Archive For The “Murray Goodman Stadium” Category
I have this vision.
It’s the weekend of the home opener at Murray Goodman Stadium, Labor Day weekend. It could be a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday.
And it’s 6:00 PM.
In 2018, the Lehigh football team will open the season with a big celebration of the football program – at Navy, Lehigh’s first game against an FBS team in over a decade.
In 2017, why not, as a one-off opportunity, try to have one Lehigh football game, the home opener, be the first-ever night game at Murray Goodman Stadium?
Will it cost money? Yes. Will it be easy? Probably not.
However, is it doable? I’ve got to believe the answer is “yes”.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before: As a reward for being the surprise outright winner of the Patriot League football championship, the reward is a trip to New Hampshire, the winner headed to seeded James Madison for a second-round game. And somewhere, Sam Houston State looms on the horizon.
This is the exact situation that Colgate found itself last season, and this year, Lehigh is poised to run through the exact same gauntlet and the exact same teams.
Sunday morning, Lehigh found out their opponents for the FCS Playoffs; the New Hampshire Wildcats. The game will be played at New Hampshire at 2PM EST, and will be available to watch on ESPN3 on your computer and possibly ESPN Gameplan Pay-Per-View on your TV.
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You don’t have to have attended more than twenty-five years of Lehigh football games to know it’s a completely different world out there for your friendly neighborhood sports fan.
When Lehigh’s Murray Goodman Stadium was opened in 1988, there were only about a dozen channels on the small, eighteen inch black and white TV we had in our dorm room. Only two channels might have had “major college football” games on at the same time a Lehigh football game was being played live over the mountain. (Notre Dame, the only school who had all their games televised, almost always played their games at 3:30 PM.)
Nowadays there’s way more entertainment options on a typical college weekend than ever, and it’s very logical to think that the increased amount of competition might not just keep students away from attending football games, but local fans as well.
It’s not an issue confined to Lehigh – in 2014, home attendance at all FBS games dropped to their lowest levels in fourteen years. As student options have increased across the country, home attendance has decreased.
It’s a question worth asking at a school like Lehigh – how to get fans to the games, and keep them coming back?
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It wasn’t a typical Lehigh weekend for me as I headed to Murray Goodman.
With my family, including my mother and father visiting Murray Goodman stadium for the first time in a long time, I spent most of the game experiencing most of the game in a place where I haven’t been in a while: the “stands”.
When you cover a team, it’s a bit too easy sometimes to take refuge in the press box, hermetically sealed from the rest of the fans out in the fresh air. Too often, too, that’s what I do: plop in the press box, not to emerge until after the clock reads zero.
This time around, though, I had the incredible experience once again to enjoy most of the game in the stands, thanks to my family, and it couldn’t have been a better one, thanks to the best efforts of the other fans.
The picture above was taken on my phone, from where I was sitting on Saturday.
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