Pitt Athletics is Doing Their Best to Stunt Attendance Growth

Snapshot taken from PittsburghPanthers.com as of 9:35 AM, Wednesday morning

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Look, I get that talk about attendance is tiresome.  I hate it actually.  I'd rather Pitt win in front of a crowd of 10 people than lose in front of a crowd of 110k people.

However, I do think the home crowd helped the Pitt Panthers in Thursday night's win over their rival West Virginia.  Several have said the crowd was 50/50.  I was there.  At most, WVU had 30% of the crowd.  At most.  And that's counting the band. So Pitt had at least 70% of, reportedly, the largest crowd in Pittsburgh sports history.

Homefield advantage is so important in college football.  There is no scientific way to measure the emotional impact a crowd can have on a home team, but it's clear that it does impact the game.  It's also clear that Pitt is at their peak of relevance as far as my lifetime goes.  They are coming off a win against their heated rivals while being the reigning ACC Champions, and they have a ranked SEC team coming into town, while also being ranked themselves.  Saturday's game against the Tennessee Volunteers should be a valuable ticket.

However, it has been proven time and time again that the Pitt ticket office needs to make the tickets more affordable in non-rivalry games.  Casual fans will not pay $70+ for the worst seats in the house, especially when they are bleachers.  But that is how the Pitt ticket office currently has them priced.

Currently, there are five sections with "High Availability" and fifteen sections with "Medium Availability" of tickets, just three days out from Saturday's Johnny Majors Classic.  The cheapest available ticket remains $70 (plus taxes and fees).

As of 9:35 AM on 9/7/22

What's also odd is that season tickets were sold out weeks before the West Virginia game.  Why were so many seats held for single game tickets and not included in season ticket packages?  I know a ton of people that said they would have bought season tickets and were shocked to see them sell out so quickly.  It's because Pitt wanted to generate more revenue.  Where fans can get a deal on season tickets, Pitt can gain more revenue from leaving more as single game seats. Plain and simple.

Now, an allotment of tickets are held for opponents, and Tennessee did return a lot of theirs. However, this allotment does not amount to 20 sections that currently have High or Medium availability.  I believe only 2-4 sections are offered to the opposing fan base to sell to their fans first.

So now, instead of building off the Backyard Brawl's largest crowd in Pittsburgh sports history, the upper deck will probably have a noticeable amount of empty seats.  And I'll never tell anyone how to spend their own money.  I won't sit here and say that if a Pitt fan really cared about the team they should fork out $75 for an upper deck bleacher ticket.  At home, you have the luxury of your own food and beer.  Arguably the experience at home is better, especially at a $75 bleacher price tag.  I'm one of the lucky ones who did get season tickets.

So what is Pitt's desire to leave a seat empty instead of lowering the price to the level of demand?  Isn't $40 worth of revenue from a seat better than leaving it empty?  And why did they cap season tickets just to have a ton of available single game tickets for what should be one of the highest attended games in the program's history?  I just don't get it, and it's stunting the growth of attendance at Pitt games, which will also negatively affect the homefield advantage.