Thursday, January 26, 2012

Should MSU cut out some of the football student section?

While announcing today that a donation increase will be required for football season tickets for the public, athletics director Mark Hollis brought up the possibility of decreasing the amount of student tickets, according to The State News.

It's perfectly understandable. There's always a huge chunk of the upper deck section empty, and some games, the lower bowl doesn't even completely fill. It doesn't look good for MSU when the rest of the stadium is full. 

There are several reasons for the low turnout. While some students who get stuck with upper bowl tickets sneak into the lower bowl, for the most part, many students just don't come, especially late in the season when the weather gets cold. 

The 13,400 student tickets have actually sold out well before the season started the last few years, but many students buy them to sell them and make a profit and never plan on going.

(From this year's FAU game)

"I think it’s a double-edged sword for an athletic director to make that decision. Because if something rebounds, all of a sudden you’re criticized for not having access for enough of your students," Hollis told The State News. "But you’re also sitting there looking at five out of seven games where your sitting with an empty corner of your student section. … As of today, it’s staying the same, but it’s something we’re looking at for as early as next year.”

Next year might not be the best time to cut the section. The home slate includes games against Boise State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Nebraska, Iowa and Northwestern — arguably the best home schedule in school history. If the student turnout is still low, then cutting the size clearly would be the right way to go.

It's really a shame. At schools like Michigan and Penn State, just about everyone gets football tickets, as it becomes a bit of a social thing, and the school designates a ton of seats for the students. With the recent success, it's surprising that MSU hasn't been able to pack to student section. 

There's a big difference between the upper deck and lower bowl seats. The best solution for students probably would be to cut out the upper deck and try to get another section in the lower bowl, but based on the low turnout, don't expect that to happen. 

Before the 2008 season, MSU expanded the student section, adding a lower bowl section, as Mark Dantonio had a program on the rise. But as the success has continued, the student interest seems to have plateaued. When Hollis and MSU can earn more money from a public that will show up to the game, it's never the wrong decision.

Should MSU cut the size of the football student section? Vote in the poll on the right side. 


  1. Students were much more excited to come out for game days when I was there in the late 90s. Possibly because there was little or no threat of getting arrested and you could tailgate whenever and wherever you pleased.

  2. Yes open the upper bowl to the public, or give the students a very small part of it, plus season tickets should cost more, or discount at the gate, so that they are actually there. To many are buying them and selling them to non-students anyways for money, I think any student ticket should require a real student ID, like a lot of other schools do.

  3. yes...13000 is tons of valuable revenue that is lost. Make it 8000.