October 21, 2015 at 1:26 pm #22792
Prior crowds of 12-15K were NOT so much due to greater student attendance. Those higher totals were due to area fans attending in greater number than now.
The question I’ve had on this topic was ‘what’s the objective for ANY change.’ TMH seems to suggest growing in-person attendance is not the objective of this proposal. That’s too bad.
So, I suppose the current plan is to provide a better press box, and re-purposing the current press box. Probably to make the current press box open and capable of hosting a few small, private party viewing rooms.
Is this the objective, TMH?October 21, 2015 at 1:37 pm #22793
Seems that the sole issue is a press box. Why? Soccer rental more than likely. I agree with most of the systemic changes being proposed here but those are for another day. Perhaps some of them could be included in the recent 250M project.October 21, 2015 at 1:53 pm #22794
Rich, I wouldn’t want to see Lehigh spend much money to accommodate a soccer effort involving a team from a series that has a league-wide attendance average of about 3500.
Looking long term, it would seem to make better sense to enlarge and enhance the current press box in a way that satisfies everyone. Obviously, I don’t see much value in the Visitor’s side as it currently stands.October 21, 2015 at 2:05 pm #22795
Other than LFN’s plea for a bathroom,I dont see the pressing need for this projectother than to accomodate the soccer club. Any idea if they are participating in financing this project?October 21, 2015 at 2:12 pm #22796
A couple of FCS specific suites examples
I think the Richmond hybrid indoor/outdoor style makes more sense. I would think that some sort of food and beverage service is a requirement for receptions, sponsors, or even premium ticket holders. The seats themselves are far from the field, so the bonus needs to be protection from weather, more comfortable experience, and other conveniences. If the indoor area could be subdivided to small suites of say 10 fans, but also combined into one large area for a large president’s reception – that would add flexibility. You could rent out a suite individually or combine them for larger groups, or non-football events.
Also, considering the school’s interest in lacrosse, I wonder if long term the LU lax team doesn’t end up playing in Goodman. Are there nuetral site NCAA tournament lax games similar to hoops that Lehigh could try to host? Would be another way to generate some revenue and get more bang out of any renovation investments.October 21, 2015 at 2:16 pm #22797
Before I go on. Goodman Stadium was recently chosen as one of 8 FCS football stadiums you need to visit before you die.
As for the press box move, Rich may be right about soccer. I will try to find out more tomorrow. The problem is that Goodman Stadium is a significant structure that only gets used 5-6 times/year. Soccer may be only the first step in providing a remedy for that.
As for attendance. The 12K to 15K #s may be a bit hyperbolic if you remove Lafayette which has sold out again. The problem with drawing locals to the game is not that much different that the student dilemma. I think we televise all our home games on Service Electric. Those savvy enough have the same outlets (PLN) to follow their teams. I’m a season ticket holder for football and wrestling and attend many other sporting events now but even I’ll admit that too many times it’s much easier watching them at home. The local fan base is getting older and dieing. But there are things we can do. We stopped inviting local HS bands to play either pre-game or halftime. We got rid of boy scout day etc. The game needs to become a destination. We tend to cater to alums as far as promotions.
Interesting…I went to the Princeton game. They had a magnificent overhaul of the stadium in the not too distant past with lights. They had fireworks after the game. They are putting a pretty good product on the field. There may have been more Lehigh people there than Princeton. It’s not just us.October 21, 2015 at 2:19 pm #22798
I would love to see a club box for visiting home clubs for example.
I believe the final 2 rounds of lacrosse are at a neutral site. I believe we may have already hosted the women’s tournament here but I need to verify that.October 21, 2015 at 3:20 pm #22799
Seem to recall we did host. Dont know if a new press box and suites will serve to make Goodman more amenable to other uses but if it does seems to be a step forward. It may make more necessary upgrades more feasible.October 22, 2015 at 4:54 pm #22809
I love the banter on this topic.
Richmond mentioned above, they have a great little stadium, and amazing basketball arena (talk about sitting in the action), but the great part for them is they are smack dab on the campus, for all students to walk to in 5 minutes. We lost that one years ago.
To me, if you want to build crowds, put a really good team on the field, and play some exciting opponents. Nobody is getting fired up to see a .500 Lehigh team play Georgetown (or really any other PL team, outside of Lafayette). It is what it is. Guys would rather sit in their fraternity house or dorm or off campus house and watch Notre Dame/Michigan. Hard to blame them.
