CHESTNUT HILL MA - SEPTEMBER 11: Fans take a moment of silence in remembrance of the 9/11 attacks before the game between the Boston College Eagles and the Kent State Golden Flashes on September 11 2010 at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Saturday is the 10th Annual Jay McGillis Spring Football game at Boston College. But you wouldn't know that, because as Brian pointed out earlier, the media hasn't shown any interest in reporting on it. And who can blame them? The event is always poorly attended, and on the tail end of a terrible 4-8 season interest in the Eagles are at an all time low. BC doesn't take attendance at these games, but I have gone the past 3-4 years and I can tell you they would be lucky if over a thousand fans show up.
How can BC drum up interest in the spring game? Well, Gene DeFilippo is lucky as I am here to give some tips, which if he follows should help to get fans into the gate, and interest back into the program.
1. Make the program relevant again. Obviously we have beaten this drum numerous times on this blog. You get the point, if BC wins, beats big time programs and plays exciting football, fans will show up. The media will show up, report on the players, and fans will take notice.
2. Allow tailgating at the game. As you probably know, most other programs allow tailgating at their spring games. I know this is wishful thinking, but can you imagine how much attendance would skyrocket if BC allowed season ticket holders an extra day of spring tailgating? I can tell you my family who never attends the spring game would be there, and they would invite swarms of casual fans. Atmosphere sells, and if BC gives fans a tailgate, fans will show up. Charge the tailgates just enough to cover the police details required by law. Then again that requires an AD and administration that has the guts to stand up to the local lunatics in Newton and Brighton that would surely make a stink.
3. Play another team. It's kind of odd watching a game and rooting on one half of your team as they play against the other. It's even harder with the bizarre scoring system BC uses. Why not scrimmage against another local team, per say Holy Cross, *gulp* UMass or even a D2 or 3 team like Brandeis, Bentley or Endicott. It would bring outside fans into the stadium, and do what is most important to BC Athletics. Give us money.
4. Don't stream the game live. I get why they do it, you want to reward the fans that live in Massachusetts. But by streaming it live you are just giving those fans that are lazy the excuse to watch the game from their couch. Make them get up, make them want to be there.
5. Make it worthwhile for the students! This isn't just a BC Athletics idea, this is a school wide initiative. There are a ton of BC spring events that could easily coincide with the spring game. Things such as the Arts Festival, Modstock, Spring Concert, Middle March, speakers etc that BC could wrap up into a big weekend that the kids could enjoy. Be creative, and make it big! If BC students enter the school and all they hear about is this awesome weekend in March-Early April with concerts and spring football, you set the climate and expectation that these are must attend events. And of course feed the kids. Turn Shea Field into a BBQ pit and give the students a fantastic lunch.
6. Giveaways and Free Stuff- People like free stuff, and if BC fans are all getting magnets or shirts, or something BC related, that would be pretty awesome. Maybe even do something gimmicky like giving away a tailgate spot for the Notre Dame game, or the use of a luxury box for the VT game. Students love free stuff, and so do I.
See GDF, I can do your job for you. These are just a few ideas that I came up with because BC needs to get people to this event. Recruits see this, families of players see this, and if they just see empty bleachers it sends all the wrong messages about the culture of this great school.