Memorial Stadium attendance dipping but not as bad as reported last Saturday


Kansas running back Tony Pierson tears up the sideline on a long carry against Texas Tech during the third quarter on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013 at Memorial Stadium. Pierson was injured on the play and left the game following. He was later seen on the sidelines in street clothes.

Kansas running back Tony Pierson tears up the sideline on a long carry against Texas Tech during the third quarter on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013 at Memorial Stadium. Pierson was injured on the play and left the game following. He was later seen on the sidelines in street clothes. by Nick Krug

Just a quick and important update in case you missed it on Monday evening.

The official game book following Saturday's 54-16 loss to Texas Tech at Memorial Stadium, listed the game's attendance as 25,648. Monday, that number officially was changed to 35,648 and a KU spokesperson said a clerical error was the reason for the wrong number being used.

The attendance number provided on Saturday was hand-written and the first digit was misread before the total was entered into the game management system.

Obviously, fixing this hiccup did not change the outcome of the game nor the tough spot the Jayhawks find themselves in currently, but it's important to point out because of the negative connotation that comes with such a poor attendance number. There's a big difference between the idea of playing in a stadium of nearly 40,000 and one that's barely half full.

In many ways, the damage already has been done, as the attendance figures were reported by dozens of media outlets following the game and the low number made its way around message boards, Twitter and into the jokes of rival fans.

If the Jayhawks don't show improvement on the field soon, it's entirely possible that the attendance of future games could be closer to that 25,000 number (if not less) than anyone in the KU athletic department would like. But they're not there yet.

Memorial Stadium has a listed capacity of 50,071 and, in its three home games this season, KU has averaged a crowd of 39,130. The official attendance has dipped by a couple thousand each game, however.

Through the first three home games of the season, the student section has been pretty strong, with last Saturday's loss representing the worst of the three games for student support. For the most part, though, the students have showed up and have stayed to the end.

Last Saturday, hardly anyone stayed to the end and KU coach Charlie Weis said those who did deserved combat pay for suffering through it.

We'll see where things go from here.


Keith Richards 8 years ago

Might want to delay the stadium renovation with attendance dipping. If Charlie Weis can't pull something, anything together soon, next season's attendance and revenue will be disastrous.

Adam Gerval 8 years ago

They go hand in hand. Renovations are an absolute must.

Bee Bee 8 years ago

Renovate the team, screw the stadium!!!

gorilla10 8 years ago

Once again, hand in hand. Each will help the other!

Jack Jones 8 years ago

That's an absolutely brilliant (NOT) observation ~ with fans like this....never mind ~ go find another school to bad mouth

Robert Brown 8 years ago

Matt- Thanks for the update. I was shocked by the attendance number and quite honestly find 35,000 to also be very low for a homecoming game against a conference opponent who we took to overtime last year. This is 4000 less than attended the La Tech game.

Do you have any ideas why the attendance was so low? It sounds like the weather was decent. Going into the game, we were 2-1 and were playing a team we were competitive with last year. I don't think I was in the minority in thinking this could have been a competitive and entertaining game.

Matt Tait 8 years ago

I'm sure the 11 a.m. start the night after Late Night did not help in any way, other than that, I couldn't tell you... Attendance the rest of the way will be interesting to track.

Al Martin 8 years ago

But the important thing here is that I, personally, am vindicated in insisting that the initial reported number was wrong :-).

Robert Brown 8 years ago

Yes you were. However, I don't know when the picture above was taken, but at least that side of the stadium which is the student section does not look very full.

Al Martin 8 years ago

Caption says that was Pierson's long run in the third quarter. That was well after the score got out of hand and the exodus had begun.

By the way, I never disagreed with your larger point. The number just seemed wrong.

Rivethead 8 years ago

That's the play where Tony got the concussion. So late in the 3rd quarter.

8 years ago

Thanks for the update, Matt. Attendance looked a lot closer to 40K on TV than the reported 25K. You would think someone would have logically caught the error prior to moving forward with the incorrect figure. Oh well. To your point Matt, if the team doesn't start playing better, 25K per game is a strong possibility.

bad_dog 8 years ago

Somehow I'm not surprised that an entity that initially recorded the Spring game as a win for the program, could screw up something as fundamental as the attendance figures. Anyone at the game or watching on televison knew there were more than 25K in attendance. Sheesh!

Jim Jackson 8 years ago

I am digressing from the article here but I have noticed quit a few posters bashing Charlie's strategy to recruit the JUCO's.

Does anybody think we have much of a chance with 4 star players if we end up 3-9 this year? Heck, if you look at our current commit list for 2014, we don't have much by way of 3 star commits either.

People love to bring up Talib and Charles Gordon (2 star guys); they were 2 out of approximately 200 players Mangino had suit up in his 8 years as head coach.

We need immediate impact 20, 21 year old guys who can come in right away, not 2 star 18 year olds who will take 3 years to develop and are inferior in ability to our confrence foes.

