See link. Total west side will be reserved for RCAF. Very nice perk.
See link. Total west side will be reserved for RCAF. Very nice perk.
Anyone know how many season tickets have been sold?
This is going to be absolutely horrible for tailgating and it's going to discourage casual fans from attending if they have no place to park. I don't think we filled up half of the RCAF lots last year. It's just going to be an empty lot.
We have 600 more RCAF members than we ended last year with. And, we're close to 1000 tickets over last year. It's not going to be an empty lot. And, if we keep winning and keep adding RCAF members, the north side and east side are next.
And, none of the tailgaiting spots are affected.
Tailgating spots are not affected but those who tailgate are. It was very convienent to park next to your spot so you could unload and load up tailgate gear. BUT Im a member of the RCAF and I will still be able to park next to my spot. I am encouraging others who tailgate with us to do the same. Some are not happy but Im asking them the simple question. What would they rather? (1) Spend an extra $250 for RCAF membership and have a winning team (2) Go back to the time when we were the few tailgaters during the Baldwin era. Its a simple answer.
By George, I think he's got it!!
You are trying to make a case that there is a demand for more RCAF parking but that's simply not true. You don't get to see the stadium parking lots 1hr-30min before kickoff but we do. Those lots were way too empty last year. My best guess was that the RCAF spots were never more than 1/3 of the way filled. Even if all of the 600 new RCAF members joined at the $250 parking pass level (which most didn't) the old RCAF lots would still have free space left.
Let's just call this what it is. UL wants to create a bigger incentive for fans to join the RCAF at the $250 level. And they decided to block off the most prime parking spots at Cajun Field to create that incentive. I would expect to see a good number of $100 RCAF members jump up to the $250 level as a result. As an RCAF fundraising strategy it will work well.
But there will be a few negative consequences that will occur as a result of this new RCAF lot. The first of which is tailgaters will lose their semi-convenient parking spots. Tailgating is a big part of the atmosphere at Cajun Field and it's at least partly responsible for the great increases in attendance we've seen. My tailgating spot is made up of a decent number of about half big-time UL supporters and half casual fans and I would imagine that most other spots have the same makeup. Slowly but surely these casual supporters have turned into big-time supporters. Our spot continues to grow every year because some of these casual supporters turn into big-time supporters and invite their friends and family. Many of the "casual fans" we had when we started turned into season ticket holders and RCAF members. These casual fans are important to UL's growth and we shouldn't take them for granted.
With the all the west spots reserved for imaginary RCAF members the north and east parking spots will probably be completely filled by 11:00AM. That means that any casual fan who wants to come tailgate will have to park behind the Hiilton, over at the intramural fields, or at Blackham Coliseum. All three of those spots are anywhere from 1-1.5 miles from the tailgating spots on Bertrand Dr. Ever carry an ice chest or a tent or a bunch of chairs 1-1.5 miles? It's not very fun. And to add insult to injury these people will walk through a huge, empty parking lot while walking to their spot. It makes it really tough on the casual tailgaters we are trying to convert into big-time supporters.
UL also needs to consider the casual fans who have special needs and try to accommodate them. Older people aren't going to go if they can't park reasonably close to the stadium. Same thing goes for families with small children which is an especially important demographic for UL to draw in. We don't have the luxury to create artificial barriers for fans to overcome to attend a game.
We need to make it as easy, fun, and painless as possible for people to go to UL football games. The less barriers to attending you have the more people will want to come to games. Here's a really random example but I think it applies to this situation.
The United States has the lowest voter turnout of all nations at 48% while most other countries have turnouts in the 80%-95% range. The main reason for this is the fact that the US has many more barriers to voting than other countries. Here national, state, and local elections are held at different, seemingly random times throughout the year which means many people forget to vote or forget what they are voting for. They can be held on weekdays when everyone is too busy working. Polling places change constantly, have long lines, and aren't always convenient to get to. We also have to jump through hoops just to register to vote.
Meanwhile other countries schedule national voting holidays on the same day each year so you'll never forget when an election is taking place. Since it's a holiday people get the day off of work. Registration isn't even required and the larger use of internet voting and absentee voting make it incredibly easy to cast a ballot. Other countries have focused on eliminating barriers to voting and it's paid off really well for them.
Like these other countries we need to remove as many barriers as possible to fans wanting to attend a UL football game. I have some ideas:
1. Allow tailgate spot owners (who are already RCAF members) to purchase tailgating parking passes so their friends and family can park reasonably close to their spots and not have to lug food and equipment long distances.
2. Charge ($10-20 depending on demand) for parking inside the fences of Cajun Field. This will ensure that tailgaters with equipment to carry, families with small children, older people, or people who just don't feel like walking a long distance will be able to find a good parking spot at Cajun Field -- even if it's 15 minutes before kickoff.
3. Parking outside the fences should stay free so there won't be too big of a financial barrier keeping people away from the stadium. If you don't want to pay you don't have to. Ideally these lots should have a shuttle to help with the long trek.
4. Don't expand the RCAF lots until the demand is there to expand them. Blocking off your best parking spots for imaginary RCAF members will mean a loss of revenue (if you charge for parking) and is a slap in the face to the casual fan/tailgater who isn't willing to donate to the RCAF at the moment.
I think that as a struggling football program we need to focus on eliminating barriers to becoming a Cajun fan, not add to them. If UL implemented some of my ideas it would help grow our fan base instead of shrinking it like the new RCAF lots will do. UL should never take it's great fan support for granted. They should do everything they can to cultivate and strengthen it.
And now is a good time to announce that I, CajunRebel am announcing my candidacy for the position of Long-Winded Athletic Director / Parking Lot Guru. Vote for me!
CajunRebel, I didn't have the time to read your novel but I would like to voice in that it is time for the "casual fan to become a real fan.
Yes indeed this move was made as a perk to RCAF membership. Just like adding the requirement that all new tailgating and season ticket memberships will be required to have RCAF membership.
The casual fan has had years to become a real fan and didn't do it. We need to generate funds for athletics. That vehicle is the RCAF They will continue adding perks to RCAF membership over the years and I am glad they are.
It is not about the casual fan anymore. RCAF.
It's my opinion. You might agree. You might not. It might hurt your feelings or offend your sensibilities. Too bad. You don't have to like me. I don't have to like you. We don't need to be drinking buddies. That's the greatness of America. At least it used to be.
You have to pay to play. The casual fans are likely also the ones who aren't coming into the game.
Buy the ticket...take the ride.
We are no longer a struggling program. Our preception and expectation is everything. This is a great idea and will hopefully increase RCAF donations and ticket sales.
Keep in mind in order to get a tailgate spot you have to be RCAF... so that covers that.
Paying for convenience is a crazy idea right? Imagine telling your great grandparents you spend XXXX amount per month for A/C, Cable, Cell Phone, etc etc etc. As things change.. so does your perception.
Plus we are talking $250.. not big money... if you want to park close to the stadium.. pay up.
Whats next? Giving students free tickets to football and basketball games so they'll pack the stadium? HAHAHAHAHAHA