Anything and everything about Liberty Flames football. Your comments on games, recruiting and the direction of the program as we move into new era.

Moderators: Sly Fox, BuryYourDuke, jcmanson, Class of 20Something

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By alabama24
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#584917
I asked about attendance in another thread and thought I would create a new thread with each game in one place. I tried to format this but the forums don't allow for it!

2019

08/31/19 21,671 Notes: Home opener against Syracuse (ranked in top 25 at time). Single game tickets $45.
09/14/19 14,584 Notes: Game against Buffalo after an 0-2 start & getting blown out in both games.
09/21/19 18,944 Notes: Parent's Weekend against an in-state FCS team (Hampton). Followed a big win against Buffalo.
09/28/19 17,101 Notes: CFAW, very hot at game time!
10/19/19 18,657 Notes: Homecoming. A bit disappointing!
11/30/19 ???

https://www.liberty.edu/flames/index.cf ... 1&teamID=9
Last edited by alabama24 on October 21st, 2019, 9:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
By bigsmooth
Posts
#585231
so through four games the attendance average is 18,075. the student attendance is up and down and the local fan is still not coming out consistent. i feel like attendance will stay around 18k until we go to a bowl game. i think the promotions and amenities are on point.
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By BJWilliams
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#585240
I think these numbers give credence to what Jon was saying about the changes that were being made with regards to tickets and not giving away as many. Hopefully if we can get on a run here you start seeing numbers work their way up
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By Liberty22
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#585242
I stated in the bowl thread too but I think one hinderance to community attendance, for me meaning the baptist side, I think JR to a degree hinders us. Hopefully all these stupid stories that keep coming out die down and we go a few years without JR making news in a bad way and the support will increase. I doubt it though cause JR is on record as saying “no press is bad”. I also don’t think a bowl game win will do anything for the next years attendance. I think we need to see some UCF/Boise sustained success but I could be wrong lol
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By thepostman
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#585243
The stadium is a great place to watch a game. I'm not sure if Jerry is hurting local attendance or not but it certainly could be a factor. The atmosphere is special and I think once people got in the doors they'd enjoy themselves. It's getting them to come through the gates that is challenging.
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By sstaedtler
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#585244
Frankly, the road games feature much better opponents than the home games. I can't really get excited about Hampton, New Mexico, New Mexico State, or Maine. I realize this will get better in future years, but other than Syracuse and Buffalo, no games really interest me. Furthermore, it is not like we have a bunch of New Mexico or New Mexico State fans who are going to make the trip to Liberty. When they play North Carolina, Wake Forest, Virginia, Virginia Tech, East Carolina, might be more road fans that show up.

I think most people don't know about the Liberty football team, or that they are even in division 1. I do think a bowl game will help. If they could knock off VA. Tech in next year in the opener, that would be big. One reason I do like playing Army is that all of Army's games, at least around here, are televised. In PA, I don't get any of Liberty's games...unless I go online on ESPN Plus, which I do.