We have the Jayhawk JUCO conference in our backyard, let's use it.

Worked very well for Mangino and Bill Snyder.

Keith Gellar 8 years ago

i was in all agreement wiht your logic till you mentioned bill snyder. the moment u compare us to the cats, everything goes into to the toilet.

Robert Brown 8 years ago

I take a different slant when Bill Snyder is mentioned. Weis is no Bill Snyder as a matter of a fact there is only one Bill Snyder so just because it worked for him doesn't mean this group will see similar results.

Jim Jackson 8 years ago

I am comparing the current state, nd recent histroy of our football program to theirs; they are far superior and have accomplished this by recruiting JUCO kids in their backyard.

Joe Ross 8 years ago

Lots of Mangino talk around the boards lately.

I have a theory. It's full of holes, but only because I'm still working it out. Here it is. The mentality at a "football school" is vastly different than one at a "basketball school". Few programs, if any, perform at the highest level in both. That fact alone started me to thinking that the difference in outcome was due to a difference in process, which must be rooted in a difference in ideology. Specifically, I think basketball schools are much more concerned with compliance than football schools. They go for the squeaky clean image. Why? Because you get fewer players, making each one count more. To violate a rule and have one player benched means a lot more than if a single player is ruled ineligible on a football team. Besides that, football generates so much more revenue that the temptation to violate a rule here or there is much greater.

So here we are at a basketball school, having been steeped in the culture of cleanness that is all things Kansas. That mindset consumes the whole of the AD and filters down to other programs, including football. At Kansas we are very concerned with academics, for example. You think Alabama puts that kind of emphasis on books? You'd be crazy to think it. Basically, we are competing with other programs who know how to bend rules here and there to get ahead. You've heard it before: "If you ain't cheatin', you ain't tryin'". Mark Mangino came along a few years ago and was willing to get down and dirty, with personality since his hands are tied with violating a code of ethics in other ways (especially recruiting). He had a temper, yes. But he got the utmost out of second-hand recruits by imprinting his personality on their style of play. It took a while to get the program up, granted. But in his second year he was already 6-7 (Im not sure but I think he was 2-and-something his first season).

Now here comes the politically incorrect part. Who gives a damn if a FOOTBALL coach pushes his players around and knocks them to the ground every now and then? I endured worse in junior high for a team that ultimately went on to win State (Atchison Redmen, 4A State title, 1989). Point being there is something about that kind of discipline that you live in fear of, yet you recognize that without it you would not have progressed to the point you have. Football can not be coached without fire. In second-tier programs (and perhaps third tier, in the case of Kansas) you need more of it. When it comes to a drill sergeant mentality of a coach, it's like Christopher Walken said once in a SNL skit, "Trust me,'re gonna WANT that COWBELL...".

Only at Kansas we don't.

Exit Mangino.

jay_cheese 8 years ago

I'm kind of with you on parts of that. The big picture to me is that successful football at KU has been a real challenge for a long time. MM was successful but his perception made him a target from day 1. He eventually pissed off some bigtimers and things got political and went downhill fast. Move forward two coaches later and our results are right back to the pre MM level. It's becoming painfully more apparent each week that we're not anywhere close to even competing for conference victories, let along winning them. Say what you want about MM, but his kids competed.

Andy Tweedy 8 years ago

Is the politically correct part you refer to that he pushed them around, or that your high school team was named the Redmen? {insert winking emoji}

Robert Brown 8 years ago

While I think there is a different mentality between football and basketball, I don't know if I agree with everything you say. First, I really do not think academics has anything to do with our not getting football players. Call me cynical, but I tend to believe that all major programs have designed classes and curricula that keep players eligible for those players not interested in academics. I know there are many student athletes using their scholarship to get a degree but there are many more who are not.

Regarding Mangino, my guess is had he won two of the last seven games including Missouri which would have resulted in a third straight bowl appearance, he would not have been fired. The problem would have been 2010, I think he would have been lucky to win four games.

Joe Ross 8 years ago


Welcome your critique. I don't see academics as a recruitment tool for football players. I think the emphasis on academics at Kansas is a result of a culture, rather than something whose primary purpose is to be an attraction. And to be sure, Kansas athletes do very well academically.

With regard to Mangino, the last few games were not played in a vacuum. There was a context where the coach was under duress that left the players with a lack of both direction, leadership, and motivation. I remember that time very well, and there is no way anyone can convince me that the swirl of controversy surrounding Mangino did not translate to the performance on the field. In fact, as soon as the story broke it appeared that Kansas football underachieved. Given the talent and accomplishments of that team, it was definitely more than mere coincidence.

jay_cheese 8 years ago

Talent potential is only half the battle. Look no further than USC for a extremely talented (from the star based recruiting agency's perspective) roster that struggles to win. JUCO's, depending on the situation, can help to fill roster voids but are generally considered a very unsuccessful long term strategy.

Jim Jackson 8 years ago

This is the first year thy hav struggled to win. Prior to this season, what have they averaged? 9 wins a season since 2000?

