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The end of going to games at stadiums?


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#1 major

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 11:44 PM

In 1980, Tex Schramm, long ago GM of the cowboys, gave an interview to the AP. Schramm envisioned a scenario where games were played in a television studio, not in a stadium, in front of limited number of fans and journalists. You think this could happen in our lifetime? The reason that I ask is because I went to an MLB game last night and told my wife while sitting in traffic that its easier watching it at home. With HD I prefer the view at home. I'm starting to think Tex was a prophet. Your thoughts?


#2 Cotton Fitzsimmons

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 12:05 AM

Major, my good man, YE OLE does not ever see that scenario playing out. In the 33 years since the comment you reference stadiums have gotten bigger and more expensive. The game day experience will continue to evolve, but the trend in stadium size and overall importance seems to be going in the other direction.

#3 KellyToTasker

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 12:09 AM

Being a fan is feeling apart of the experience/team that you're rooting for on a regular basis.  You have a sense of belonging...Hence your participation on this message board.  The fans, the players, coaches, and personnel all feed off of the game day environment.   The game would deminish if the filled stadiums were removed.   4th quarter in a preseason game like?  A prophet?   More like a gross exaggeration....I'd have season tickets if in the Buffalo area.

#4 HoF Watkins

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 12:15 AM

View Postmajor, on 04 May 2013 - 11:44 PM, said:

In 1980, Tex Schramm, long ago GM of the cowboys, gave an interview to the AP. Schramm envisioned a scenario where games were played in a television studio, not in a stadium, in front of limited number of fans and journalists. You think this could happen in our lifetime? The reason that I ask is because I went to an MLB game last night and told my wife while sitting in traffic that its easier watching it at home. With HD I prefer the view at home. I'm starting to think Tex was a prophet. Your thoughts?

Nope.

I could see the stadiums getting much smaller (or on the other hand, much bigger). But without a significant attending audience, it wouldn't work nearly as well.

It's an interesting question, as there are so many elements of "acting" to an athletic performance. So much of the "pressure" is provided by the fans in the stands. They are an essential ingredient. If you have ever divorced yourself at a game, and just looked at what was actually happening on the field, it's just a bunch of guys dressed up funny, bumping into each other. It's pretty ridiculous, and I have thought to myself "these guys are making millions of dollars?". The fans are projecting importance onto the events. They are actually meaningless with out the fans caring, and expressing it to the performers. '

I

Edited by Marauder'sMicro, 05 May 2013 - 12:20 AM.


#5 Jim in Anchorage

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 12:29 AM

Not sure if this is relevant, but after years of watching football on TV, with it's close ups, super slo mo, etc my first live at the stadium NFL game was disappointing. It was just some guys playing football.

#6 HoF Watkins

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 12:43 AM

View PostJim in Anchorage, on 05 May 2013 - 12:29 AM, said:

Not sure if this is relevant, but after years of watching football on TV, with it's close ups, super slo mo, etc my first live at the stadium NFL game was disappointing. It was just some guys playing football.

I kind of agree, but if no one was there it would also lose the magic on television.

#7 Jim in Anchorage

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 12:53 AM

View PostMarauder, on 05 May 2013 - 12:43 AM, said:

I kind of agree, but if no one was there it would also lose the magic on television.
Probably. Even on TV the crowd noise is a big part of the experience. Unless it's Bills playing in Toronto.

#8 San Jose Bills Fan

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 12:54 AM

View Postmajor, on 04 May 2013 - 11:44 PM, said:

In 1980, Tex Schramm, long ago GM of the cowboys, gave an interview to the AP. Schramm envisioned a scenario where games were played in a television studio, not in a stadium, in front of limited number of fans and journalists. You think this could happen in our lifetime? The reason that I ask is because I went to an MLB game last night and told my wife while sitting in traffic that its easier watching it at home. With HD I prefer the view at home. I'm starting to think Tex was a prophet. Your thoughts?

The bolded is the key.

That and what the "limited number" actually is. Ten-thousand? Twenty-thousand? Thirty-thousand? What did Schramm actually envision?

It's already happened to a degree that the NFL has gone to smaller stadiums and that the people in the stadiums are a smaller and more select group. Increasingly the NFL caters to their corporate partners and high-end clientele.

Could there be a day where the average NFL crowd is 40-thousand?

I doubt it but you never know. It would take a lot of things to bring the NFL to a significantly different business model.

#9 FeartheLosing

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 02:14 AM

View Postmajor, on 04 May 2013 - 11:44 PM, said:

In 1980, Tex Schramm, long ago GM of the cowboys, gave an interview to the AP. Schramm envisioned a scenario where games were played in a television studio, not in a stadium, in front of limited number of fans and journalists. You think this could happen in our lifetime? The reason that I ask is because I went to an MLB game last night and told my wife while sitting in traffic that its easier watching it at home. With HD I prefer the view at home. I'm starting to think Tex was a prophet. Your thoughts?
There is something about 80,000 screaming fans going nuts all around you when your team gets a win against a hated rival. Playoff games are even more pronounced. You simply can't feel that experience at home in a chair, nothing like it.

NFL football even with all its rule changes to protect the players is still a very violent sport, people love that. The sounds you hear when they collide after a big hit or the grunts, snarls at the line of scrimmage. One of the linemen break a finger and they just tape it up and go back out there.

Baseball is boring to me, even in the stadium...like watching golf  :sick:

#10 benderbender

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 02:32 AM

This sounds like the same bogus theory that downloading music from Napster would keep people from attending concerts.