I plan on coming to a Liberty game maybe even next year, but it has to be at least a fairly decent opponent, not Mass, New Mexico, New Mexico State, or FCS.
Last edited by sstaedtler on October 1st, 2019, 10:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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By Jonathan Carone
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#585245
The opponents are definitely not the most attractive. My guess is people who are coming are choosing the game based on convenience and their schedule, not opponent. That should hopefully change in a couple years, but this is one of the downsides of being independent. There’s no consistency on who we play year in and year out for the average fan to gain name recognition from.
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By sstaedtler
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#585246
Army and BYU are independents and far more attractive as opponents. I can even live with teams like Marshall, E. Michigan, So. Miss, Louisville, Troy, N. Texas, Illinois, UAB, Rutgers....UMass and N. Mexico State are 2 of the 4 worst division 1 teams at home. New Mexico is about top 12 bad. Then you add Maine. To have those teams 4 times at home is tough. They not only are bad teams, but not local at all. I do realize that a lot of this is because of the transition. VA. Tech canceled all those East Carolina games. We need to schedule them.
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By LUGrad2000
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#585247
Win and they will come. We have next to no tradition. We have never been a consistent winner. We went to the FCS playoffs once. Liberty games are a lot of fun. The atmosphere is like a carnival. That is great, but consistent winning will be the only thing to build the program. We have basically only two years of football history. We are starting from scratch, which could be very good if Freeze turns this place into a winner. We have an attendance ceiling now without winning seasons behind us. I was at the game Saturday and with only 17,100 there, the crowd got loud for a couple plays. I remember thinking this place could have a real big game atmosphere one day!
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By sstaedtler
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#585249
Right now the capacity is 25,000, correct? I thought I heard in a few years the stadium is expanding to 30,000, is that also correct?
By sstaedtler
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#585250
Looking at future years, these are the games I'd consider attending at home.

2020 - FIU, ULM, Southern Miss. I'd probably choose Southern Miss
2021 - Old Dominion, Louisiana, Army - would love to go either of the last two.
2022 - UAB, BYU, Va Tech. Really the first time big teams come to Liberty.
2023 - E. Michigan, Old Dominion
2024 - Marshall
2025 - Wake Forest, Miami (Ohio), Ball State
2026 - Duke, Army
2027 - Virginia

Keep in mind, schedules not complete for 2023 and beyond.
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By Class of 20Something
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#585251
sstaedtler wrote: October 1st, 2019, 10:32 pm Right now the capacity is 25,000, correct? I thought I heard in a few years the stadium is expanding to 30,000, is that also correct?
It was very clearly built with expansion in mind, but there hasn't been any timetable or renderings of the horse shoe being filled in.

Even if we are selling it out at 25,000 once or twice a year, we shouldn't expand until we can pack it out consistently and with home fans. We also probably shouldn't expand again until season ticket sales are about half the public seating areas.

I think the student section is only a year or so from being 100%. A road win over VT, no matter how bad they are would fill the Bill even for NC A&T.
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By Class of 20Something
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#585252
sstaedtler wrote: October 1st, 2019, 10:53 pm Looking at future years, these are the games I'd consider attending at home.

2020 - FIU, ULM, Southern Miss. I'd probably choose Southern Miss
2021 - Old Dominion, Louisiana, Army - would love to go either of the last two.
2022 - UAB, BYU, Va Tech. Really the first time big teams come to Liberty.
2023 - E. Michigan, Old Dominion
2024 - Marshall
2025 - Wake Forest, Miami (Ohio), Ball State
2026 - Duke, Army
2027 - Virginia

Keep in mind, schedules not complete for 2023 and beyond.
You should strongly consider that ODU game. Our first game as FBS transition team and we took them to the woodshed. It's a natural G5 level instate rival since VT and UVA are busy with each other and have plenty of history. If ODU wants retribution, that could be a lively game.
By jimflamesfan
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#585253
If we can get 2 for ones with any p5 schools that's fine. As far as the other games, I really think LU should look at home and homes with schools such as:
ODU, Charlotte, Marshall, East Carolina, and Coastal. I think all of those teams would bring some fans.
For our one FCS game, we should still try to stick to VMI, Hampton, or Norfolk State.
ALSO, when we negotiate the guarantee amounts, we should work it out so that all of the schools above can bring their marching bands. It makes the game super fun and college bands, even though they might only have 150 people, they take up about a 500 seat section when you include room for all the instruments and equipment. Just small things that help attendance as we grow.
AND THE UPPER DECK OF THE BAPTIST SIDE NEEDS TO GO BACK TO GA seating. Maybe make the first two rows of the upper deck benchback reserved, and the reat other than the club seats GA on the upper deck of Baptist side
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By Purple Haize
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#585258
Syracuse was a Top 25 team. The game was super hyped locally. Not only could it not sell out, it wasn’t even the largest crowd ever at an LU game.
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By Class of 20Something
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#585259
Purple Haize wrote: October 2nd, 2019, 7:31 am Syracuse was a Top 25 team. The game was super hyped locally. Not only could it not sell out, it wasn’t even the largest crowd ever at an LU game.
It wasn't the largest on paper but it was the largest in reality. But there is an issue with not selling out. I think we're going to need a perfect storm to sell out. A few opportunities to sell out.

