Thursday, August 31, 2006

Fresno's Problematic Fan Base

In case anyone doesn't know that is Bulldog stadium on the left. It isn't the largest of stadiums nor is it the most beautiful. But it is the home to our Fresno State Bulldogs. That in itself should be enough to sell out our home games yearly. Fresno only hosts six home games a season at the most. This season we have Nevada, Oregon, Hawaii, and Colorado State on our home schedule. It would not surprise me one bit to see all of those games with open seats throughout the stadium. Bulldog stadium seats close to 44,000 people. In the central valley and surrounding cities there are close to one million people total. Fresno State is the only Division one school in the central valley with a college football team that is competitive with the big boys year in and year out. Fresno State puts player upon player into the NFL and has an outside shot at having three Bulldogs drafted in the top two rounds in 2007. But you know what I am willing to bet? I bet every one of you so called Fresno fans that we do not sell out more than one game at home. In order to sell out a game only five percent of the central valley would have to attend them game, yet we still cannot find way to get people to the games.

Fresno State does everything in their power to get people out to watch the games. They offer ticket prices that are reasonable and actually offer verious specials yearly to get us to fill the stadium to capacity. This year they are offering four game ticket plans for 89 dollars and are even allowing you to see Hawaii, Oregon, and Colorado State in that package. For the Nevada game fans were able to buy four packs for 60 dollars. Four people could go to Bulldog stadium on Friday and enjoy a Bulldog game (one of the best sources of entertainment in the valley) for 15 dollars a piece. I don't vent often but this is one situation that has always bothered me. Last year we played La. Tech with the WAC title on the line and the attendance was a disgrace to the football program (36,000 fans but there were far less in the stadium). In fact we did not sell out one game last season. We couldn't even sell out the Boise State game which by all means is one of the most important games of the year.

I hear Fresno fans complaining that we do not get enough media coverage. I hear Fresno fans complaining that we do not have the facilities to compete with the bigger schools. Well Fresno fans you are correct; we don't have these amazing facilities or the great tv and media coverage schools such as the Pac-10 do. But do you know where it starts with? It starts with us as fans. If we cannot sell out games now, why do you clamor for a bigger stadium? Do you think knowing that Bulldog stadium has a capacity of 55,000 will change the way fans flock to the game? All I am saying is support Fresno State win or lose. Look at these big schools you want to compare the Dogs to. Tennessee had a horrible season last year, yet when you look at there attendance it is always near full capacity. In Tennessee they may not have been happy with the 2005 season, but they supported their team none the less.

In the end I am asking fans to support Fresno State. Obviously my blog is not going to be the reason why Bulldog games all of the sudden sell out. But just think about it; If there were 36,000 fans in the stadium and you brought one guest for every four that showed up, you just sold out the stadium. It doesn't take much effort to do. My friend and I both bought two sets of season tickets so we could add to the core group that goes to the games. We started out with two tickets five years ago and now our friendly section is up to twelve. Next season I know it is going to expand to sixteen people. Just advertise Fresno State. They are going to be a good team, and it will be well worth it to watch them. But Bulldog fans, watch the Dogs whether they win or lose. One day they will not lose a game and you will feel good because you supported them throughout the good times and the bad. We could be Idaho, or New Mexico State. We could have very little direction. Instead we are Fresno State and personally I am proud to be a Bulldog fan. All of you true Bulldog fans should be as well.

Note - My above comment referring to true Bulldog fans, well if you are readin this blog I am not putting you down. I know there are plenty of true fans out there, we just have to get others interested.


Anonymous said...

I live in Monterey County, and was thrilled to discover a large "Bulldog contingent" when I moved here 8 years ago. I watch every game that is televised in my area, and listen to KMJ when television is unavailable. A couple of times each season I load up the family for a trip to Bulldog Stadium. I am found in Bulldog gear quite often, and the Bulldog Shop in Fresno has a bunch of my cash!

I feel like I am a true fan, and really support my school, even though I don't make it to many games.

nsc said...

I can understand fans who live out of the area. I mean you are making the effort to come to one game a season which to me is a great effort. I get upset with the so called fans that live in Fresno and dont make it to the games because the Dogs lost a game. it happens people, we will have a special season, just sit back and wait. But dont expect a miracle here

Morgan said...

I live in chico and i go to every game

GatorDog said...

