What is the state of our fan base?

GTJackets

Ramblin' Wreck
Messages
771
Location
Moncks Corner, South Carolina
I'll preface this reply by pointing out this is my third year as a season ticket holder. My wife bought them for me for Christmas for me the pandemic year because she knew I'd never spend that kind of money on myself. Including Benz games, I've missed one game each of those years except we had to miss a second this year (the UNC game this year) due to sick kids.

I can honestly say I left the BG game this year after the pick 6 late in the third that essentially ended the game. I listened to the rest of the game as I walked back to my car talking with my boy (14). I made the comment at that time that this may be it for us. Later that day I texted a good friend (LSU fan) and asked why do I drive 5 hours (Charleston, SC area) every Saturday to sit in the blazing sun for 3 hours to witness that sort of effort. That was rock bottom for me.

After watching the remainder of the season, I'm back for another season. I really feel like we're turning the corner. I haven't renewed yet because of an issue with my account (they want to sell me four stinger seatbacks for two seats) but will as soon as that's worked out.

Lots of experience returning on both sides. King at QB leading a vastly improved O for a second year. A modestly improving D. Can't wait to see what comes from recruiting and the portal during the offseason. I'm on board. The future is looking bright.
 

chriscarter

Georgia Tech Fan
Messages
49
I think it will take more than winning. Look at high schools in the state of Georgia and see how many kids are wearing GT gear? Basically none.. I don't know a quick fix but long term it's creating fans that are not connected to the program academically. Atlanta is a music hub and collaboration of youth camps with known artist would help. Look at how deion changed colorado. I'm not recommending becoming a circus but can't continue to have a fan base 50 years old and rising.
 

Tundeballer

Jolly Good Fellow
Messages
212
There aren’t any easy fixes. Winning would help, but that alone isn’t growing the fanbase with all the other better programs in the region. A truly generational talent like a Calvin, Christian McCaffrey, RG3 would help but in this day in age, does that player last three years before transferring? Game day improvements and tapping into local culture help but hard to think that’ll create long term fans who pay for tickets. There is one Deion, I’m not sure there are any other celeb coaches who can accomplish what he did to start the year at Colorado. Here is to hoping the people in charge of growing the fanbase have better ideas.
 

forensicbuzz

Helluva Engineer
Messages
8,151
Location
North Shore, Chicago
I think it will take more than winning. Look at high schools in the state of Georgia and see how many kids are wearing GT gear? Basically none.. I don't know a quick fix but long term it's creating fans that are not connected to the program academically. Atlanta is a music hub and collaboration of youth camps with known artist would help. Look at how deion changed colorado. I'm not recommending becoming a circus but can't continue to have a fan base 50 years old and rising.
Tech winning and uga falling back to earth will make a mark. This is the thing I think about every time someone says GT is not the main rival of uga. If that were true, then uga fans wouldn't have the disdain they do for GT. The Cubs fans tolerate White Sox fans and are relatively neutral regarding the WS. White Sox fans hate anything to do with the Cubs. They're not really rivals. uga fans may dismiss GT, but ask them what would happen if GT won 3-in-a-row (hint: ask Jim Donnan who won 40 games in 5 years, won 4 bowl games, but lost 3X in a row to GT). If Tech were to start winning, we'd gain local fans for the sheer nature that people would want to root against the favorite. We're Americans: we always pull for the underjackets.
 

jpw67

Georgia Tech Fan
Messages
11
Location
North Carolina
BDS is in bad need for a major innovation and I have heard one is being planned which will make it more fan friendly with seat backs, beer garden, etc. To accomplish this it will need to be down sized to 40-45 k. When, and if, such a renovation is completed and our wins return to an acceptable level, I believe we will have no attendance issues regarding filling our stadium with supportive fans.
Attendance is down a lot of places, across a range of sports, due to high def wall to wall TV coverage as well. As someone who was a student at Tech in the early 90's I kinda wish we could downsize BDS a bit just to improve the atmosphere since I also think we'll never really sellout a 55k stadium consistently. I'm maybe in the minority but I also think the NEZ is a design abomination, so anything we could do there, especially with the Edge Center rebuild going on, can only be a positive. That said, I was at the game Saturday for the first time in a while (I live in NC), and thought the stadium looked great.
 

GT33

Helluva Engineer
Messages
1,819
For the love of God, please quit farming out our marquee home games seats from BDS. Having ND Clemson or FSU on the docket makes season tickets a lot more appealing. Also, you want to create lasting memories in your stadium to keep fans coming back; I’ll never for the life of me understand why we give our best assets away.
I don't like it either but we're in a financial bind and I can't see how we unshackle ourselves from the Benz anytime soon.
 

yeti92

Helluva Engineer
Messages
2,669
Put awnings in like Hard Rock Stadium to trap in noise and shade fans in September too. The game in Miami this year was sparsely attended and still one of the loudest venues I've been in.
How full would you say the Miami game was? ESPN lists Hard Rock's capacity as 65k and says attendance that game was 58k, which, except for UVA which was also listed about 58k, is their highest all season by at least 10k fans over every other home game they played.
 