#11 bobblehead

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 06:08 AM

Me thinks Tex Schramm dropped a **** ton of acid

#12 RealityCheck

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 06:29 AM

Ticket prices and frozen wages alone will create a smaller venue catering more towards the press and people with real money. The TV money is already leveling off, which was foreseen years ago. Hence, the attempt to lock out the players and get some profit back. You add that to the black hole of debt that all revenues ultimately come from and you have a sport that will cut costs not because of greed, but because they have to. New stadiums are cost prohibitive and represent massive debt, while the trend towards renovations is a necessary and more palatable attempt to try and make money. In the end only so many teams can have franchise QBs and make the playoffs. That leaves most fans in a dilemma, do I keep paying to support a billion dollar loser when I could watch it at home? Technology will bring the game day experience to peoples living rooms in a far more cost effective manor than bringing them into a massive real estate venture in hopes that they'll keep coming back to be price gouged at the concessions. Only time will tell, but the NFL has serious financial challenges ahead that simply cannot be avoided. The future of new stadiums is one of them.

#13 BuffaloFan68

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 07:26 AM

you just can't replace the environment of being at a game.  Even slow & boring baseball for example - I go for the food (& beer) and relaxation, I could care less about the actual game.  With football - for me, tailgating with other die-hard fans is half the fun.

#14 mead107

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 07:31 AM

They may price a lot of people out of going in a few years.

#15 8and8Forever

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 07:58 AM

View PostMarauder, on 05 May 2013 - 12:43 AM, said:

I kind of agree, but if no one was there it would also lose the magic on television.
The commercial breaks are killing the in stadium experience.   It is not dead yet, but it is dying.   Someone did a study and determined that a football game is about  20 minutes of actual playing action and 3 hours of standing around between plays, halftime, commercial breaks etc.   Really a scary stat.   I am beginning to enjoy lacrosse and european soccer not because the sports are better but live simply because there is no time for commercials.   It is all 90 or 60 minutes of game action with no time outs, etc.  in a couple hours or less the game is over and you watched like 4 commercials.

#16 voodoo poonani

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 08:11 AM

I've been to a few games, IMO it feels like a waste of money. The tickets, concessions, and memorabilia go up in price each year. Yet the gameday experience is the same (although the commercial breaks seem longer and longer). I prefer watching the game at home on a 136" screen, in reclining theater seats that are comfortable and don't break my back, with a fridge stocked with beer, and a pantry loaded with snacks. If I want the crowd noise to feel like I'm there, just crank up the surround. There are no long lines, nobody spilling beer on me (unless it's myself), the bathrooms aren't disgusting, and I don't get stuck in traffic before and after the game. There's no way to get that for the same cost at a stadium. So if I do get the opportunity to go again, I'll pass.

#17 Lurker

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 08:11 AM

Can't see it happening.  

As long as ticket prices don't go the NHL-route (and with TV money to subsidize the owners, that's doubtful to happen), the exclusivity of being among the 1%-2% of a regional population that can say around the water cooler/concession truck/quilting bee/circle jerk that "I was at the game and...." will remain a draw.

#18 KD in CT

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 08:28 AM

View PostCotton Fitzsimmons, on 05 May 2013 - 12:05 AM, said:

Major, my good man, YE OLE does not ever see that scenario playing out. In the 33 years since the comment you reference stadiums have gotten bigger and more expensive. The game day experience will continue to evolve, but the trend in stadium size and overall importance seems to be going in the other direction.
This.  Rather than fans having to make a 'stadium or TV' decision, the leagues are trying to bring much the TV/online experience to the stadium.   What if you could get instant reply on your smart phone?  Or a real-time stats update?  Or how about an app where you vote on what you think the next play is going to be and they show a running tally on the scoreboard of the top 10 fans for the game?   Those are all things that exist today and will likely be part of the stadium experience in the near future.

View Postmead107, on 05 May 2013 - 07:31 AM, said:

They may price a lot of people out of going in a few years.
Millions of people have already been priced out yet there is still no shortage of fans.  If the stadiums are still full depsite a years long economic downturn, I don't see any sudden drop off on the horizon.

#19 uncle flap

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 08:57 AM

View PostLurker, on 05 May 2013 - 08:11 AM, said:

the exclusivity of being among the 1%-2% of a regional population that can say around the water cooler/concession truck/quilting bee/circle jerk that "I was at the game and...." will remain a draw.

Totally. As bad as the Bills have been over the past 8 or 9 years that I've had season tickets, there is a sense of pride and almost an air of exclusivity to being there.

There have been a few years over that stretch where I considered not renewing my seats, but to be honest, part of the appeal is simply being able to say, "I'm a season ticket holder."

/humblebrag lol

#20 Hopeful

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 09:05 AM

View Postmajor, on 04 May 2013 - 11:44 PM, said:

In 1980, Tex Schramm, long ago GM of the cowboys, gave an interview to the AP. Schramm envisioned a scenario where games were played in a television studio, not in a stadium, in front of limited number of fans and journalists. You think this could happen in our lifetime? The reason that I ask is because I went to an MLB game last night and told my wife while sitting in traffic that its easier watching it at home. With HD I prefer the view at home. I'm starting to think Tex was a prophet. Your thoughts?

I've heard similar scenarios about music - that the live concert experience will become a thing of the past.

I don't think it will, simply because the live concert experience and the live game experience has its own qualities which are appreciated by those who attend.

I do hope that the NFL and individual teams will find a way to make the live game experience more family-friendly, as it is now I would not like to take my young daughter.