New TCF Bank Stadium Attendance Stats Tell Old Story: Win Games and They Will Come..

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When the Gophers entered 2019, much was said about many things… the least of which (for most fans) included ticket sales at TCF Bank Stadium. There was a cautious positivity in the air for fans brave enough to look at the full slate of 2019 Big Ten games. The schedule was light, which was a welcomed bonus nice for a program trying to emerge as a legitimate force in the Big Ten West. The other pleasantry the 2019 schedule provided though, was the biggest games and moments of the season being set to happen, almost exclusively, at TCF Bank Stadium.

Nebraska would be the team’s first big test of the season. That game (eventual win) wouldn’t take place until the team was already 5-0, but when it did unfold on a the gridiron, it was going to be on TCF Bank Stadium’s. After a win @ Rutgers was followed by a beat down of Maryland (at TCF), the Gophers were suddenly 8-0 and staring at a top-5 ranked (also 8-0) Penn State team…. at TCF. Another massive home game… turned into another massive victory, as the Gophers stunned the Nittany Lions.

That game made the whole world available to the Gophers, before they would unfortunately lose 2 of their next 3, one on the road vs Iowa, and the other a stomping at the hands of Bucky, to close the regular season. Nonetheless, one constant came from the historic 10 victories piled up by the Gophers this season

FANS FILLED THE BANK.

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This table (provided by the Star Tribune) shows just how much winning means to fan attendance. Really, it’s not rocket science. It’s not always about promotions or thinking about creative ways to get people in the door, although those things are certainly needed as you start to find your footing as a program. It’s about winning. Fans hate watching their team lose. It’s a famous coach and player saying but it will ring true forever..

“Winning feels great…. but losing sucks more.”

Losing is THE WORST. If you don’t absolutely hate losing, I’m not sure where you find your edge in life. Don’t give me that bullshit about how “winning isn’t everything” or “life isn’t all about sports”. One of those things are true. Life isn’t all about sports… but winning is still everything.

Whether you’re trying to find that one-night stand at the bar or trying to find a life-partner at the grocery store…. dating is about winning. Finding the mate you want, and winning over that person is one of life’s ultimate victories. Job searching or applying for colleges is almost too obvious to mention. There are a limited number of spaces available and normally more candidates than positions…. winner eats… loser doesn’t. Good luck raising kids too, if you think winning isn’t important… Life is one giant fucking competition. EVERYONE WANTS TO WIN. IT’S BUILT INTO OUR DNA.

There are a million ways to watch your team play in 2019-20 and all of the other options are cheaper and a better view, than actually attending the event. So, 2019 stadiums that are longing to be filled, are already at a disadvantage. Again… not new news right? What don’t you get at home, that you can find while attending an actual Gopher game?

Atmosphere.

Watching virtually from home, you don’t get the life-experience that you can rewind back in your head forever. That’s what keeps drawing fans.

But the atmosphere around a bad team sucks. Nobody wants to remember losing. Nobody wants to spend that money and carve out their weekend around losing. Nobody wants that losing taste in their mouth, as they hit NFL Sunday and move into the week… At this point in society, if fans are attending games of losing teams, it’s strictly about tradition and to show support. That’s it. They are doing it because it’s what they’ve always done AND/OR to be nice to the team they were raised to love (and because most of those tickets are already purchased).

No sports team or college football program, in this case, wants to be a pity-party with a shitty atmosphere, though. So, keep recruiting, keep winning, and the crowds will continue to grow. The atmosphere will too. Saturdays in Minnesota could become great again…… IF YOU WIN.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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