Solutions to MACtion low attendance issues: Zips playing home games in ... Florida?

The tweet below quotes the Zips AD suggesting new outside-the-box ideas to solve low attendance issues during midweek MAC games, e.g., tarping empty bleachers for TV or playing neutral-site games in Florida, where many of U of Akron’s retired fans/alumni seem to be living. Could a similar idea help Miami? Maybe one game in SF or even Cincy? The full story is available at Crowd-Starved MAC Rivals Kent State, Akron Tackle Ticket Woes –, but I don’t have access to it (paywall):

Hello Charles, go fuck yourself.

Akron vs Kent Wagon Wheel game is one of two mid-week games that should actually draw a reasonable crowd. BG vs Toledo is the other.

Here’s an idea for Akron and Kent-field teams that are worth a shit to watch!!:joy:


Move the MACtion games so schools only have to play one game and not two or three non-Saturday games in November. The uniqueness of MACtion has waned for the students and the season ticket holders. Look how the home stands were when Miami won the MAC East on a Wednesday night.

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I couldnt read the article but how would playing games in Florida be better

Wouldnt the travel costs be expensive

You are now removing 1-2 band performances a year

I doubt the attendance would even been higher.

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I don’t think this was on this dude’s mind when he suggested it.


Cutting 2/3 of MACtion games would also be cutting 2/3 or more of MACtion revenues, a lifeline to MAC programs. College Football is increasingly becoming a made for TV sport - for both younger and older fans. This is true particularly for stormy weather prone games in late August and September and for cold weather games in November and December. That’s a given whether the games are played on Saturdays or midweek in November. Many games played from Labor Day to mid September take place on campuses where students have not even returned to school.

In reality, it’s the stadiums that are becoming obsolete. Only about a dozen programs actually need 100,000 seat stadiums anymore. 50,000 seats at many P5 programs are truly to big to fill these days.

Hawaii’s de facto decision to play in the 9,000 seat Thomas Ching soccer stadium after the Aloha Bowl Stadium was condemned might signal a future trend. It would appear MAC programs have larger stadiums than they actually need in today’s era. The goal should probably be to keep them full for rivalry and P5 games, at least 2/3 full on other Saturday game days maximize the midweek TV money.

A Saturday afternoon game in mid-November in Oxford or on Thanksgiving Friday or Saturday would not draw more than 6,000 fans anyway in this era.


If the MAC keeps having Miami and Ball State play Thanksgiving week, why not play in Lucas Oil Stadium? Don’t think there is going to be a huge crowd at either campus so you aren’t hurting attendance numbers (which get inflated, no way 6800 people were at BSU Saturday) why not at least let the players play in a nice NFL stadium?

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I like that! The competition is the Old Oaken Bucket that weekend but Ball vs Miami could be on the alternate day they play.

This picture was taken 10 minutes after the game ended. 10:30 on a cold weeknight. That is not fair. I think the announced attendance was in the 7,000’s, which was probably fairly accurate about early second quarter. That seems to me to be the sweet spot for attendance. By then people have stopped arriving and they don’t start leaving until halftime.

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The problem is that Lucas Oil Stadium hosts the Indiana High School Football Championship Games on Friday and Saturday (where two Miami recruits led their teams to state championships). Those games draw bigger crowds than Miami and Ball State would. It’s just not practical. Indianapolis is also building a roughly 20,000-seat soccer-only stadium across the street from LOS.

I’m not suggesting it’s a good idea but it is an idea.

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I think both Miami & Ball State would prefer to have a Home game every other year.

Miami actually has 6 Home games scheduled for the next 2 years & possibly the third year.

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Whether it’s fair or not, that’s what it was. I doubt everyone would have left that quickly with a MAC East title on the line with a 1pm Saturday kickoff. Everyone is blasting the other MAC teams for having nobody in the stands on weeknights, I showed them Miami. Miami is just as bad with attendance as everyone else.

Dick, you know I want the best for Miami and I’ve been coming to games since the late 1970’s. I also know that Miami counts the season tickets whether they’re used or not. If they announced 7,000, it sure didn’t look like it from home. Closer to 4,000 or less. It’s just time to look at the contract with ESPN and MACtion. I’ll be honest. If the game is on a weeknight and I can turn it on the TV and save the gas, time, wear and tear on the car, I’m staying at home. Yeah, I’m an hour away but I’ve got to be up early the next day for work.

I’m just a proponent of letting MAC teams have a chance to play at home, on a weekend, when there’s a chance to have more people attend later in the season. Keep MACtion, but limit the number of times teams need to commit to these weeknight games to once a season. It makes it more special, can potentially generate more students, alumni, and fans coming to the games in November and potentially help grow back the season ticket holders. And I hate having senior day in mid-October. That just shows you people aren’t coming to MACtion games like they did when it first started.

