Signs that the "Sweet 16" is Thriving or Declining

Page 6 of It is becoming increasingly obvious to me that there are subtle signs that the Sweet 16 is in decline. 1) Ample parking, despite when you arrive. Dimin... 110 comments | 12997 Views | Go to page 1 →

  1. #76

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jumper_Dad View Post
    But again it only impacts the handful of teams that go. No one is forcing anyone to buy tshirts or souvenirs an lodging really only impacts teams that advance or ones from all the way across the state. My point is that the AA is not a drain on the majority of teams anymore than regular season games are. I never see anyone complaining about out of town tourneys at Christmas Break being too expensive to attend.
    Speaking of no one complaining about Christmas Break tournaments becoming too expensive. Coach Hinson was interviewed between games of the Sweet Sixteen Friday night, I think. He stated that BCHS would NOT be having their Holiday Tournament next season because teams and their followers not participating enough to cover the expenses. There are only so many basketball dollars to go around in parent's budgets. So I think your point, that the A and AA are no more expensive than season games, is not correct. You are correct, no one is forcing anyone to attend or purchase anything.
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  2. #77

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    The reality is it is all about cost and experience. I am a diehard high school basketball fan. I coached hs boys and girls and love the State Tournament. I have taken 2 of my kids to the tournament every year for the last 10 years. We went Thursday night, Friday night, Saturday and Sunday. Hotel room for 3 nights $470. Then $57 a session (3 seats) $228 for 4 sessions. I spent $700 before we ate any food or paid for any parking. For the week $1000 and my wife didn’t go. That is just too much for the common fan.

  3. #78

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    Also, take into account all the media timeouts, 25 minutes between games and 15 minute halftime and there is too much downtime. People want entertainment and excitement. Cut cost and cut down time and keep it moving. People will come. People will definitely come.

  4. #79
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    Referencing who go and what makes up the daily attendance.

    The Center Lower Arena Side Court sections are occupied by Coaches/Administrators of the KHSAA member schools. Each can purchase up to four sets ($560). Additional sets can be purchased for corner lower arena sections. There are also individuals such as Gold Sunrise who renew their center court seats on an annual basis. The prime courtside Lower Arena seats are occupied by members of the Board of Control and their families and "Guests" of the KHSAA.

    The Upper Deck side court seats are occupied by walk-up single session purchasers, or individuals who choose to buy sets of tickets, or overflow Lower Arena Side Court requestees .

    End zone seats in the lower arena are sold to students of the participating teams playing in that session. The "Upper Lower Arena" end-zone seats are purchased by fans of the participating teams.

    So the crowd base is made primarily of associates of the member schools, or tickets which have been sold, or given away, by those member schools, and members of the KHSAA. The remaining seats are filled by those interested in attending a particular session or game.

  5. #80

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    Small schools have no chance anymore of winning the title. Its become like a 16 seed versus a 1 seed.
    You had one of the largest public school's and one of the largest private schools playing for the title on Sunday. It's become the new normal. Last year we had Bowling Green win the title and shortly thereafter, news of an investigation hits BG.
    Add the thought of recruiting going on at the larger schools...not saying in particular that any school in the S16 this year did as much, but the chatter is out there. Many think that the fix is in and why should they spend their money to watch the product.

    Sweet 16 is dying.
    It used to account for roughly 70% of the KHSAA profit, but it is down to like a little over 50%.
    Wednesday through Sunday is a drain and is too expensive for one to hole up in Lex for that many days and many paying out of pocket.
    Redbook has really hurt what schools can provide in regards to lodging, meals and tickets.

    KHSAA now is really pushing corporate sponsorship.
    I don't think they have secured a sponsorship for the Girls Sweet 16 for next year, but I may be wrong. They would love to have St. Elizabeth host it, from the conversations that i have heard, but I think St. Elizabeth is content with staying local to NKY and they have been simply fabulous in their time and money promoting high school sports and donating in many ways to the local schools.

  6. #81
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    There are several factors at play here. First, attendance began to decline when the KHSAA began live-streaming video. I wonder if their sponsorships cover the lost revenue from ticket sales.

    Second, every year or every other year, there was a good chance of watching a Cinderella story at play. Consolidation and the creation of Super-sized schools eliminates these except for maybe once in a decade.

    Third, the KHSAA has promoted the Sweet 16 as their 'cash cow' and they now have no choice but to make money. That means jacking up prices for everything. The argument against classification has been it will 'ruin the tradition and experience' of the Sweet 16. Attendance hasn't topped 100,000 since 2011. Three years ago, it was the lowest since the move to Rupp Arena.

