Everyone: OK, now we all have experienced a BG football game at Crew Stadium in Columbus. I'm going to explain some of the reasoning behind it (with the numbers to confirm the reasoning), but I ask one favor first.
Will you please tell me what YOU thought about it? More on that in a moment.
If you want to read what the folks from BGSU thought about the game, click here to read the story in Saturday's Blade.
First, the rationale for the game is obvious: Larger attendance. The crowd was announced at 11,846 and, while the actual number of butts in seats was probably half that, it clearly was an improvement over past "Black Friday" games.
Two years ago a 2-9 BG team hosted Western Michigan at the Doyt, and the crowd for that game was announced at 5,121 ... and was well short of that. Even when the Falcons hosted Toledo on Black Friday, the crowds were disappointing: It was announced as 14,075 in 2009 and 18,926 in 2007. For UT-BG? Black Friday obviously is an attendance black hole.
That, of course is not just a BG problem. On that same date in 2010, Akron hosted a throng of 5,216 at its new stadium; Eastern Michigan had 5,147 for a game against Northern Illinois; Kent State hosted 8,340 for a contest against Ohio; and Toledo announced a crowd of 12,121 for its game against Central Michigan.
So this game was moved to Columbus. It wasn't as convenient for BG fans, but student attendance would have been zero at the Doyt, so ... the decision was made to make the move.
BG coaches and players liked the venue. Crew Stadium is modern, well-kept, and the field was in good condition for late November. And while is was windy ... would that have been any different at the Doyt?
If you wish to judge whether BG will do this again in the future, the attendance obviously points to a "yes." But I would say that the key isn't attendance, but the game experience. Was it a fun atmosphere? Was it enjoyable? How did tailgating go?
And this is where YOU come in. Let's hear about the good and bad of the game experience. And it would be good to compare it to the Doyt, but please be smart: For example, please don't complain that Crew Stadium was too windy. Compared to the Doyt? C'mon.
Let's hear all the negatives and positives. I'm interested to read what others thought about the trip ... and I might share a few thoughts as well. But I'd like to hear from you first.
Please take a moment to let me know what you thought about this game -- both good and bad.
Thanks for writing, John.
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