing anything on campus to promote the game? I live in NY now so I am really unaware of what's going on, on campus except for a few friends. They should start to promote the hell out of the game, maybe bringing fans with a Redman concert is a bit extreme, but what about free sodas and hot dogs for everyone in attendance or half priced food. Granted every student that walks in there is going to be drunk lol. If not free food from there maybe talk to some of the local restraunts like maybe 1/2 off a dinner at Duffys for the first 10,000 fans or something of that sort. I think as long as fans know there will be a giveaway they will show up
Back to the top

Post

FAU fan attraction info

The concert things has been discussed, but not likely to happen - the thing is you want people to come to the game for Football, not lurring them to a concert and having them believe they are there for a game.

Yes, you get butt's in the seat and the minute you stop offerring a free concert, they stop coming.

What FAU is trying to do is build a strong fan base that will grow and get stronger with time. As the season goes on and the team keep bringing home some victories - this alone will attract more fans - bandwagoner's or not, they will come.
Back to the top

Post

FAU fan attraction info



Haha, that was pretty funny O.G. but I am leaning more towards the Jackie Mason route lol. Maybe Mason can open up for Newton and Humperdink.

Are they doing anything on campus to promote the game? I live in NY now so I am really unaware of what's going on, on campus except for a few friends. They should start to promote the hell out of the game, maybe bringing fans with a Redman concert is a bit extreme, but what about free sodas and hot dogs for everyone in attendance or half priced food. Granted every student that walks in there is going to be drunk lol. If not free food from there maybe talk to some of the local restraunts like maybe 1/2 off a dinner at Duffys for the first 10,000 fans or something of that sort. I think as long as fans know there will be a giveaway they will show up

Oh Jackie may just fit in well. To take it further, we all can do Karaoke to Sammie Davis's version of the Candy Man. Dedicate it to Coach Schnell. ;D

I'm sure the school is doing some things. The storms and closing probably pushed us back a bit with the advertisings. I know some season tickets and literature were mailed out late because of the storms.
Back to the top

Post

FAU fan attraction info


," FAU Athletic Director Craig Angelos said. "If we don't get it, I'll know we've done everything to try to get it."

I dont know about that one… Im not a fan of his and the word around administration is many people dont like him for whatever reason.. all I know is he has never replied to any of my emails and everyone else has. Hell, i would be happy even if I got a reply from a secreatary, at least would have know my message didnt fall apon deaf ears…
Back to the top
Control functions: