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Culture of Athletics - Money and Fans

            Originally, the culture of athletics revolved around the love of the sport. It has evolved into a culture dominated by money. Successful sports teams are run like corporations and they have the financial stability to accommodate fan and player standards. Ultimately, isn't it true that the fans' opinions matter most? The reality is that teams with big money are capable of providing fans with the experience they want. Athletic venues have improved significantly throughout the evolution of sport culture. Arenas have turned into substantial profit-making businesses when team budgets allow for the transformation from simple bleachers in a field into modern day palaces. The benefit of these changes is the improvement of comfort for fans while watching an event. Fans will stop attending events if the arenas are not up to their standards of comfort. For example, Joe Kozlowski, a writer for the New York Observer, stated (in regards to the New York Islanders arena), "seats began to stain and break. Concourses were simply too narrow to comfortably accommodate a full house. Signs in the locker rooms warned of asbestos and the scoreboard was an antenna away from looking like your grandparents' TV (Kozlowski)." As a result the Islanders experienced a low attendance. This season, the Islanders rank 27th out of 30 teams in fan attendance in the NHL (ESPN). This shows that fans are less willing to attend games at outdated venues.
             With this comes a drawback. The downside for fans that want to attend games at these enhanced venues is the high-priced tickets. College football is one of the most watched sports in the country and students are the main demographic. The venues are increasing the student ticket prices, and sales seem to show that students are reluctant to purchase tickets at these prices. The price for a student seasonal pass to Michigan football has increased roughly $100 over the pass few years (Tuttle).

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