    Fourth, Kentucky kids used to go to UK games and sit in the stands with the hopes of playing at Rupp Arena. Prices for UK games are so high now, most of the kids playing in the Sweet 16 probably never set foot into Rupp until their game. The mystique is dwindling.

    Fifth, there is so much anti-KHSAA sentiment that there are a lot of people who don't want to go and turn their money over to them.

    Sixth, penny-pinching on things such as eliminating programs and raising the broadcast fees of the local radio stations isn't helping. They have also changed their relationship with high school coaches and their ticket allotment. It used to be a weekend of networking and in some cases, a reward for underpaid assistants. Schools have not helped with some of their policy changes in allowing coaches to go.

    Seventh, why not make the Sweet 16 a boys'/girls' combo tournament? Four girls games Monday and Tuesday, four boys games on Wednesday and Thursday. Four girls games on Friday at 9/10:30/12/1:30 and four boys games at 3/4:30/6/7:30. Girls semifinals Saturday at 2/4 and boys at 6/8. Championships Sunday at 1 and 4.

    It's not just one thing, but cost and live streaming I think are the biggest two obstacles facing the KHSAA.

  7. #82

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    Is there any merit to considering a consolation game for 3rd and 4th place with appropriate trophy presentations? Sunday championship game gives plenty of time for this and brings two more schools and their fans to see their teams play their last games. Just asking this out of the box question?

  8. #83

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    I used to go every year through the week and then take my daughter on the weekend. Did this for about 10 years. When she graduated high school and went to college and got a job she could no longer attend and without her there it was not same with me going by myself. Stopped going about 4 years ago.

    This year I paid for live stream and it was not all that great, picture would freeze quite often forcing me to restart numerous times. Also it would repeat parts of the game over and over until finally it would freeze that way. I know it was only 10.00 but still wanted to watch without any problems.

  9. #84

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldercoach View Post
    Is there any merit to considering a consolation game for 3rd and 4th place with appropriate trophy presentations? Sunday championship game gives plenty of time for this and brings two more schools and their fans to see their teams play their last games. Just asking this out of the box question?
    Just speaking for myself, I wouldn’t want to play or coach in a consolation game, let alone travel to watch one. It would in reality, be nothing more than an exhibition game, with no value or real purpose for players, coaches, or fans.

  10. #85

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    Folks are looking at this at a way too "micro" level. We are simply following a national trend.

    families have a lot more options for entertainment as well as a lot more "time commitments". I'm sure there were families who couldn't come because they had soccer and baseball games last weekend..

    15 years ago before the rise in popularity of "travel sports" kids would have had a game on Saturday morning and free time the rest of the day. Now kids travel two or 3 hours every weekend and have 2 or 3 games.

    It's the same reason why other sports attendance is down, country club membership is down and movie attendance is down. A LOT more competition for entertainment dollars.

  11. #86
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    I took my son to the tournament for the evening session on Friday night.

    Two tickets on Ticketmaster for those two games were $55.95.

    It was roughly $20 in gas to drive to Lexington and back.

    We spent $15 on concessions between games (2 drinks and cheese pizza).

    Parking was another $10.

    The two games were fun. Atmosphere was good. Officiating was incredibly bad for a state tournament. The first game featured two teams that were evenly matched but wouldn't likely have a chance the next night. Second game featured two good teams, including the eventual state champions.

    We had a good time. Was it worth $100 or more? Absolutely not. That's just too much for high school basketball. That was me and my son. Had I taken my entire family, I would have been out $250 for 2 games of high school basketball. That's just not feasible for normal people.

  12. #87
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    How much are individual session tickets?

  13. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDeuce View Post
    How much are individual session tickets?
    I think they were $18 for lowers and $13 for uppers per session (two games). The fees on Ticketmaster are insane (as @Wireman said), however buying at the window makes getting lower arena tickets almost impossible.

  14. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by gchs_uk9 View Post
    I think they were $18 for lowers and $13 for uppers per session (two games). The fees on Ticketmaster are insane (as @Wireman said), however buying at the window makes getting lower arena tickets almost impossible.
    Fees on Ticketmaster are awful for everything. I get they have to make money, but sheesh...

    Uppers shouldn't be over $10 per session IMO. $15 seems better for lowers, but $12 would go even farther for attendance.

    For perspective... For UofL's three NIT games, you could get lower level tickets for $12 each. "Premium" seats going for $20. No high school game/event should cost more than big-time college hoops, IMO.

  15. #90

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    I think it is time for classes. You would get more people involved across the state. You could still have a one true champion, just play a final four with the class champions.

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