Mailbox: College football caters less to fans at games
Ray: The SEC, which leads all of college football in per-game attendance, is concerned that attendance at its games has decreased in each of the last four years. A committee will investigate means of improving the “in-game experience” for fans. The list of areas to study is large, but two of the items are familiar to many of us who buy tickets to Ohio State games.
No Wi-Fi in the stadium: We are now a generation of people who like to stay connected whether it be to a friend in another area of the stadium or someone in another part of the country. Limited replays: Replay should not just be a tool to highlight the good plays by the home team. The fan who pays to watch in person ought to see the same replays as the couch potato.
We have many choices in how to watch college football. If the mighty SEC is concerned about even a small drop in attendance, I hope the rest of the college football world is, also.
— Jim Mengel New Albany
Jim: Doesn’t it sometimes seem like college football is in the early stages of one of those super slow-motion train wrecks? It all can seem so anti-fan at times. Of course, that could just be my medication talking.
Editor: Now that Gordon Gee has decided to retire as president at The Ohio State University, tell me this: Who is going to miss him more, the people at the university where he raised all of those millions of dollars or the sports writers who grabbed a hold of every comment he ever made to help sell their own stories? Just curious …
— J.R. Johnson Columbus
J.R.: Miss him? Hell’s fire, I want to hire him. Say what you will about the man, but he’s good copy — and it’s not like he had to be goaded.
Editor: I have read The Dispatch for 40 years and have never been compelled to respond to an article. But I object to your paragraph “Fashion Statement” from your Short Game report (last Monday). Matt Kuchar and his wife, Sybi, represent very good parents, and the boys probably just want to “be like dad.”
I feel your statement concerning their clothing was petty on your part. So if you were trying to be cute and/or funny, you were not.
— Sharmon RudinColumbus
Sharmon: Well, here’s hoping the Kuchars didn’t take my observation as criticism for how their children were dressed. Geez, it’s not as if those boys could have been any cuter unless they had been tethered to puppies.
Editor: I felt the way most of your readers feel about OSU adding more seating to the stadium back when everyone (including myself) didn’t want to see the south end closed off for the last set of new seats. But I actually think it made the stadium look better and more modern and updated.
I would like to think OSU would still keep the horseshoe “theme” of the stadium and believe they will. But OSU football is so big, I think it’s a good idea to add seats. Maybe I can actually get a ticket to a game once in a while.
— Tim DriscollColumbus
Tim: I have no problem continuing the “Horseshoe” name because you can still see it, if you squint. My questions regarding new seats are about demand and supply.
Editor: Bring back the cheerleaders, the Crewzers. They will inspire our team to play their best soccer, and they will bring in more fans — just like they used to! Who says you can never go back?
— Steve PontonColumbus
Steve: It has now been two years without a dance team, so I think the Crew is saying just that.
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Ray Stein is sports editor of The Dispatch.