Except for the true-blue diehards, and there are some great ones out there, noon kickoffs don't bring University of Miami fans.
Yesterday's crowd was announced at 39,435, seemingly at least twice the amount of people who were actually there, and we all kind of looked at each other in bewilderment. Sun Life Stadium seats 75,540 for football, according to the Miami Dolphins media guide. I understand the "announced'' crowd reflects paid tickets (and probably includes the band, etc., but not sure about the people working in the stadium), but this crowd was so small on a nice day.
I've been in South Florida many, many years, so I know the situation (super hot, humid, people have conflicts if their kids are in youth sports, too much other stuff going on in this area, too early, etc.). But I'm just wondering your take on it. Kudos to the people who show up, especially on a day in which the game wasn't televised (it was shown only on ESPN3). And it was the home opener, if that means anything. I know it was against Bethune-Cookman, but still...
Last year's "announced" average attendance, according to UM, was 56,207. What the...?
Coach Al Golden was asked after the game if he would have liked to see “a bigger crowd out there.’’ I believe that coaches wanted this game at noon to give them more time to prepare for Georgia Tech.
“I don’t worry about the crowd,’’ Golden said. “I understand. I understand the market we’re in, and there’s going to be a day when we’re delivering. There’s going to be a day when we’re delivering and they’re going to come out and see guys like Duke Johnson and Malcolm Lewis, and those guys. And we’re going to grow up together. I promise you this team is going to grow up together.
“They’re working hard and they’re staying humble and staying together. I understand that.’’
That said, Golden was then asked if the noon kickoff helped the team better prepare for its next opponent, Georgia Tech, because of the padding it gives in terms of extra time.
“It does, tremendously,’’ Golden answered. “You know we were on the road the first two weeks and got back at 10 p.m. last week and 1 a.m. the week before. That’s tough on a team.
“This is huge for our team in general, and really for us to regroup, because we have to go back on the road again. I don’t know how many teams are doing that, but we are. And so this was important for our guys to regroup, get some rest and allow the coaches to get in and get going on Georgia Tech.’’
Anyway, just wondering your thoughts on the situation, or if you think it really matters one way or the other, regarding attendance. Or do you think the importance of the team having more time to prepare for the next game supersedes the inconvenience of a noon game?
SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN