The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

Groups to evaluate game attendance

Committee seeks to increase fan support for football in ’04

Athletic Director Jim Copeland and Associate Athletic DirectorShawn Heilbron assembled the committee in an effort to brainstormand implement ideas that will boost attendance at next year’sfive home Mustang football games.

Wednesday afternoon, members of the Mustang Club, Young AlumniAssociation, Pony Parents and the Sports Marketing AdvisoryCommittee were among the groups that joined forces with SMU’sAthletic Marketing Department in holding the first meeting of thenewly formed Football Attendance Committee.

“We’re all about 32,000,” said Heilbron,referring to the seating capacity of Gerald J. Ford Stadium.Heilbron and the committee are undertaking the task of filling thestadium by focusing their efforts on target groups and prospectiveSMU football fans.

Ford Stadium was built to hold 32,000 fans, but it was alsobuilt with the potential to add 13,000 seats. To accomplish this,the stadium would have to change from its current horseshoe shapeinto a full oval.

“We’ve already talked about the possibility ofopening up the grassy area at the open end of the stadium forstudent seating,” Hollis said. “It would almost be likebringing a part of the Boulevard into the stadium.”

Wednesday’s meeting focused on students, and the 4,500reserved seats for student seating at every game.

“Issues that affect students in supporting athletic teamsare different from those that affect young alumni, forexample,” Heilbron said.

Other questions raised were how to get students from theBoulevard to the stadium at game time, and how to spark basicawareness and enthusiasm among students about the footballprogram.

Student Body Vice-President Lyndsey Hummert noted efforts ofincreasing spirit at Mustang Corral, Week of Welcome and AARO asintegral in this process. Associate Director of Marketing CherriHollis also noted the efforts of the SMAC this past year and ideasfor next year’s schedule.

While last year’s attendance was lower than AthleticMarketing would have hoped at just 17, 435 people in attendance pergame, the committee remains positive that next year attendance willincrease.

2003’s most attended game was the Mustangs game versus theOklahoma State Cowboys; 27,106 were in attendance for the contest.In contrast, the least attended game was against the Boise StateBroncos. A mere 10,109, less than one-third of the stadium’scapacity, attended that game.

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