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Eastern Michigan tight end Tyreese Russell, right, snags a 19-yard touchdown pass in front of Central Michigan defensive back Jarret Chapman, left, in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. Eastern Michigan running back Dominique Sherrer (25) is tackled by Central Michigan defensive back Jason Wilson after making a first down in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. Eastern Michigan coach Ron English reacts after they recovered a Central Michigan fumble in the second quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. Central Michigan wide receiver Andrew Flory (9) celebrates his third-quarter touchdown with running back Zurlon Tipton during an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. Eastern Michigan wide receiver Jay Jones (19) rushes under pressure from Central Michigan linebacker Justin Cherocci (41) and defensive lineman Leterrius Walton, right, on a 14-yard pass play in the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. Eastern Michigan tight end Tyreese Russell, right, can't make the catch against Central Michigan defensive back Jarret Chapman in the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. Central Michigan quarterback Ryan Radcliff looks to pass against Eastern Michigan in the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead. In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. This year's most promising chance of a highly attended game will come Saturday when the Eagles match-off against Western Michigan University at EMU's homecoming game. After a win against Central Michigan University last weekend, the Eagles are 4-3 going into their game against the Broncos.
Since 2005, the school has been thrice ranked last among fellow NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision teams for attendance levels per game.
EMU’s entire athletic department made $133,000 in ticket sales last year and just $2,400 in concessions, according to NCAA figures.
To increase attendance, EMU has begun offering money to local school systems to get fans filling the seats at Rynearson Stadium, which can hold 30,200 fans. Last fall the university launched a ticket stimulus program that offers free tickets to students, faculty and staff from more than a dozen local school districts. The school also has moved from a traditional marketing scheme consisting of billboards and media ads to a grass-roots method that thrives on events. Every Thursday, EMU’s athletic department hosts a lunchtime tailgate party on campus with music, food and giveaways. But even though the Eagles are undefeated at home this year, attendance levels at the next three home games will need to increase if EMU doesn't want a repeat of 2009, when EMU's attendance levels were at record-lows and game averages were at least 5,000 fans fewer than all other FBS schools. Three of EMU’s six home games are scheduled on the same day as U-M home games this year. This is an easy one, the University doesn't really like students to tailgate in the traditional sense of getting up early, drinking, and then heading to the game. The majority of the members of the EMU community (faculty, staff, students, and most importantly, ALUMNI) could care less about EMU football. To try and insinuate that UM football game attendees would somehow try and attend EMU football games is ridiculous.



Division 1 football is killing athletic opportunities for many prospective college athletes. Try some night games, do some marketing and maybe buy a jumbo tron and show the Michigan game to the fans in the stadium. The fact is that the MAC, the Sun Belt and the WAC are just barely hanging on to FBS status.
With such a long history of defeat, why not simply cut the program back to the bare minimum or eliminate it entirely. EMU overall does a very poor job at keeping the public up-to-date on what is happening on campus. What a shame--considering that EMU spent the library appropriation on a stadium with luxury boxes.
It's my understanding that the library is already underfunded by about $1M per year as compared to peer institutions in MI. Apparently, giving away tickets or even PAYING people to attend counts towards total attendance, at least as far as the NCAA is concerned. Ever wonder how so many Big Ten schools go to bowls when they having losing conference records?
AGREE 100% regarding the abysmal coverage from the local press but I am on the fence regarding start times and the possible impact.
But let's be realistic - college football has always been a day event and its not like EMU would pack the stadium simply because the games start later. As a parent of two young kids that are active on Saturday mornings, I fully support 6PM kickoffs.
In the big scheme it probably matters little but the stadium is pretty isolated from the general campus.
As a disclaimer, I am not an EMU alum, but I know many EMU alums have very strong feelings about this issue. I think the university needs to take a hard look at whether or not some or all of that 16.5 million is worth it, especially given that football games are so poorly attended, and that the state of Michigan continues to cut back on funding for public universities. Today's edition is a great example of the depth and breadth of coverage in the Echo -- the six-page sports section has football and volleyball player profiles, senior snapshots, a game preview and volleyball and soccer stories as well -- plus great photos of student athletes.
I'm curious if other spectator sports suffer from the same lack of spectators compared to other MAC schools.
I have been working in Ypsilanti for the past 10 years and my girls are students at Eastern. You're boycotting Easter Michigan football because they changed their name from the Huron's (which may or may not be a politically insensitive name) to the Eagles? It says a lot about society when a corporate sponsor can buy tickets to meet attendance requirements and that's ok. 11, 2012, file photo Eastern Michigan head football coach Ron English reacts after the Eagles recovered a fumble during an NCAA college football game against Central Michigan in Ypsilanti, Mich.
Tens of thousands of University of Michigan fans won't be flocking to the Big House, as it's a bye week for the Wolverines.


To reach the 15,000-attendance level required for an FBS team, EMU sold Pepsi 50,000 tickets at $3 apiece. In addition to the free entry, EMU donates a dollar to a student’s school district every time they attend a game. The attendees at UM football games are passionate about their alma mater and the Michigan brand in general. If EMU is investing over $16 million into a department each year that has almost no return, what benefit does the university receive to justify the expenditure? I have friends that are staff and faculty members at EMU and this is the only way I receive information about activities on campus. But if you want them make your voice heard - as I mentioned there are often surveys seeking feedback about start times. Other (peer) programs do well attendence wise with afternoon starts and those people have kids with soccer too. I only suggest that the decisions to move both the athletic facilities and the Presidents home away from campus are debatable as to their ultimate wisdom.
Only winning will change that - and getting players that have become BMOC -- when was the last time EMU had a BMOC in any sport? This would bring people to the game and they might even have fun and return after their first year. My girlfriend picked up a 6 pack of free tickets yesterday from some source, not sure who but thanks to whom ever bought these tickets and gave them away.
FWIW, the Eagles' primary color is green, which strikes me as an awesome color for football turf. Families won't go to the game if it is scheduled at night, after the Michigan game, where it may be extremely cold late in the fall. What is wrong is knowing that the program is not viable but continue to pump resources into it anyway. I attended Rocky Horror at EMU and was as impressed with their performance as I have been with performances on Broadway. I feel sorry for the school because they have good facilities to see a game, even for basketball. Instead, develop the basketball program which is less resource intensive, and other financially-challenged entities on campus. So while your points are valid, until WEMU serves the campus more, I would not invest more money in them. The Eagles, with three games left in the season, are 1-8 entering Saturday’s game against Western Michigan.



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