SandySpringsJacket

Jolly Good Fellow
Messages
239
We are coming off of a five year period which saw Tech have its worst three year run in 120 years and UGA have its best three year run in 120 years. So, we are having to make it through the toughest time it has ever been to be a Tech fan. (I know the early 1980s were bad too.)

So, let’s not not be totally depressed that we lost 10K in fans. The bright side is we still have 35K loyal fans and the fan base will grow if we start winning again.

I agree we need to toss the upper north stands and make it a cozy 45K stadium so that we can fill it up and make it fun to be in full stadium. The older fan base has died off and I do not see us filling 55K stadium to play South Carolina State. Let’s down size, sell out games, and make it a fun place to go watch games again.
 

GTJake

Helluva Engineer
Messages
1,956
Location
Fernandina Beach, Florida
This is an interesting question. In the early 80's I had season tickets with my dear departed Dad. Attendance was bad, not sure the exact count in some games but I'm pretty sure it was below where we are at today. I used to get a little hung-up on attendance and be disappointed with our turn-out, today I feel as long as we create a home field advantage that's OK. We should never be compared to UGAG, that program has different priorities and their fan base cares little about what does or doesn't go on in the classroom. The comment in this thread about being afraid to identify with GT, especially with UGAGers is disgusting. I'm not only proud to be one of the few and represent my school, but there is nothing they can say that doesn't make me even prouder to be a GT guy.
 

MWBATL

Helluva Engineer
Messages
6,199
Winning, over a sustained period of years, will improve the size of our fan base. That plus the efforts to reach out to younger fans and sidewalk fans are the only realistic path to growth. The sheer size of GT and the fact that so many alums move out of state means we cannot simply rely on that source.
 

GTJake

Helluva Engineer
Messages
1,956
Location
Fernandina Beach, Florida
We are coming off of a five year period which saw Tech have its worst three year run in 120 years and UGA have its best three year run in 120 years. So, we are having to make it through the toughest time it has ever been to be a Tech fan. (I know the early 1980s were bad too.)

So, let’s not not be totally depressed that we lost 10K in fans. The bright side is we still have 35K loyal fans and the fan base will grow if we start winning again.

I agree we need to toss the upper north stands and make it a cozy 45K stadium so that we can fill it up and make it fun to be in full stadium. The older fan base has died off and I do not see us filling 55K stadium to play South Carolina State. Let’s down size, sell out games, and make it a fun place to go watch games again.
I used to be against this idea, but I'm starting to think it might be a good thing. I believe Stanford did this a few years ago ... And if you watch other games, outside of the handful of big $$ programs, a lot of schools don't have the huge stadiums, TCU played for the NC last year, I think their stadium holds 40-45K.
 

sonngy

Georgia Tech Fan
Messages
18
Why not simply add a giant tarp that says something like “together we swarm” over the extra seating in the second level that sits empty instead of outright downsizing? Then for big games we get rid of the tarp kinda like the Benz does
 

stinger78

Helluva Engineer
Messages
2,090
I used to be against this idea, but I'm starting to think it might be a good thing. I believe Stanford did this a few years ago ... And if you watch other games, outside of the handful of big $$ programs, a lot of schools don't have the huge stadiums, TCU played for the NC last year, I think their stadium holds 40-45K.
I hear this and kind of see the logic, but under CCG and CPJ the upper north was pretty much half-full most games. The upper north was pretty full for our bigger opponents - Clemson, UGA, FSU, Auburn, Notre Dame, and sometimes VA Tech. So then, the 55K seats allows us to reap the reward of playing those type teams every other year. It's another 10-15K tickets sold at $100 per ticket. That's an extra $1-1.5M.
 

tmhunter52

Helluva Engineer
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2,356
I think it's sort of a build it and they will come type of deal. Once we are a consistent bowl team again and have a couple of 8 or 9 win seasons, we'll have some good crowds. Tough to rationalize spending 3 hours on a 3 win team, once that changes it'll be fine I think.
Or 13-15 hours with a round trip drive of 500 miles.
 

stinger78

Helluva Engineer
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2,090
I think our alumni are largely apathetic towards sports. Thus the fraction that become fans is smaller than the average large state U. Been that way a long, long time. Of the fans, the past 5-7 years has been hard. CPJ struggled a bit his last couple of seasons and the next 4 were horrible, so that’s 6-7 seasons running. This year was better but so inconsistent that we gave back the goodwill we earned every other game. I’d say, though, we have hit our low point and should move up from here. If CBK can keep up the incremental improvements in recruiting and play, and if the staff stays together, we will probably push 40K again within a couple of years. That would be close to our modern average. Even in the later Dodd years 45-50K was the norm.
 
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