Conrad got in touch with his inner nerd and did a rough statistical analysis of how much the Bills might be hurting, or helping, the Bulls. There was nothing earth shattering in his piece but it did a great job quantifying what we all know. Buffalo, as a pro sports town, tends to overlook college Athletics and that may cost UB in the win column due to attendance. Fans in the seats means noise at the right time, it also means money in the pockets of the Athletics Department and perhaps even an more impressive environment for visiting recruits.
The Attendance issue has created something of a chicken and egg problem for UB football. The perception is that the game day experience is lacking so the school only has 13 to18 thousand fans a game. And because the stadium is only at 50% capacity the game day experience seems to be lacking.
The really frustrating thin is that attendance could be the one thing really holding down the perception of UB among conference looking to realign.
Director white had talked about developing a synergy with Buffalo's pro sports base, not "beating it". This years football schedules, both the Bulls and Bills, give him an opportunity to do just that.
|September 1-2||@ Georgia||NA|
|September 8-9||vs. Morgan State||@ Jets|
|September 15-16||vs. Kent State*||vs. Chiefs|
|September 22-23||BYE||@ Browns|
|September 29-30||@ UConn||vs. Patriots|
|October 6-7||@ Ohio||@ 49ers|
|October 13-14||@ NIU||@ Arizona|
|October 20-21||vs. Pittsburgh||vs. Titans^|
|October 27-28||vs. Toledo||BYE|
|November 3-4||vs. Miami||@ Texans|
|November 10-11||vs. WMU||@ Patriots|
|November 17-18||@ Umass||vs. Miami|
|November 24-25||@ Bowling Green+||@ Colts|
|December 1-2||MAC Championship&||vs. Jags|
|December 9||NA||vs. Rams|
|December 16||NA||vs. Sea Hawks|
|December 23||NA||@ Miami|
|December 30||NA||vs Jets|
There are four UB Home games which can help your average Bills fan stave off tail gate withdraw. During the other two weeks where UB is home one of the two Buffalo squads are playing a mid week game, one by the Bulls and one by the Bills.
These are the Games that Bills fans should attend if they are looking to tailgate (remember parking is free for UB football games) because Buffalo's NFL team is out of town.
Morgan State: UB's home opener and the Bills have not yet played a down. The Bulls have a very difficult schedule this season but Morgan is one of those games that they should dominate *should*
Also the Bills kickoff the next day in New Jersey, great chance to get a nice fall tailgate in.
Toledo: The Rockets are one of the teams favored to win the MAC west, last seasons MAC west champion NIU escaped Amherst with a one point win in an offensive shootout.
And if that's not enough reason to get to a UB game then check out these games. The Bills are not even playing on the weeks when UB takes on:
Miami: It is the LAW in Buffalo that you have to attend Buffalo - Miami games. The rules are not clear on if the Miami has to be in Florida or not so why not just err on the side of caution here and come root against the RedHawks.
Western Michigan: By now its been almost a month since the Bills have had a home game and, if there is any sense in you you have been going to UB games. So you should attend UBs final home game of the year.
Pitt: Technically the Bills are home this week but UB is the only team playing during the weekend. So if you want to get out of the house at 6am, fire up the grill, crack a beer and enjoy a nice long tailgate this is your chance.
Why Tailgate at a UB game? Glad you asked!
1) As I mentioned above parking is free. I've worked at the lots around the Ralph and I know that 15 years ago it cost an arm and a leg to get a good spot, I can only imagine that it's worse now. Events like the UB Victory March help get people in the spirit for the game, the team walks to the stadium right between two of the main lots before the game.
2) Prices for tickets are great! Seasons tickets for all six home games an be purchased for 42 dollars (7$ a game), the 120 Dollar Package (20$ per game) has seats in the 100 and 200 rows.
3) Great for kids! I love a good tailgate but I don't think I'd take my 5 year old daughter out to the Ralph. The Bulls games have a great family atmosphere.
I'm a big believer that the Bills and Bulls won't ever compete for the same dollars. UB's price point such a value that it's never going to undercut the Bills. After all a ticket to a UB game cost less than concessions at a Bills game.
The fact they don't compete for resources has helped the two organizations to develop a pretty amicable relationship. The Bills let UB use their field house when the weather demands it, UB also holds their pro-day workouts there.
While new UB Athletic Director Danny White has not started his new job yet but he should still pick up the phone and call the Bills ticket office. If he could convince them them to bundle some UB seasons tickets in with the first several thousand Bills season ticket sales it could make a huge difference at the gate.
UB stadium, on it's best days, has room for another five thousand fans so why not "sell" the Bills several thousand seasons tickets for a dollar per game (instead of the 7$). The Bills tickets don't go on sale to the general public until early July and UB already started to sell their tickets. While many Bills fans may not take advantage of the tickets you're not losing anything, they would not have come anyways.
It's a far more ethical solution to attendance issues than some teams take and UB football could benefit from a couple of thousand Bills fans. Both the experience and the connection to the local fan base, as opposed to just Alumni.