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DrivenT

Bobby Cox Rejoices - Success Factor in Full Bloom

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Westfield lost at Regionals in 2015. So they only had 5 success points, 6 are needed to move up due to success points. When Columbus East first moved to 5A it was for both enrollment and success factor reasons, so it can happen, just not in Westfields case. Really the only difference is if success factor was one reason you moved up, you will stay in new class if you obtain 3 success points, regardless of enrollment. We did get that, but our enrollment also kept us in 5A (even if we were upset in sectionals and our enrollment dipped to 4A, we'd continue in 5A due to success points from winning state,  won't happen our enrollment will keep us 5A again and may go to 6A bc success factors, but just showing hypothetical). Westfields enrollment is well into 6A. No going back for them. 

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I believe that the declining attendance at the state finals is running directly in tandem with the overall declines in football participation, game attendance, media coverage, television ratings and the overall antipathy that is seeping into the game.

Many will object to these observations, but the data supporting these facts are clear.

2017 attendance is down almost 40% from the peak in 2008.  That is a BIG number!!

The attendance declines will continue unless changes are made to reinvigorate the state finals experience for all involved.

 

 

 

 

Edited by DrivenT
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My personal opinion is that much of the rise of Indiana HS football can be tied to the overarching influence of Peyton Manning...you guys up North and South can feel free to disagree but his influence in Central Indiana (accordant with the Colts success) was seminal in my opinion to the growth in popularity v. Basketball.

Frankly, my opinion is that he provided a launching pad.  How we stay in orbit is another question.

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6 hours ago, DrivenT said:

I believe that the declining attendance at the state finals is running directly in tandem with the overall declines in football participation, game attendance, media coverage, television ratings and the overall antipathy that is seeping into the game.

Many will object to these observations, but the data supporting these facts are clear.

2017 attendance is down almost 40% from the peak in 2008.  That is a BIG number!!

The attendance declines will continue unless changes are made to reinvigorate the state finals experience for all involved.

 

Comparing any State Finals to 2008 is disingenuous. Lucas Oil Stadium opened in August of 2008, so the huge inflation in attendance in 2008 State Finals is a direct result of the first year it was held at Lucas Oil Stadium and the interest of people even with no affiliation with the teams playing of seeing games from Lucas Oil. Attendance is down I agree with that, but you likely will never see the numbers matched from 2008 State Finals unless another new stadium were built down the road.

I actually 100% disagree that the declining attendance of the State Finals has to do with overall antipathy or football participation. I think a majority of the reason has been discussed less teams from the Indy area (to some people from afar it is not in their budget to drive to Indy and pay the money). I think it also has to do with some of the teams being from small town who have a great following from their town but it's just a small town. The 2 teams that brought big crowds were Ben Davis (Indy area team) and Evansville Memorial (any Evansville area team usually brings a large crowd).

I think a big reason why there was a larger number last year was because Center Grove and Carmel were playing each other both brought large followings. Now the reason I think attendance is down is convenience, the games are televised and some people would rather watch from the comfort of their own home rather than: spend money on gas, spend money on tickets, spend money on the very high concessions. Just my opinion, but I definitely do not think it has anything to do with antipathy towards football. 

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7 hours ago, DrivenT said:

I believe that the declining attendance at the state finals is running directly in tandem with the overall declines in football participation, game attendance, media coverage, television ratings and the overall antipathy that is seeping into the game.

Many will object to these observations, but the data supporting these facts are clear.

2017 attendance is down almost 40% from the peak in 2008.  That is a BIG number!!

The attendance declines will continue unless changes are made to reinvigorate the state finals experience for all involved.

 

Like @FastpacedO said, 2008 is not a good comparison point since it was the first year in Lucas Oil. Matter of fact, take out 2008, and the rest of the years kind of fall into place in a fairly distinctive clustering.  A case could also probably be made for 2007 as well as it was the swan song for the RCA Dome games.  Again, the numbers from the top attendance games in 5-class/6-class ball.

Year

Attendance

Attendance per game

P/P

Repeat

2016

46,455

7,743

2

2

2015

42,666

7,111

3

0

2014

44,503

7,417

2

3

2013

43,985

7,331

4

3

2009

46,162

9,232

2

2

2008

56,050

11,210

4

3

2007

51,217

10,243

4

3

2005

44,303

8,861

2

2

1993

43,701

8,740

1

0

One other fairly interesting item is that state finals attendance seems to have a much better correlation with Purdue football than issues like P/P, repeat teams, etc.  If you look at the state attendance years where it is high, it tends to correspond to losing seasons for Purdue where they didn't go to a bowl game ... the exception being 2007, which as mentioned above was also the swan song for the RCA Dome.  2011 and 2012, two seasons conspicuously absent from the above clustering of high attendance weekends saw Purdue bowling again.  This weekend, the attendance numbers for Purdue's game with Indiana were pretty high compared to what's been seen over the past few seasons PLUS both Purdue and IU were playing for a bowl berth ... and another low attendance weekend for state finals.