2020 NCA&T. If we beat VT the week before.
2020 Southern Miss if 2019 and 2020 seasons are .667 or better teams.

2021 ODU. Regional, natural Rival.
2021 Army. People just like watching those games.

2022. Virginia Tech. Duh.

2023. ODU(third game in three years.)
By bigsmooth
Posts
#585261
sstaedtler wrote: October 1st, 2019, 10:53 pm Looking at future years, these are the games I'd consider attending at home.

2020 - FIU, ULM, Southern Miss. I'd probably choose Southern Miss
2021 - Old Dominion, Louisiana, Army - would love to go either of the last two.
2022 - UAB, BYU, Va Tech. Really the first time big teams come to Liberty.
2023 - E. Michigan, Old Dominion
2024 - Marshall
2025 - Wake Forest, Miami (Ohio), Ball State
2026 - Duke, Army
2027 - Virginia

Keep in mind, schedules not complete for 2023 and beyond.
all of the teams i put in bold above are regional draws that the visiting team should travel. Army is a national draw and BYU has a large mormon contingent in Virginia.
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By thepostman
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#585263
The attendance for Syracuse was certainly a head scratcher. I don't know if I expected a sell out but I expected it to come close. That was an eye opener for me as to how difficult it is going to be to build a strong fan base in Lynchburg, I am sure the increase in ticket prices has something to do with it but Lynchburg has never supported Liberty athletics regularly. It seems odd to me with how many churches are in town. Seems like they shouldn't have any trouble getting groups and others who would like to support a Christian University. I don't try to understand that town.

Will need much smarter people than myself to figure out the uniqueness of Lynchburg.
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By BlueBlood
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#585268
As far as locals - I don't know the area well, but I don't know that I need to to know this - LU sits in existing VT/UVa territory. You might become someone's second rooting interest, but its going to be difficult to quickly gain traction as anything more than that. Time and a consistently good product is needed. Even then, you aren't going to get the locals who have issues with Evangelicals, Baptists, right-wing politics, Jr issues, etc.

That student section is a good one. I'm totally impressed. I've seen much bigger schools with less support (numbers and intensity). As I've said before, you now have kids going to Liberty who had FBS football as one of the factors they considered in making their school choice. Those kids will become alumni some day and that should help attendance on the "other side" of the stadium in future years. Obviously, though, that is slow (but steady) growth. **Edit: When you add student's families, you get quicker growth. I'm coming to 2 games this year, my parents are coming to see a game, and my brother's family is coming to a game. We are a Penn State family, and I'm pretty sure that none of us would have scheduled our LU visit (to see my daughter) around an FCS game. FBS changes that.

I can see Christians nationwide becoming intrigued with LU football, but I don't know if that intrigue will turn into trips to Lynchburg (I've met a decent number of ND "fans" who watch ND regularly on TV, but have never been to South Bend). Like others, I do think that Jr's shenanigans/bravado and attacks on Christian leaders may negatively impact this type of support.
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By jinxy
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#585269
Its been said countless times that we are trying to schedule all these regional teams that are being mentioned. We would love to have all those teams but these first 2 years we had to take whatever we could get. Also if your hard core enough that your posting on a message board and your within 2 hours i would think that be understandable and you would go to all the games regardless of the opponent as we are trying to help build the program.

Students - those that are there are great. Its been down the last 3 games for sure. Jr played a part in that i think.

