Sunday, January 16, 2011

Georgia Tech - North Carolina: Basketball Attendance Watch Continues

Paul Hewitt's Yellow Jackets are 7-8 on the season and in addition to struggling on the court they are also struggling at the gate.

Sunday night's opponent, the North Carolina Tar Heels, represent one of the best home games on Tech's schedule this season and a chance to finally fill the "Thrillerdome"

Thus far this season I estimate the lost money due to poor attendance to be around $148,510 in TICKET SALES ALONE.  If you add in parking, concessions, and merchandise the number is probably double that or more.

Here is a breakdown of estimated ticket revenue losses starting with the UGA game where any hope for this season and Hewitt was likely lost. 
UGA $86,310 lost without a full arena
Sav. St $24,195 lost without 75% full arena
Mercer $15,980 lost without 75% full arena
Charlotte $22,500 lost without 75% full arena

Now, its true that if Tech beat Georgia then they would only be 8-7, but you have to understand this fan base to know how important beating the Bulldogs.  In can could put a damper on otherwise great seasons (see GT football in 2009) and put a great exclamation on others.

I am not the only one noticing the attendance woes.  Macon Telegraph beat writer Coley Harvey throws in a jab to the "home crowd" likely in attendance at Alexander Memorial Coliseum to see Tech and UNC.
" For whatever reason, the road has been unkind to the Yellow Jackets this season. Discounting the three neutral site games they’ve played this year, the Yellow Jackets are winless in opposing arenas this campaign. Although they are at home Sunday -- where they are 5-2 -- the environment may have a bit of a road feel. Many Tar Heels fans are expected to fill the Coliseum, making for a more hostile than usual welcome at home."

Not a great endorsement of the kind of crowd Hewitt and his team are attracting these days.

If the Tar Heels do come into Atlanta and come away with the "road" win it will break a three game losing streak.  

For all of his troubles against the rest of the ACC, Hewitt has a very respectable record of 7-6 against Roy Williams winning all three matchups last season. 

Hewitt previews the UNC game with Atlanta media

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