Having had no experience in building crowds at college football games, I am eminently qualified to offer you today's sermon. The idea came to me as I read an expert's advice on the Beacon Journal's op-ed page to seduce people to attend University of Akron football games.
What didn't work, I should begin, is the school's attempt to pulsate its 30,000 seat stadium on those hapless afternoons when the team was doing its pantomine before more than 20,000 empty seats. The $61.6 million structure, which opened in 2009, hosted a team that won three games that year. (The following year 1-11, followed by a lot of etc's) Its grand opening, however, was celebrated with so many exclamation points that the school's administration under President Luis Proenza could have been penalized for demonstrating in the end zone after a game-winning touchdown.
About the crowd-building expert: Katie Swartz, who runs a sports management consulting firm, prescribed an enhanced "game day experience" with one option being a LeBron James event tied to ticket sales. She also recommended aggressive ticket hustling with corporations, local businesses and donors; raffles, and changing the game time. I would suggest a moment when the game didn't conflict with a Trump TV speech.
Inasmuch as so many decisions by the Team Scarborough front office have been scrapped to the extent that the school has become a national joke, I have a crowd-pleasing suggestion offered by the other person who shares our home: Why not offer every patron on game day a Scarborough bobblehead doll?, she asks. I would add a free tee shirt with the names of the trustees printed upside down in school colors.
Well, why not? It won't win any games, but it would certainly add some joy to a game-day experience.