Student Poll: Lack of tailgating and wins results in poor attendance at football games

By Keanu Haghighi (@KeanuHaghighi): 

As San Jose State football continues to struggle, so too does filling up CEFCU Stadium.

In a matter of five years, CEFCU Stadium went from having a packed and rowdy student section with a top-25 team to a deserted venue that plays host to the worst team in the Mountain West Conference.

Many students are trying to understand why the football games are no longer fun to attend. When schools such as USC, Stanford and UCLA have off years, their stadiums are still flooded to the nosebleeds and offer a fantastic gameday experience.

In SJSU’s case, however, students and alumni have witnessed a sharp drop in attendance both in the stadium and in the tailgate lot.

A student survey was conducted asking SJSU students why they’re not attending football games this year. The poll was comprised of four questions, with 30 students having responded.

The first question asked was, on a scale of 1-5 of how interested students were in going to football games with one being not interested at all and five being very interested. Eleven students responded three (somewhat interested) and 10 responded one (not interested at all).

Following that was a ‘yes or no’ question asking if students would go to games if the team played better. Approximately 90 percent of respondents answered yes.

Next, the survey asked a multiple choice question which examined why students don’t attend football games. The choices were: the commute to South Campus is too long, they don’t like football, the football team hasn’t playing well, the lack of tailgating or another reason not listed. According to the poll, 45 percent of students don’t attend games because of the the lack of tailgating while another 31 percent stated the football team not playing well as their main reason. Most students who selected the “other” option cited work as the reason they can’t go.

The last question was an open ended question asking what the school can do to make football games better. Students overwhelmingly answered the lack of transparency from the school in regards to tailgating. Some students stated the school has not been clear with the rules of tailgating, while others believe that that school has put on too many restrictions in order to prevent organizations from tailgating.

Other responses included improving the bad PA and sound system within the stadium as well as recruiting a better team.

All in all, students identify a plethora of problems in regards to their game-day experience and urge the school to address them sooner rather than later.

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