Case Study Forecasting Attendance at Swu Football Games

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Case Study Forecasting Attendance at Swu Football Games

By | December 2012
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CASE STUDY
Forecasting Attendance at SWU Football Games

Forecasting Attendance at SWU Football Games
Southwestern University (SWU), a large state college in
Stephenville, Texas, 30 miles southwest of the Dallas/Fort
Worth metroplex, enrolls close to 20,000 students. In a typical town–gown relationship, the school is a dominant force in the small city, with more students during fall and spring than permanent residents.

A longtime football powerhouse, SWU is a member of the
Big Eleven conference and is usually in the top 20 in college football rankings. To bolster its chances of reaching the elusive and long-desired number-one ranking, in 2005 SWU hired the
legendary Bo Pitterno as its head coach. Although the numberone ranking remained out of reach, attendance at the five Saturday home games each year increased. Prior to Pitterno’s arrival, attendance generally averaged 25,000 to 29,000 per game. Season ticket sales bumped up by 10,000 just with the announcement

of the new coach’s arrival. Stephenville and SWU were
ready to move to the big time!
The immediate issue facing SWU, however, was not
NCAA ranking. It was capacity. The existing SWU stadium,
built in 1953, has seating for 54,000 fans. The following table indicates attendance at each game for the past six years.
One of Pitterno’s demands upon joining SWU had been a
stadium expansion, or possibly even a new stadium. With attendance increasing, SWU administrators began to face the issue
head-on. Pitterno had wanted dormitories solely for his athletes in the stadium as an additional feature of any expansion.
SWU’s president, Dr. Marty Starr, decided it was time for
his vice president of development to forecast when the existing stadium would “max out.” He also sought a revenue projection, assuming an average ticket price of $20 in 2011 and a 5% increase each year in future prices.

Discussion Questions
1. Develop a forecasting model, justify its selection over
other techniques, and...

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