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.
|3||43900||Florida||44200||TexasA&M||45900||Prairie View A&M|