Stephan123 8 years ago

Football as we know it may be a fading fancy as more and more negative repercussions crop up from on field, life long injuries. The only future profits in the sport will be earned by attorneys attached to successful class action, personal injury lawsuits that will decimate the sport as we know it.

kellerman411 8 years ago

If you all want to read something intelligent, read the post above. Football is a dying sport. I'm not sure it will ever die completely but it will eventually lose some momentum. When that happens, KU's package of football and basketball will be looking pretty darn good.

kay_you 8 years ago

Not sure if it's a dying sport but it does have some issues with serious long term implications. I have thought for years that the only thing that could diminish the unparalleled popularity of this sport is its own obsolescence. Players keep getting bigger, faster and stronger and therefore are able to inflict more damage on opposing players which is a recipe for its own demise.

gorilla10 8 years ago

In the eyes of a college student:

Weak atmosphere, hangover from late night or friday in general, Big12 game (we all know how those end), track around the field still, too early, and just the general fact that as of lately nothing exciting whatsoever has been going on in or around memorial stadium. Now, I'm in the stands every week and stay the entire game but it's easy to understand why these college students (who have little pride in KU football) would want to stick around. I can't stand it, but the only way I see students showing up and filling their section is if we win. Games like Saturday don't help the cause.....

gorilla10 8 years ago

I love that KU has a great basketball program and it will be supported no matter what. I just think (or want) the football program to improve and get the same love. What I would do to bring back a nice fall day in 2007!!! How much fun was that....

Rivethead 8 years ago

Ah the old "clerical error" excuse. Those used to happen a lot during the Terry Allen years too.

gorilla10 8 years ago

Funny, someone joking about attendance that clearly wasn't in the stands Saturday....Hard to take you people seriously!

Rivethead 8 years ago

I'm not sure what being in the stands has anything to do with it. I was a season ticket holder from '88 to '06 before moving to Austin (my job now is to watch us get our tails kicked by the Longhorns every other year).

During the Allen years we saw a lot of post-game adjustments to attentendance. That's not a joke.

Pbbut 8 years ago

The game against OU may not be reflective of how KU fans see the program. It's not that far to travel from Norman/OKC/Tulsa and there are a good number of OU fans in the KC area that will "help" the attendance. The real number will be the Baylor crowd, especially if we continue to look like it will be an ugly game.

Robert Brown 8 years ago

In the era of realignment, football attendance and revenue generation has become more critical.

I guess the good news is that the football program is an untapped source of future revenue if you can get the team to become more competitive. Getting an extra 10,000 people per game adds to the bottom line.

Basketball is tapped out. You can get more people to the game; you can only raise ticket prices.

Rivethead 8 years ago

Really ticket sales don't matter as much as tv contract revenues. The big money is from the football tv revenues.

Hammertoe 8 years ago

The Legend of Mangino.... He only had one winning season in conference play in 8 years as head coach. The bar is rather low...

jay_cheese 8 years ago

Huh? Not as low as the last 3 seasons and this yr. more commenting for me due to new LJW policy. Take care and let's all sacrifice, pray, do whatever it takes to get KU competitive in football. Don't know what conference we'll be in when it happens but it will happen. When it does, let's not get greedy. RC

Austin Bergstrom 8 years ago

Paid 60 dollars for 4 tickets...4 dollars a piece for 4 bottled water/powerades and 10 bucks for 2 orders of nachos. Sat through 3 quarters of some of the most boring offense I've ever seen (La Tech game). Maybe KU should consider charging prices in closer relation to their play? Might be able to fill the stadium but wouldn't make much money.

Jack Jones 8 years ago

Suggestion ~ Save your 60 bucks, stay at home, pick up some bottled water/powerades and some nachos at Wal-Mart and then whine at a much lower cost ~~ the other upside is that we don't have bandwagon fans/AKA people like you ~ sitting next to me.

hawkshot 8 years ago

Did my two empty seats count. Had other commitment and couldn't go [Praise the lord]. Couldn't even give the tickets away. My last year as a season ticket holder.

Brad Watson 8 years ago

it is sickening to see all these negative comments.....we need to get behind this team....there are only 6 saturdays a should be an event....who cares how good we are that particular year....embrace the team and in doing are supporting the university....don't leave at matter how bad it is...enjoy the experience...leaving early only deflates the players...and they deserve better...quit thinking about yourself and get invested in the team...let them know care and that they are trying their best...and they will get better..leaving early makes you a loser...don't give up on these spend good money ..don't blame the product on the field..they aren't pros...they are kids who are trying hard....we need fans that try hard staying no matter how bad it is...the good money we spend is for the enjoyment of a college football saturday...get your moneys worth....look for the football is the best happy with that...

hawkdds 8 years ago

I agree with everything you said , wats 211, but must admit being steamrolled lets the air out of the balloon awfully fast. On the other hand if you can see improvement each week you look forward to the next encounter instead of dreading it.RCJH

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