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garfield

2013 Attendance numbers are out

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I am glad historical numbers were presented in this thread. I would say it is disappointing that they weren't able to generate more momentum out of having the same Finals location for several years in a row. Given that people could have been planning travel so far in advance, the fact that it wasn't bringing more people out should be a concern (not something to pat anybody on the back about). Having to subsidize local sales, despite having years to market your annual events to the locals, is troubling.

But to read DCP would make you think the opposite... as many posters on here staked their claim that while they might travel to Indy once, to have Finals in the same location year after year (and I honestly doubt it's going anywhere after 2018 either) would spell certain doom for DCI as attendance would MOST ASSUREDLY drop every single year.

Instead, it has gone up. Kudos to DCI.

As for the way(s) to improve attendance - I LOVE the idea of having a break in the schedule. I think it would make perfect sense to open up Friday somehow... would provide the PERFECT opportunity for corps banquets, alumni reunions, etc if people didn't feel like they needed to see the shows on Friday... and if you're a 10-14 corps fan, you HAVE to be there Friday because... what if?

What if... Friday's competition was a daytime competition instead of an evening competition? What if the first corps stepped off at 11:00 am, and the show was finished at 6:30-ish, with ageouts being done faster and stadium cleared by 7:30-8:00... allowing everyone to celebrate with reunions and corps banquets on Friday night - and to allow MMs some mental rest before Saturday? What if... for this 'new' Friday format... if you're in the gates by 11:00, your ticket price is only $5, and the ticket price increases by $5 every hour after that (to encourage people to come and see the OC/17th-9th place corps)??? What if... if you attend Thursday AND Saturday, your ticket to this 'new' Friday is FREE?

Just some other creative thinking.

Edited by Lead
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But to read DCP would make you think the opposite... as many posters on here staked their claim that while they might travel to Indy once, to have Finals in the same location year after year (and I honestly doubt it's going anywhere after 2018 either) would spell certain doom for DCI as attendance would MOST ASSUREDLY drop every single year.

Instead, it has gone up. Kudos to DCI.

I think most of the problem has to do with the fact that Indy Oil Can numbers just aren't that strong. Compared to the stronger mid 00 years, the "Indoor Finals" initially turned a lot of people off. In 2009 and 2010 the numbers were significantly down from 2002-2007 numbers (even including 2003 Orlando). And even with numbers up in 2013, they are still much weaker than last decade.

One of the few reasons it's only growing (at a slow pace) is due to complacency. DCI has put its foot down and the consistency is working like Pop Music. It's not all good, but it's repetitive so eventually people just kind of accept it into their lives.

Also noteworthy is that DCI's fanbase is a lot like their membership. They get involved for a little less than a decade before they leave or at the very least lose a bit of interest. This DCI generation is starting to get used to the idea of having 1 single finals location, so of course it is going to grow.

Edited by NR_Ohiobando
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I am glad historical numbers were presented in this thread. I would say it is disappointing that they weren't able to generate more momentum out of having the same Finals location for several years in a row. Given that people could have been planning travel so far in advance, the fact that it wasn't bringing more people out should be a concern (not something to pat anybody on the back about). Having to subsidize local sales, despite having years to market your annual events to the locals, is troubling.

But the deal with Indy was never about the fans or getting more of them in the seats at the Can.

It was always about a favorable venue contract, environmental consistency for the corps, and linking up with a city that is home to many parallel performance arts activities.

A consistent audience with a declining cost structure equals more profits to DCI and more payouts to corps. I don't personally think that providing an exciting city to entertain fans was a significant part of that equation.

IMO, because I wasn't in the room when the deal was inked.

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Instead, it has gone up. Kudos to DCI.

As for the way(s) to improve attendance - I LOVE the idea of having a break in the schedule. I think it would make perfect sense to open up Friday somehow... would provide the PERFECT opportunity for corps banquets, alumni reunions, etc if people didn't feel like they needed to see the shows on Friday... and if you're a 10-14 corps fan, you HAVE to be there Friday because... what if?

What if... Friday's competition was a daytime competition instead of an evening competition? What if the first corps stepped off at 11:00 am, and the show was finished at 6:30-ish, with ageouts being done faster and stadium cleared by 7:30-8:00... allowing everyone to celebrate with reunions and corps banquets on Friday night - and to allow MMs some mental rest before Saturday? What if... for this 'new' Friday format... if you're in the gates by 11:00, your ticket price is only $5, and the ticket price increases by $5 every hour after that (to encourage people to come and see the OC/17th-9th place corps)??? What if... if you attend Thursday AND Saturday, your ticket to this 'new' Friday is FREE?