I still like the idea of scheduling a D1 behemoth who demolishes us yearly. Maybe we get lucky some year and knock off a Syracuse, Penn St, Temple or Pittsburgh. We won’t play them at home, but a win like that draws interest. In wrestling and basketball, we get to play some powerhouse schools, and that is exciting. Exciting when we get killed, lose close, or pull the upset. Makes Lehigh relevant.
And that leads me to last point, that nobody on here seems to like … if you want to draw fans, and excitement, put the teams in a better conference. Build up the program and move up in class. Very hard for football, but I would rather see Lehigh v. Villanova, Delaware, Richmond than Georgetown, insert other name here. But, if you want to keep us in the character of like minded universities (and everybody does), education over sports, student athlete over athlete, then you will never draw crowds. I can’t think of one team in an academic conference who does.October 22, 2015 at 5:07 pm #22810
Swear Lehigh guys cant resist hijacking a thread :)))
Crowds. Well,we have in various threads enumerated in detail all the relevant reasons cor meh attendance. Dont believe that being in the PL is one of those reasons. Goodman needs to be a destination. Start with an exciting team,easier access and marketing. Upgrading Goodman can enhance the experience and boost repeat customers. Doubt it will have much effect in luring new people to attend.October 23, 2015 at 3:14 am #22822
If Asa were creating a master plan today for building a new university and could start with land LU now owns, what would he do?
The Big Hairy Audacious(Ridiculous) Idea of the day … in a perfect world where money was no issue?
Work with a developer to buy/demolish older, contiguous, decrepit south side buildings. Trade for it land in the valley near Goodman, Stabler, etc., and land elsewhere Stabler gave the university?
Over the years, (re)build athletic facilities on the south side.
The university already has a need for more and better quality housing near campus.
You’d need a lot of land (there’s a lot a few blocks from campus), but how about complex of waterfront condos, stadium, arena, downtown area, more university housing, campus, etc.?
The problem now with the campus — as beautiful as it is — is it’s all split up, due to piecemeal planning over the years. The vast majority of university housing is on the southern side (hill side) or east side of campus, while most of the academic buildings are on the north side of campus. There was a time none of the buildings were north of Packer Avenue.
The inability to walk 5 or 10 minutes to a game, I think, has hurt attendance at many sports. Starting that good habit begins with freshmen, who have no cars.
I’m crazy, but …October 23, 2015 at 2:40 pm #22826
I like the idea of scheduling a D 1 team every year, could be Army, Navy, or Rutgers. Most have zero interest in watching Lehigh play the Patriot League schools. And frankly I always thought the hype surrounding Lafayette was a bit contrived. Most students could care less about the “rivalry” and it’s been that way for decades. More of a your father’s “big game”.October 23, 2015 at 5:23 pm #22828
Have you been on campus in recent years during the week of the L-L game? It is still very big.October 23, 2015 at 6:22 pm #22832
First, I can see Goodman being used for lacrosse IF the attendance warrants it. We’ve had a couple games there, UNC a few years ago, but attendance was very modest. Futher the last two rounds of NCAAs are at neutral sites but none that seat under 40,000.
The Press Box, “thing” seems to be related to the soccer team coming here and maybe they are helping to pay for some of the improvements, but they have stated they are looking elsewhere for a home.
With games on TV/Internet, we have created the attendance problem. The location is not relevant. It is fine. We were drawing big crowds in the same stadium 15 years ago. The team has been playing there since 1987. Location is a weak excuse.
Cultural change on all campuses has caused dropped attendance. Social media and demographic make up have resulted in more things to do and more diverse interests.October 23, 2015 at 7:17 pm #22834
Just a few small corrections. I don’t recall playing UNC here at least for a very long time. We beat them down there a few years ago. We did experiment with a game at Goodman against Colgate and as you said, the attendance was only around 800. It would however be nice to either get a high profile game like Duke (we do have a connection) or perhaps to host the NCAA tournament.
The press box thing as it turns out was just in the project stage for a Civil Engineering group. They were hoping to pitch it to the powers that be but from what I saw, it makes no sense and if it happens it will be way down the line. I was a bit surprised to learn however that there were no bathrooms, heating or air conditioning in the President’s box. Any up grades would require an elevator.
As for your last two paragraphs, I am in total agreement. Now that everything is televised, streamed etc, we seriously reduced to impetus to get in a car, drive there while paying $12. I’ve attended games at several other campuses over the last few years and other than the mandatory attendance at the Naval Academy, the same phenomena is happening everywhere, at least at this level of competition.
The tailgating restrictions for students has kept Goodman from being a saturday afternoon destination point.
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