Develop a forecasting model

Forecasting Attendance at SWU Football Games

Southwestern University (SWU), a large state college in Stephenville, Texas, 30 miles southwest of the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, enrolls close to 20,000 students. In a typical town-grown relationship, the school is a dominant force in the small city, with more students during fall and spring than permanent residents.

A longtime football powerhouse, SWU is a member of the Big Eleven conference and is usually in the top 20 in college football rankings. To bolster its chances of reaching the elusive and long desired number-one ranking, in 2008 SWU hired the legendary Billy Bob Taylor as its head coach. Although the number-one ranking remained out of reach, attendance at the five Saturday home games each year increased. Prior to Taylor’s arrival, attendance generally averaged 25,000 to 29,000 per game. Season ticket sales bumped up by 10,000 just with the announcement of the new coach’s arrival. Stephenville and SWU were ready to move to big time!

The immediate issue facing SWU, however, was not NCAA ranking. It was capacity. The existing SWU stadium, built in 1953, has seating for 54,000 fans. The following table indicates attendance at each game for the past six years.

One of Taylor’s demands upon joining SWU had been a stadium expansion, or possibly even a new stadium. With attendance increasing, SWU administrators began to face the issue head-on. Pitterno has wanted dormitories solely for his athletes in the stadium as an additional feature of any expansion.

SWU’s president, Dr. Marty Starr, decided it was time for his vice president of development to forecast when the existing stadium would “max out”. He also sought a revenue projection, assuming an average ticket price of $20 in 2014 and a 5% increase each year in future prices.

  1. Develop a forecasting model, justifying its selection over other techniques, and project attendance through 2015.
  2. What revenues are to be expected in 2014 and 2015?
  3. Discuss the school’s options.
2008 2009 2010
Game Attendees Opponent Attendees Opponent Attendees Opponent
1 34200 Baylor 36100 Oklahoma 35900 TCU
2* 39800 Texas 40200 Nebraska 46500 TexasTech
3 38200 LSU 39100 UCLA 43100 Alaska
4** 26900 Arkansas 25300 Nevada 27900 Arizona
5 35100 USC 36200 OhioState 39200 Rice
2011 2012 2013
Game Attendees Opponent Attendees Opponent Attendees Opponent
1 41900 Arkansas 42500 Indiana 46900 LSU
2* 46100 Missouri 48200 North Texas 50100 Texas
3 43900 Florida 44200 TexasA&M 45900 Prairie View A&M
4** 30100 Miami 33900 Southern 36300 Montana
5 40500 Duke 47800 Oklahoma 49900 ArizonaState
*Homecoming games

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