Tuesday's Take: Lower the seating capacity in the Swamp sooner rather than later

492 Views | 7 Replies | Last: 1 day ago by Gator5000e
Mark Wheeler
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Staff
Though it has just recently become more of a topic of discussion, there have been way too many empty seats in the Swamp in the last decade.

Many like to point to the student section, and yes, they do tend to show up late and leave early even when they do fill out that area, but they are hardly the only no shows. Coming off a 10 win season and an opening win over rival Miami, Florida's announced attendance on Saturday was 80,004 - and that was being generous, as other than the East stands, there were plenty of empty seats throughout the venue.

This isn't just a UF issue, sporting events are seeing a decline in attendance across all collegiate and pro events.

However, because the Swamp is so big (it can hold over 90,000) - it looks even worse. The 70-some thousand who attended Saturday's game would fill up Tampa's Raymond James Stadium or TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville with several thousand fans needing to be turned away.

In the past Florida athletics director Scott Stricklin said that a reduction in the seating capacity in the Swamp is coming. Stricklin put the target number at roughly 13,000 less seats, reducing the Swamp from 88,000 to 75,000 seats.

That is about what the seating capacity needs to be reduced to sooner rather than later.
BeardedGator
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It will be interesting to see the attendance of the Tennessee and Auburn games.
Dan the Man
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Was LSU last year a sellout?

How many sellouts do we have a year?
Swamp_Thing
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I wonder how much more this would drive up ticket prices?
Mark Wheeler
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Staff
What Florida calls a sellout, isn't necessarily a packed house. The number given for the official attendance is tickets distributed, not actual butts in seats. It hasn't been standing room only and then some for while now.

Even if you had 1-2 complete sellouts a year, it isn't worth having those extra 15K seats for a game or two.

Vinny B
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Mark Wheeler said:

What Florida calls a sellout, isn't necessarily a packed house. The number given for the official attendance is tickets distributed, not actual butts in seats. It hasn't been standing room only and then some for while now.

Even if you had 1-2 complete sellouts a year, it isn't worth having those extra 15K seats for a game or two.


It would have to be something other than tickets distributed, unless that formula has been changed in recent years. The Swamp often averaged 90,000+ for a season in years past, but the capacity is around 88,500.

Hopefully they'll address bench seating on the sidelines if and when they reduce capacity. I've had chairbacks since the '91 season and you couldn't give me a bench seat even if it was on the 50 yard line 30 rows up. I know Stricklin has mentioned widening the individual seat on the bench, but they should really try to incorporate chairbacks wherever possible....
Titletown
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If we can't sell it out this weekend against Tenn when we are 3-0 and in the top ten then we have issues. If we do sell out why would we want to take all that extra revenue out of our pockets for the games we are able to sell out?
Gator5000e
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You can solve part of the problem by replacing a lot of the awful bench seats with chair backs.
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