Friday’s Daily Briefing: Spartan fans don't make effort to see FAU-MSU game in Detroit
A word of advice to the FAU fans heading to Detroit for Saturday’s FAU-Michigan State game at Ford Field in Detroit: You might want to think twice about wearing that Owls gear out on the town tonight or after the game.
FAU is about as popular in Motor City right now as Toyota.
Michigan State fans are not very happy with FAU right now, but it shouldn’t be this way
All FAU wanted to do was help and make the best of the situation after the Owls new stadium wouldn’t be ready for the game. The next best thing, FAU officials surmised, was to play a game near East Lansing for the Spartans’ incredible loyal fan base who will do anything to support their team – provided the price is right, the location suits them and there isn’t a more interesting game on TV.
The Owls tried to do Michigan State a favor – so they moved the game to Detroit, essentially giving Michigan State another home game this season.
The response has been, how shall we say, less than overwhelming. Sometime on Thursday, the 25,000th ticket was sold for this game to be played in a stadium that seats 60,000.
It’s not going to look good – and Michigan State folks aren’t happy about it.
The biggest complaint has been the ticket price, which top off at $79 for the game, quite a bit more expensive for a comparable seat at Spartan Stadium (around $49). So naturally, Spartan fans are staying away in droves.
This was a huge miscalculation on the part of FAU, which set the price after consulting with MSU officials. FAU obviously confused Michigan State fans with University of Michigan supporters. You can bet that Wolverine faithful followers would have packed Ford Field to the rafters, no matter the price, no matter the opponent. Meanwhile Spartan fans will show their solidarity by cutting their grass during the game.
Oh, we know about Detroit’s economic problems, but when FAU (finally) determined the prices were too steep, they slashed the price to make sure sports fans in that city wouldn’t be overcharged to watch what Detroit fans think is a subpar football game. Of course that doesn’t stop fans from watching the Lions.
Did FAU make mistakes along the way? Without a doubt. The marketing plan didn’t start soon enough, they spent most of their money in Detroit proper failing to target the wealthier Detroit suburbs, and based their ticket price on a 2009 Western Michigan-Michigan State game that the market said was way too high.
One thing that has been noticeable is that Owls coach Howard Schnellenberger had little to do with the marketing effort. That was tactical mistake on FAU’s part which could have used Schnellenberger’s expertise in an inexpensive strategy of pumping life into a game through the media.
By the time Schnellenberger was brought in, it was too late.
It’s easy to quibble with what was done (or not done) to promote this game, but the bottom line is that this game obviously has not have caught the attention of fans in and around the great state of Michigan.
Who should feel worse about that - Florida Atlantic or Michigan State?
> Owl Links: Articles of interest to FAU fans
At FAUOwlAccess.com we wrote about the Owls’ strategy of using silent counts vs. Michigan State and also told you which three changes to the starting lineup to expect Saturday. Owl Access Pass holders can check out the information here
The Palm Beach Post looked into what is making WR Lester Jean
The Sun-Sentinel wrote on FAU’s defense