Locals - it is what it is. Most either love or hate LU. Few that are indifferent and will come if opponent is intriguing.

Alumni - this is where we can make gains. The more 4k classes we graduate the more of them stay local or regional and gain interest in program. We have to attract these. Were still a young school with graduating classes in the 1500 range as recently as 15 years ago.

Local churches - im an hour away and ive noticed an uptick in interest from my church body of 725ish. We probably have 30 or so at any given gam3. Need to really target churches and youth groups in danville sml roanoke and the burg. For the games with less opponents we should be calling churches offering discount for groups of 20 or more for youth trips especially.

Ticket prices - open up one of the upper sections for 15 dollar ga. That isnt a huge number but its enough to get people to the gate and fill up one of those sections. If successful do both upper decks and gradually increase price.

Win - winning will help all this obviously.
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By Jonathan Carone
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#585270
One thing that I think hurt this year was fatigue. When you have four games in five weeks, the people who come to multiple games start getting tired. We noticed it a few years back when we had three straight home games. By that third home game, a decent amount of people decided they just needed a break. It impacted students and season ticket holders the most.

What makes college football so great is the scarcity. You generally only have 6-7 home games spread over 12-13 weeks. In our case this year, we had four spread over five weeks. The scarcity didn't feel like it was there.

This gets better in future years. It was just a byproduct of having to get schedules together super fast.
By ballcoach15
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#585277
I still don't get excited about playing ODU, and even less with Charlotte. Neither of these 2 schools are "football" schools. Our best crowds will come with non-northern ACC schools coming to Lynchburg. Along with Army and BYU.
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By alabama24
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#585283
Class of 20Something wrote: October 2nd, 2019, 7:56 am
Purple Haize wrote: October 2nd, 2019, 7:31 am Syracuse was a Top 25 team. The game was super hyped locally. Not only could it not sell out, it wasn’t even the largest crowd ever at an LU game.
It wasn't the largest on paper but it was the largest in reality. But there is an issue with not selling out.
I thought it <might> sell out, and obviously wish that it had. However, some things to consider:
  • It was a VERY expensive "single game" ticket.
  • Syracuse is not a team that a "fan of football" would make an effort to see
  • Syracuse is not a team that a Tech or UVA fan would make an effort to see
  • Liberty is not a destination game for Syracuse fans, nor is it a day drive
Most teams that would be willing to come to the burg will not be a big draw. There is ONE thing that will put fans in seats: Winning. Consistently.
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By alabama24
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#585287
ballcoach15 wrote: October 2nd, 2019, 1:19 pm Our best crowds will come with non-northern ACC schools coming to Lynchburg.
Well, those are historically better teams and most are much closer to Lynchburg. Although FSU is further away than Syracuse, they have a much larger fan base... It would also be a game that ACC fans, or "college football" fans in general might show up for.
ballcoach15 wrote: October 2nd, 2019, 1:19 pm I still don't get excited about playing ODU, and even less with Charlotte.
ODU is our greatest shot at a rival, unless JMU joins the picture.
By ballcoach15
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#585289
alabama24 wrote: October 2nd, 2019, 2:03 pm
ballcoach15 wrote: October 2nd, 2019, 1:19 pm Our best crowds will come with non-northern ACC schools coming to Lynchburg.
Well, those are historically better teams and most are much closer to Lynchburg. Although FSU is further away than Syracuse, they have a much larger fan base... It would also be a game that ACC fans, or "college football" fans in general might show up for.
ballcoach15 wrote: October 2nd, 2019, 1:19 pm I still don't get excited about playing ODU, and even less with Charlotte.
ODU is our greatest shot at a rival, unless JMU joins the picture.
I respectfully disagree 100%. Neither of those 2 are "rival material". Heck I would look at Marshall as a rival, before ODU or JMU. I may be biased, but I could never get excited with ODU or JMU. When I think football, those 2 schools are not even on my radar screen.

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