Over the weekend, Jay Drew of the Salt Lake Tribune did a feature on how BYU's football attendance has been slightly less than spectacular this season. One of the possible reasons that was mentioned by Duff Tittle, BYU's Associate Athletic Director for Communications, was that student attendance was down significantly from past seasons.
So, what are some of the ways that we can get more students to the games? Here are my humble suggestions.
1) Rebuild the Cannon Center inside LES
For those who are uninformed, the Cannon Center is the on-campus dining hall that serves the majority of the freshmen students. Right now, it is conveniently located in the middle of the dorms for easy access. For many years, this establishment was affectionately known as the Cancer Center for reasons you can probably guess. It was just rebuilt about five years ago, but whatever, it needs to be moved.
If students are having a hard time finding a reason to get over to LES, then GOSH LET'S GIVE THEM A REASON. For a lot of the freshman students, this is the ONLY place that they can eat. If we move this thing inside the gates of the stadium, these kiddos will be forced, compelled to go to the games by their stomachs. Sure, this might be an extra half mile for these kids to walk, but hey, more exercise never killed anyone. And heaven knows they want to fight that pesky Freshman Forty. Wait, what? It's only the Freshman Fifteen? I don't...can someone please travel back in time and tell Freshman Jake that...yeah.
2) Fastest Wifi EVER
I know next to nothing about how the Internet works beyond that fact that I need to pay someone or go to a Starbucks in order to receive its blessings. So what is my proposal here? I propose that BYU and its dedicated computer science program attempt to provide the fastest wireless internet in the world at our stadium. If you were to ask me how exactly this will happen, I will suggest individual wireless routers under every seat in the stadium along with a lot of bandwidth (?) so that internet can happen more faster. Did I mention I know nothing about how the internet works?
Anyhow, I went to a baseball game last week and they had airport level wifi and it was still a wonderful blessing. Just imagine having Vines and Snapchats (are those still hip applications?) flying to your phone without delay. Sure, we might have a lot of students showing up to the game with their computers so they can download episodes of Studio C, but hey, we're not trying to make everyone a rabid fan here. We want butts in the seats.
3) Game attendance counts as home / visiting teaching visit
Now that I think about it, this might not go over too well with a certain group of people at church headquarters. Well, as long as they don't find out that we're juking the stats, let's count a visit to LaVell Edwards Stadium as a visit to a member of your ward. Now if you bring someone that you home or visit teach with you to the football game? I don't want to be presumptuous, but that should be grounds for guaranteed celestial glory. Don't quote me on that.
4) Public transportation... VIA GONDOLA
What do college students in Utah love? Skiing and snowboarding. What form of transportation do people use when they go skiing or snowboarding? That's right, a mountain gondola. What would be the best way to transport the students from the dorm halls directly to the stadium? You guessed it. Forget what I said about being healthy in point number one. Walking is rated as the second least important physical activity in the 18-22 category right behind snowshoeing. Besides, walking and texting is becoming quite dangerous.
Regardless, this would be a fantastic addition to campus. Just think about how many times Lee Corso would want to ride in that thing the next time College GameDay comes to town. If Boston University can have a lazy river in their student athletic center than BYU can have an elaborate ski lift / gondola system that transports students to the games.
5) Extra credit for students
"And you can earn some extra credit this semester by attending all of BYU's football games this season. After each game you will submit your ticket stub, send the professor a picture of you at the game and write a 10 page paper on one of the following topics..."
- How would Taysom Hill beat a gorilla in a wrestling match?
- Which Book of Mormon character does Craig Bills relate to the most?
- Who is Dr. Robert Anae and what does his leather jacket represent?
- Examine the pros and cons of the 10-yard cushion.
- Discuss Jamaal Williams running style as it relates to Immanuel Kant's ideas on moral philosophy.
6) Turn the field into a giant video board
"But Jake, I can just stay home and watch the game on my giant HD TV! It's way better than sitting in the South end zone!" This ridiculous excuse will no longer be valid when we find a way to turn the entire field into ONE GIANT VIDEO BOARD. Don't even try to tell me that it's not possible because if we can put a man on the moon and Apple can get millions of people to buy a phone that bends in half, then ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.
I'm going to try and explain this idea even though half of you have already decided that I am certifiably crazy. HEAR ME OUT. Using our superior BYU knowledge of things and stuff, we can somehow find a way to build a giant video board that lives underneath the playing surface. I know what you're thinking. How can you see the board if there is a layer of sod above the screen? This is when we get the help of the agricultural department to help develop transparent grass. While the ball is in play, the screen projects the normally marked football playing surface, but in between plays and during time outs the field goes into screen mode and plays highlights and shows stats. The more I type the crazier this sounds, but you know Jerry Jones IV is going to build a stadium with this feature in 2204.
7) Free Popcorn
College students will do just about anything for something that is free. I once pretended to be a TA for a mathematics professor at BYU just so I could eat a free lunch they were providing to department employees. I would also hit up senior recitals in the Harris Fine Arts Building on the regular because I knew they provided a quality spread of snacks afterwards. Knowing that there are a bunch of idiots just like me out there, we should just be prepared for certain students to show up with some 50 gallon trash bags so they can save some popcorn for the FHE activity the following Monday. You know that at least 100 of those students will fight you on the fact that it doesn't say "all you can eat HERE" on the sign and you know what, that's fine. We'll feed those kids popcorn until they die of a melted butter overdose (I believe medical professionals also refer to this as a heart attack).
So these are my ideas of how to get more students to the games. Let us know what your ideas are in the comments section below.