I live in a city that is much smaller than Fresno; Gainesville FL. I watch this city sell out a 88,000 seat stadium with over 90,000 fans at every game. It pains me as a Bulldog fan that Bulldog stadium does not sell out. If you are in driving range of the stadium there is no excuse not to be at the game. I do not care who the Dogs are playing. For heavens sake when the Gators play Vandy or the powerhose of Kentucky the stadium is still at capacity. Support the Dogs. Go To The Game. Be loud and proud. Go Dogs!!

Mike Seay said...

Hate to say it but the non-sellout games need to be blacked-out!

Anybody living within 75 miles shouldn't be able to see the game on TV if there are still tickets.

bulldog1 said...

I live in North Carolina and will attend two Bulldog games this year - Oregon and LSU. If I can make two games, folks in Fresno should be able to fill the stadium each week.

I think it is embarassing how our city has reacted the past few years. Bulldog stadium is a nice venue. Anyway what else do people do in Fresno on a Saturday afternoon.

The stadium should be packed. Get to the game. Have a great time. Support the Dogs.

Anonymous said...

I agree. I came from overseas and as a welcome home gift my wife arranged for she and a son and I to drive 4 hours to the La. Tech game. As I looked around the stadium I could not be more shocked by the empty seats. Amazing.

Anonymous said...

I live in L.A. I'm going to the Oregon game this year and the Hawaii and/or Colorado St. game this year. I am going with friends who are from L.A., Boston, Seattle and San Fransico. My friends' only connection to the Central Valley is me, because I grew up there. I talk to them about Fresno State. They watch the games on TV. They have respect for the fans and the team and they get excited to go to the games. We drive up from L.A. to go to a game a year, but where are the fans in Fresno? It drives me nuts. I know Coach Hill gets everybody's hopes up year in and year out only to be let down, but really, is that a reason to not go to games? I remember seeing Dilfer play against Bledsoe. That was special. I remember going to a La Tech game a couple of years ago and my friend from San Fransicsco saying "that #2 moves at a different speed from everyone else", now that #2 is #80 and is starting for the Chicago Bears. That is special. If Fresno fans can't realize that, well then, that is why Fresno State will always be Fresno State. The only way Fresno State can become a Pac-10 type of school is if the fans show up and sell out every game. Even a terrible team like Stanford has a better fan base. Snap out of it Fresno and go to the games. What else do you have to do? The Elbow Room will still be open after the game, so get out of your big boring house, grab your friends and get to a game. Either way, win or lose, if you're with friends or family, those are the times that matter. See you 9/9.

nsc said...

Thanks for all of your opinions. I am glad to see I am not the only one who thinks we have a piss poor fan base. The fact that most of you are coming from out of town (and some of you from out of state) shows that there are Fresno State fans that are willing to make the trip to see the Dogs play. You people are true fans.

Like I said I have no problems with someone who lives out of town missing games. The problem I have is those who live in Fresno who cannot find the time to make it to a game. The prices are not too high, so stop bitching about it. It's the most competitive football in the central valley and one day Fresno will run the table. For most of the season it is not too hot, so don't use that as an excuse either.

In other words stop complaining about what the Bulldogs can't do. One thing they can do is play football rather well. We have three NFL prospects this season. This is the last time you can see Paul Williams, Kyle Young, Marcus McCauley, and Joe Fernandez. These guys have been great Bulldogs so get your asses out there and support them. They deserve everyone's effort to help the team through each home game.

Anonymous said...

I recently moved from LA to South Carolina. I was a season ticket holder up until this season, and I agree completely that it is deplorable to see Bulldog Stadium with open seats. The new seating config moving the student section down is also laughable on national television. The UNR game showed the Valley's inability to fill its biggest sports team's facility.
There are a few inaccuracies in your blog, though. There were three sellouts of record during last season. The Homecoming game against Utah State had 42,701; the SJSU game had 41.039; the BSU game had 42,781. The posted seating capacity of the stadium is 41,031.
Particulars, aside, I completely agree that the stadium should be sold out for each game, especially with the ticket deals that they're offering this season.
I am heading to the LSU game, which doesn't help the Bulldog Stadium attendance, but as Mike Seay stated, if we can make the game in Louisiana, there's no excuse why 41000 and change can't show up for the 'Dogs games.