Alabama has won three of the nation’s previous four national championships. The program boasts a rabid, loyal fan base desperate for high-priced tickets to games in Tuscaloosa – or so we thought.
Coach Nick Saban probably believed the same thing. However, Alabama’s home games have been so one-sided at times this year, fans have been filing out of Bryant-Denny Stadium early – much to the disappointment of Saban himself.
“I’ve talked about players playing for 60 minutes in the game and competing for 60 minutes in the game,” Saban said. “And, in some kind of way, everybody that choses to go to the game should stay there and support the team for the game.”
That seems innocuous enough, but Saban is frustrated enough to have come up with a solution for the issue: give the tickets to someone else.
“Maybe if you’re not interested in doing that, you should let someone else go who would really like to go because I have a lot of people who want to go,” Saban said.
The fans leaving early may not understand the issue, but Saban told reporters that the departures affect more than the players on the field. They also affect future recruits that Saban is trying to impress in order to bring more titles to Tuscaloosa.
“We have lots of recruits there, we like to see an enthusiastic full stadium,” Saban said. “We have a beautiful stadium and one of the nicest venues in all of college football and I think we all should show our appreciation for it by staying and supporting our team for the whole game.”
Hosting lowly teams such as Colorado State (whom the Tide blew out 31-6), Georgia State (45-3) and Arkansas (52-0) through the first half of the year certainly hasn’t helped.
The late-game attendance should improve in November with LSU coming to town. However, it may take a Herculean effort to keep fans in the stands when Chattanooga travels to Tuscaloosa on Nov. 23.