The University of Arkansas has responded to my request for a count on scanned tickets Saturday at the Razorback’s football opener against Eastern Illinois. UPDATE: Figures
As I noted Sunday, UA and ASU were prominent in last week’s Wall Street Journal story about attendance inflation at college football games, part of a national decline in game attendance. Colleges count sold, but unused tickets and stadium workers, as well as unticketed attendees.
So, I asked if attendance policies would change this
Consistent with many universities around the nation, the University of Arkansas announces an official attendance, reflective of tickets allotted, non-credentialed personnel, including law enforcement officers and student-athletes, and other credentialed individuals, including members of the media and working personnel. The official attendance has been represented as such and not as an actual attendance based on scans.
As a point of clarification, scanned numbers do not include non-ticketed individuals in attendance. In addition, scanned numbers may vary based on a number of factors including user/equipment error. As you may know, this year we introduced a new self-scanning system to help make fans entry into the stadium more efficient.
The UA did not provide a scanned ticket count on Saturday as part of the official box score. However, I am happy to provide the scanned number per your request. The scanned total – which once again doesn’t include all individuals in attendance for Saturday’s game vs. Eastern Illinois – was 44,003. At this time, a decision has not been made on whether the number of tickets scanned will be added to the box score for each game.
UPDATE: ASU also unveiled a stadium
The number of seat tickets outstanding for the game, which includes sold and comp seats but excludes students, was 12,955. The scanned ticket count during the game was 8,375.
… we don’t believe the scanner count to be a reliable, credible or meaningful number. In fact, we have confirmed scanner malfunctions and user error at Saturday’s game. The scanned tickets report does not include those without tickets — students, pass holders, band, spirit squads, teams, media, game-day personnel, etc.
I draw no conclusions from the openers. It was a hot Labor Day weekend and both teams faced lesser opponents.
I’m just old-fashioned. Fewer games, beginning later in the fall, with a concentration on traditional rivals and occasional marquee visitors, make a more appealing package to me. But the cost of big-time football and the demands of ESPN that produce the big-dollar TV make me hopelessly outdated.