 

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There are several factors for the decline but the most noticeable was the lack of Indy Metro teams in the tourney this year. 

 

In 2016 there were 5 teams from Marion or a Doughnut county in the finals, this year only 2 and 1 of those was a private school.  That has a major impact on the number of attendees.  A 60% drop in local fans is not going to be offset by the increase in fans an hour or more away from the metro area...just isn't.  

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If you take out the two big years (2007/2008) the average attendance since 2006 is 44675.

2017 attendance was 35302

That is a 20% drop to the 10 year norm.

A 20% drop to the norm in the real world results in significant strategic or personnel changes.  

King Bobby is safe, so strategic changes are needed to correct the attendance problems.

The goal should be to draw an average of 10000 to 12000 fans per state final game, and to identify neutral site venues that can achieve that objective.

Memorial - Brebeuf in the Reitz Bowl would have drawn an SRO crowd of 12000 and been an unbelievable atmosphere on a Saturday afternoon.

 

 

 

Edited by DrivenT
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12 minutes ago, DrivenT said:

If you take out the two big years (2007/2008) the average attendance since 2006 is 44675.

2017 attendance was 35302

That is a 20% drop to the 10 year norm.

A 20% drop to the norm in the real world results in significant strategic or personnel changes.  

King Bobby is safe, so strategic changes are needed to correct the attendance problems.

The goal should be to draw an average of 10000 to 12000 fans per state final game, and to identify neutral site venues that can achieve that objective.

Memorial - Brebeuf in the Reitz Bowl would have drawn an SRO crowd of 12000 and been an unbelievable atmosphere on a Saturday afternoon.

 

 

 

A 1 year statistical anomaly, would normally generate study into the cause if it's once in a ten year cycle.  Since the stakeholders haven't changed you can logically conclude they had minimal impact personally on the change.  

To your last line, thank you for proving my point that attendance drop is largely due to the location of the teams involved this year.  Since we are talking about this as an issue 1 out of 10 years the smarter course of action would be to not alter the system to adjust for the 1 year, while ignoring the successes of the other 9 years.  

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Or perhaps 2017 is the beginning of the new normal.

Given all the other down trending elements impacting the game, I would tend to take a more pessimistic outlook and react accordingly.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, DrivenT said:

Or perhaps 2017 is the beginning of the new normal.

Given all the other down trending elements impacting the game, I would tend to take a more pessimistic outlook and react accordingly.

 

 

Logic would suggest the opposite.  

 

Also our "horrible" numbers this year still average over 1,000 more fans per game than the MHSAA averaged in 2016.  

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6 minutes ago, DrivenT said:

Or perhaps 2017 is the beginning of the new normal.

Given all the other down trending elements impacting the game, I would tend to take a more pessimistic outlook and react accordingly.

 

 

WOAH WOAH WOAH..... You being a pessimist ..   color me shocked!!!!    :17_v:

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47 minutes ago, DrivenT said:

Or perhaps 2017 is the beginning of the new normal.

Given all the other down trending elements impacting the game, I would tend to take a more pessimistic outlook and react accordingly.

 

 

That's kind of what you do isn't it?

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3 hours ago, DrivenT said:

Memorial - Brebeuf in the Reitz Bowl would have drawn an SRO crowd of 12000 and been an unbelievable atmosphere on a Saturday afternoon.

LOL.  And saved the Memorial athletic program a lot of money on travel, hotel and food expenses, which the IHSAA reimburses at a pittance, which is another topic for another day...

IMO, if the IHSAA didn't put the games on live TV the crowds would be much bigger.  My gut tells me there just aren't thousands of people from outside of the Indy metro area who are going to make the investment to attend when they can watch on TV, unless of course "their" school is involved.    

 

Edited by tango
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IHSAA instead of going live on that weekend can do what they do now and just wait til Monday and make them ON DEMAND.   HOWEVER, does Fox Sports Indiana PAY broadcasting rights towards the IHSAA?   Does Farm Bureau have a say in it?   

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Certainly attendance would go up without live TV, but there's been live TV for years, that doesn't have much to do with the 1 year decline in numbers.  

There's a cost beyond advertising too if we cut filming live.  The more eyes watching the game the better for it's health (to steal a DT point of view).  If anything the IHSAA should be looking for more ways to televise HS athletics.  

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2 hours ago, Coach_G said:

A 1 year statistical anomaly, would normally generate study into the cause if it's once in a ten year cycle.  Since the stakeholders haven't changed you can logically conclude they had minimal impact personally on the change.  

To your last line, thank you for proving my point that attendance drop is largely due to the location of the teams involved this year.  Since we are talking about this as an issue 1 out of 10 years the smarter course of action would be to not alter the system to adjust for the 1 year, while ignoring the successes of the other 9 years.  