Just some other creative thinking.

Yes, kudos. And I think they'd call it a win if attendance simply didn't go down much.

But I wonder about the Friday night thing. Over 10,000 were at Semis this year. Those tickets, I'd bet, average about $45 or $50. What will be done to make up that half-million dollars in revenue?

Dan Ray suggests that beaming the stadium feed to every bar and hot spot in town, surrounded by ads for beer and tennis shoes, will bring in more revenue. He might be right, but I'm doubtful. Is it really reasonable to think fans will come in on Thursday to see the new WC semi's, lose a day of work on Friday, then be there for the big thing on Saturday? I'm equally doubtful. More likely, I'd bet, is that people will stay home until Saturday and, instead, connect with their friends and fellow marching vets via FB or iPhone to yak about this year's show.

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2.6% attendance growth from 2012 is not great, but it is growth none-the-less.

Better than going backwards, at least.

I will suggest that the revenues resulting from this attendance is more important than the BITS, but we won't know those numbers for another 18 months or so...

I think that (roughly) 3% growth YOY from a pretty good 2012 may not be great, but it's pretty good. A LOT better than "going backwards"...

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But the deal with Indy was never about the fans or getting more of them in the seats at the Can.

So? If DCI is publishing attendance numbers, then attendance must mean something to them. From a business point of view, having your event at the same venue during the same part of the year each year, should really bring the people out. This is supposed to be a NATIONAL competition, so it is supposed to bring out a NATIONAL audience. When I attended, there were people from all over the country there.

It was always about a favorable venue contract, environmental consistency for the corps, and linking up with a city that is home to many parallel performance arts activities.

Yes, I get all of that. Why publish attendance numbers if they aren't important? Why bother attracting attention to it?

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Why publish attendance numbers if they aren't important? Why bother attracting attention to it?

Well, attendance is important, but what garfield was pointing out is that maximizing attendance was not the top priority in choosing the 10 year LOS contract. And regardless of those considerations, if attendance is growing, then it's fantastic news.

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Well, attendance is important, but what garfield was pointing out is that maximizing attendance was not the top priority in choosing the 10 year LOS contract. And regardless of those considerations, if attendance is growing, then it's fantastic news.

Surely better than the alternative, but I would've thought they would've done better with the schedule certainty than they have.

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Surely better than the alternative, but I would've thought they would've done better with the schedule certainty than they have.

Thanks, Sky, right on the money.

DCI should (and does) take every opportunity to trumpet (Ha! I kill me) the good news of increasing (even only slightly) attendance. Good news is good news. But, I just don't believe that increasing attendance with "schedule certainty" was part of the metric that went into the decision.

Hey, I LOVE Indy, mostly because it's only 2 1/2 hours away and they have a nice KOA 15 minutes from the stadium. But a tourist mecca it is not and the planners, I'm sure, knew that when they signed the 10-year deal.

Last year there was a TERRIBLE thunderstorm that rolled through as we were sitting in cushioned comfort enjoying the show. That storm would certainly have delayed, or cancelled, an outdoor show. That fact - just being able to have A show - was a more important consideration to DCI than was drawing ever-increasing fan attendance.

IMO.

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But the deal with Indy was never about the fans or getting more of them in the seats at the Can.

It was always about a favorable venue contract, environmental consistency for the corps, and linking up with a city that is home to many parallel performance arts activities.

A consistent audience with a declining cost structure equals more profits to DCI and more payouts to corps. I don't personally think that providing an exciting city to entertain fans was a significant part of that equation.

IMO, because I wasn't in the room when the deal was inked.

My reasoning for it not going anywhere for a long, long time (even after 2018):

Apparently the Tom Blair team has basically said that LOS, with the roof closed, and the black curtain, is essentially the most ideal setup to video and produce wonderful quality video (and it is) that they can possibly, much more ideal than going outside and dealing with the weather conditions.

That, coupled with the (mostly) centralized location to the bulk of competitive units, and the closeness to the DCI office...

...mean it's not likely to leave LOS for a long, long time.

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