Over the past year, Long Beach State athletics officials have started to see a significant increase (12%) in fan attendance and ticket sales in comparison to previous years.
Although there are many people still concerned with the rise and spread of COVID-19, LBSU has reached higher numbers as a result of students and athletes returning to campus for in-person sporting events.
In the fall, Women’s soccer had a 13% total revenue improvement, and a 50% increase in attendance average per game, while having nine games this year.
With outdoor sports like baseball, softball, water polo, and beach volleyball being back in-person, the expectancy for attendance is high.
Baseball had a 25% increase in attendance per game and a 38% increase in revenue. The Dirtbags have added more games this season and are set to play a total of 31 games.
While the numbers are more challenging for indoor events, student attendance has increased this spring by 12% for sports like men’s and women’s basketball compared to spring 2019 and 2020.
“It was tough getting any families around December out here because kids weren’t able to get vaccinated to attend unless they were tested for every game,” said Jeff Scott, the LBSU athletics ticketing director. “It definitely hurt our ticket sales.”
Long Beach State athletics saw a major increase after January when it was announced children from the ages of five to 17 were allowed to be vaccinated. The department witnessed more fans at games when children were able to attend.
“Having students, youth, and kids, and families, these youth camps are a big part of what we do,” said Sean Ferrera, the associate athletics director of external relations.
The increase in ticket sales has helped bring things back to normal for LBSU athletics as the student section becomes more full at games. Ferrera has seen more families back and attending Long Beach State games.
This is something LBSU athletic director Andy Fee finds is important for the Beach athletics department.
LBSU is still working its way back from a financial standpoint they had before the mandates and shutdowns that occurred in March 2020. Athletics officials are currently working to fill up games again.
“We have a lot of people that are excited to be back out in person cheering The Beach on,” Fee said. “We feel that people missed coming together and celebrating with our athletes and being together.”