To back up Bluesman’s assessment and to lovingly rip off Joe Madden, when it comes to football teams (or any team for that matter). If you want fans to come, “Try not to suck.”

You seem to be ignoring the financial implications of MACtion to MAC schools and the fact they don’t completely control the options available. I seriously. doubt we could “limit the number of times” without losing substantial revenue and we won’t make that up with two mid-November Saturday games. Plus playing them on those Saturdays would completely erase the midweek national exposure we get now. We’d become invisible on the FBS big screen.

If we should give up MACtion voluntarily, another conference would probably step in and fill the void. CUSA has already switched to mid-week mode for October games.

Basically, yeah.

I think MACtion is a big ad for the MAC on national ESPN channels, where sports fans will put on and check out. Beats watching the Golden Bachelor or other stuff. Miami would also draw a similar amount of home field spectators on a November Saturday vs Kent as a Tuesday Night game.


Our game at Ball State had 8,000 something as the announced crowd, about 1,000 more than our two home night games. We might have had around 1,000 Miami fans there.

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A few observations:

  1. Miami just does not have many fans…or at least enough to get noticed when a TV camera either pans Yager or slips and shows the stands.
  2. Too many Miami students are either self-absorbed in drinking uptown on Saturday game days…and probably many are also drinking during weeknight games.
  3. Until Miami’s administration collaborates and cooperates with the uptown merchants to cut off beer during games…and move beer sales to Yager, that failure will persist…and I realize that any such move would lead to lawsuits claiming “restraint of trade,” etc.
  4. Too many Miami students really belong at THE Ohio State University because that’s who they support when asked.
  5. Most marketing ideas put forth by dedicated alums simply get ignored by the ICA Dept.)
  6. Miami’s problems are not unique. Across the college landscape, student attendance is down (for the most part) save for perhaps a few schools that have found the secret recipe to attract students…Why Miami hasn’t copied the successful promoters of their athletic programs is beyond me.
  7. Oxford, OH; nice small town…but no vibe for big-time athletics…same for the bulk of the MAC. I doubt Miami could ever sell 8-10 “corporate suites” as there simply does not appear much interest in that idea. Toledo, by contrast, has scale and substantial fan support in a decent-sized mid-major city.
  8. The MAC might try a merger with the Mountain West and/or Sunbelt Conferences…they also might try a “relegation” model.
  9. At the end of the day, the MAC is really not very creative, sits in the heart of the BIG-10 and is slowly sinking (maybe even faster than many realize) into further relative oblivion. Boise and Fresno State worked for a while because they had reputations as “giant killers.” As that luster fades, so, too might the fans…though, both schools are in larger cities and make and market football as a community activity. I’ve also seen that model work at Colorado State, Montana and Montana State. Colo State, for instance has three legitimate “rivals”: U. of Colorado, Air Force and Wyoming. Montana and Montana State hate each other and that fuels their rivalry…plus both are AA powers.

OK, done venting…carry on.


I did some digging and found the Hustle Belt contract explanation (the whole article is at the end of my post). Here’s the numbers:

Since then, Brett McMurphy of ESPN (and several others) have reported that this 13-year deal with ESPN is worth more than $100 million, or roughly about $8 million a season. That factors out to about $670,000 per school, per season, a big improvement over the roughly $120,000 each school received under the previous $1.4 million a year deal, a nearly 500 percent increase in annual payouts.

So that’s the magic number for football, basketball, and other sports need to match. Take our your checkbooks everyone, we’re buying Miami out of MACtion! With the amount of money that is going around now for college football, the MAC needs to pull what the SEC did to CBS and put their schools back out there for re-bidding after the contract is up. But the commissioner, and all AD’s, need to come together set the rules for the conference for the betterment of the players, the students, the alumni, and others; so when the MAC takes on this responsibility of “filling a weeknight time slot” (which is essentially what the MAC is doing) they tell ESPN, “We’ll stick with it, but since ESPN is showing so much college basketball, NBA, NHL, etc at that time of the year, we can only give each school one mid-week football game per season. We’re killing our own fans for the sake of what equates to a few gift cards at Starbucks.”

If ESPN says, “Have a nice day” there’s other networks out there. Don’t think CBSSports would like to have it? Apple TV could be the base of the non Power 5 conferences. Amazon? The need to always go to The Mothership isn’t necessary anymore. Hell, the MAC should be talking to these steaming services, now, about the next future contract. The NFL went there with Amazon and YouTube, why not the MAC? On another thread where people are posting about the possibility of Miami playing in a streaming only bowl game, someone mentioned that most TV’s are set up to allow for quicker streaming services, they’re right. Even Notre Dame is on Peacock once or twice a year. Don’t think NBC wants to move more ND games over there?

Next contract should be between $7 million to $9 million, per school, per season. Minimum.

Excellent point! Thanks, Dick!

And that’s going against the Ohio State - Michigan game.