Toss in another wrinkle toward the anomaly, as I posted above ... Purdue and IU both played in a game that makes only one of them bowl eligible.  According the the TV commentators, it's the first time ever that the Old Oaken Bucket game had that particular implication.  Toss in the fact that Purdue hasn't seen a bowl game since any of the state finals kids were in high school ... or even a four -win season, much less four wins in the conference. Sprinkle in some really nice weather and you've easily got an anomaly season.   It didn't necessarily peel off 10,000 direct state finals folks, but over 52,000 showed up to watch the game in West Lafayette.  Only a bit more than 43,000 showed up to watch the two play last season in Bloomington and only a tad over 37,000 showed up to watch the two play the last time it was in West Lafayette in 2015.  For the more casual high school fan who also is a casual to rabid fan of Indiana college ball, this year might well have been a year away from LOS.  

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Last one I could think of was Bucket game that clinched Rose Bowl Birth  

Great time to a boilermaker student!!! 

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On 11/28/2017 at 1:31 PM, WestfieldRocks said:

Westfield did not move from 5A to 6A due to the success factor. They were one point short of the 6 points required from the prior two year period. They moved up due to a huge enrollment increase.

Whoops. Sorry. My mistake.

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Many people who normally attended now watch the “stream” or on cable. Many prep football fans I know did just that. 

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3 hours ago, RDP fan said:

Many people who normally attended now watch the “stream” or on cable. Many prep football fans I know did just that. 

Exactly - factor in travel time to get to Lucas Oil, gas $$, food $$ , parking, etc.... It's just too easy to watch in your home, unless of course you have a vested interest in the teams playing.

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On 11/29/2017 at 7:13 AM, FastpacedO said:

Comparing any State Finals to 2008 is disingenuous. Lucas Oil Stadium opened in August of 2008, so the huge inflation in attendance in 2008 State Finals is a direct result of the first year it was held at Lucas Oil Stadium and the interest of people even with no affiliation with the teams playing of seeing games from Lucas Oil. Attendance is down I agree with that, but you likely will never see the numbers matched from 2008 State Finals unless another new stadium were built down the road.

I actually 100% disagree that the declining attendance of the State Finals has to do with overall antipathy or football participation. I think a majority of the reason has been discussed less teams from the Indy area (to some people from afar it is not in their budget to drive to Indy and pay the money). I think it also has to do with some of the teams being from small town who have a great following from their town but it's just a small town. The 2 teams that brought big crowds were Ben Davis (Indy area team) and Evansville Memorial (any Evansville area team usually brings a large crowd).

I think a big reason why there was a larger number last year was because Center Grove and Carmel were playing each other both brought large followings. Now the reason I think attendance is down is convenience, the games are televised and some people would rather watch from the comfort of their own home rather than: spend money on gas, spend money on tickets, spend money on the very high concessions. Just my opinion, but I definitely do not think it has anything to do with antipathy towards football. 

This is pretty much why I didn't attend the state finals this year. 
I was able to watch all 6 games on my computer with 11 year old son in the convenience of our own home. I live less than 45 minutes from LOS but didn't want the hassle of driving down, paying for parking, a couple tickets and concessions. My son and I had zero rooting interest in any of the 6 games but we watched at least parts of all of them but especially watched all 3 small school games while still being able to help with decorating the Christmas tree and the house. 
It'd be interesting to add in the TV and online viewerships to the totals if we had those. 

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15 hours ago, jfries said:

This is pretty much why I didn't attend the state finals this year. 
I was able to watch all 6 games on my computer with 11 year old son in the convenience of our own home. I live less than 45 minutes from LOS but didn't want the hassle of driving down, paying for parking, a couple tickets and concessions. My son and I had zero rooting interest in any of the 6 games but we watched at least parts of all of them but especially watched all 3 small school games while still being able to help with decorating the Christmas tree and the house. 
It'd be interesting to add in the TV and online viewerships to the totals if we had those. 

Agreed.  I ended up watching four, or parts of four, of the games in total.  Three on Friday and then the last half of Ben Davis-Penn.  Saturday was consumed with Purdue-IU and some of the other college games.  Really only had a true interest in the Pioneer game as I wanted to see Kiser's performance again ... but still ended up watching a total of three and a half games.  If it wasn't for the TV component, I would have likely read about it in the paper the next day, but there's certainly not antipathy towards football on my part.  I coach it, my son plays it, I go to the home games of the local high school team to watch the kids that I've coached, and I'm typically camped out on Saturdays flipping from game to game to game.  Not as big a fan of NFL ball, but that's been for a while as I've found much more involvement in youth/high school ball and college ball.  Right, wrong, or otherwise, there's a "purism" that I find in watching those levels of play. 

Like you, I'd be VERY interested in what the online/TV viewership is ... not just for the finals, but also for regular season games.  The fact that weekly during the season here on GID, one of the biggest questions on Thursday and early Friday is, "Anyone know if this game is going to be streamed?" suggests that looking at the fans in the stands is not necessarily a way of determining total interest.  Another phenomena that I've also noticed in the stands is folks on their mobile devices at one high school game tuned in to another high school game while they are watching a game live.

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Pioneer sold approx 500 more pre-sale tickets than they did in 2016.  Thought 1A crowd was quite a bit bigger than year before just eye-balling

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