Small Miracles

Consider the following:

— The Naval Academy is a small, undergraduate-only school of about 4000 students that only puts out about 900-1000 graduates every year.

— While the average state school dumps thousands of graduates into its region each year, Naval Academy graduates are immediately sent away from Annapolis and cast to all corners of the country, and even the world.

— Within a 45-minute drive of Annapolis, you have:

  • Two NFL Franchises
  • Two Major League Baseball franchises
  • A large, BCS-conference state school
  • an NBA franchise
  • an NHL franchise

…all of which have seasons that at least partially overlap with Navy football season.

Considering all that, it’s amazing that Navy has topped 23,000 season ticket sales, breaking its record for the fourth straight year. Winning is good!

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18 Responses

  1. I think its time the question of expanding NMC to 40,000 should be asked?
    Now if we could only get the inhabitants inside this year to make some record breaking noise.

  2. It is really simple. Go Navy, Beat Army.

    John

  3. I’d love to see a demographic breakdown of our season-ticket holders, i.e., how many are local Annapolitans, retired alumni, Pentagon Active Duty, USNA Staff, players’ parents, etc.

    I’d wager a plurality are local Annapolitans with no military affiliation. No basis for that though.

  4. I’d wager the same thing, TJ. That’s who NAAA targets in their marketing. For years, the marketing wasn’t even about the football; it was about the “great american tailgate” and the big social scene. Now that we’re actually winning, dedicated football fans are buying season tickets more than socialites are walking up the day of.

  5. There are a lot of locals with no affiliation to the school that have season tickets. I have many friends down there with no affiliation to USNA who have season tickets because the tailgating scene is incredibly family friendly. No crazy drunks, lots of kids running around throwing balls in the grass lots, you can enter, leave and re-enter the game. And let’s not forget, in the big scheme of things, it’s relatively inexpensive. But none of that stuff is new. It’s winning, more than anything else.

  6. I know I will get “skewered” here but its MORE than simply Beating Army.
    Its winning and TV exposure and media attention and Bowl games…
    If we go back to just Beating Army and 3-4 win saeson being thought of as successful- you will start seeing 20-25,000 again tops.
    Regardless of cost – people will not want to tailgate if you are having trouble getting by a Towson..recall those 1-2 win seasons (not that long ago).
    I recall seeing the place with huge patches of empty seats when Michie always seemed full and a tough ticket to us here in NY.
    Times have changed thanks to PJ and CHUCK and an Admn/Supt. that understands the value of this team to the Academy and Navy and its fans in general.

  7. I too am surprised as I remember, like so many other people probably do, just 10 years ago when the stadium wasn’t filled at game time. Though I have no affiliation with the university, I have been a season ticket holder for over the past 13 years. Like so many boys growing up in the area, as a teenager and college age student I despised the Mids that were competing for the attention of the local girls (to put it nicely). I went to my first Navy home game 15 years ago when tickets were gifted to me. I was so impressed with the heart, dedication, lack of mental errors and patriotism of the event that I became an instant die-hard fan of Navy football. I was skeptical when the stadium renovations came along and if they would be able to fill the suites and extra seating. I applaud the visionaries who went ahead with the renovation. They built it and they did come. Bravo!

  8. Felix:
    I think Navy football is the best value in sports- A bunch of us loyal Navy supporters live in NY and would love to get seasons but its just too darn far-yet its always been a dream someday.
    I have been about 40 minutes from WP all my life and couldnt believe it when I would see pictures of Navy games with all the empty seats-I thoght they would sell better-Army did get about 40,000 every game in the 70-80 and some of the 90`s-not now.
    I found the fans @ NMC to be too timid and polite and never a fear factor for ANY team..When we make noise it seems to get lost..getting all to stand can lead to stares and sometimes “sit down” shouts.
    I cant imagine that at these ESPN type games and wish Navy would get a stronger louder home field.
    It seems like all the noise comes from Brigade and everyone else waits for something to happen and rerely on a TD do you see that happy crazy crowd scene behind the end zone.
    I guess thats why its so family friendly- it can be a day at the Opera unless rowdy other team fans show up (Rutgers for instance).

  9. The lack of enthusiasm from the fans that are actually there is incredibly frustrating. You’d think that exciting, winning football would make even the wine and cheese crowd want to stand up and scream when we’re going for it on 4th down, etc., but it hasn’t so far. Being told to sit down is a complete insult, particularly to the team we are all there supporting.

  10. I have had that attitude in lower level sideline seats and the hill end zone sections and its always Navy “fans”.
    I swear we sat in end zone B and in front there were about 7 “fans” that almost seemed bothered when something other than Anchors Aweigh came up.
    To some the game is..ahemmm an interruption!
    I know Rutgers fans and they took over our stadium last time so be prepared again-thats why we chose Pitt (but Pitt ffans could dwarf us too).
    In the end its the team that I always feel bad for because they never get to see that “rabid” stadium support that makes other teams lose focus and really pump up all 34,000 into a frenzy-Its just not there.

  11. “Imagine how many fans Navy would attract if it didn’t run that BORING option offense,” he said with his tongue firmly planted in his cheek!

  12. I strongly recall the Kubiak 55 pass days and NO success.
    But gotta say even I would like to see maybe 15 to 20 a game and thats nothing these days even for balanced offenses.
    I know its not happening but I also have to admit that when we hit those TD passes they do get the most rise and noise from the fans (when they rise).
    Its not boring to us- now I recall 3 yards and a cloud of dust Ohio State football-now THAT was boring.

  13. I’ve been a season ticket holder for nearly 20 years with no ‘official’ ties to USNA. It’s just when I moved to Washington I was desperate for a ‘traditional’ Saturday in the Fall. Growing up in a college town, going to a Big Ten school for undergrad and Notre Dame for law school, Saturdays in the Fall took on a special appeal and when I came to DC I was missing that whole spectacle. I attended my first Navy game and became a season ticket holder a few days later. I found what I was looking for in Annapolis.

  14. @Dave – don’t plant that tongue so firmly in your cheek. I think the brand of offense and defense Navy plays lends itself to boring-ish games, great for the road, but no so great of a show at home.

    Others mentioned the family atmosphere for the tailgates and I think that translates into the more friendly atmosphere inside the stadium. As for expanding the stadium, not sure how you would be able to do that without seriously affecting the hill and/or the archways.

  15. I’m no proponent of expanding seating capacity already, but I could care less about the hill. Standing by to take flack from the parents.

  16. The hill is something that unless you have SRO and most of them are opposing fans anyway- seems more prone to parents watching their kids rolling around and chasing each other. Why have that at a football game unless its something in another area not so visable?….its like Toddler hill and nobody really seems to care that–“ohhh look honey they play football here too”?
    I always thought that putting seats there would be better.
    Expansion? Yeah I agree-lets see about 5 more years of this attendance boom.

  17. The other positive aspect of putting seats up where the kiddie hill is: I won’t ever have to look over at the kids sliding down on their cardboard sleds hoping I won’t see some unattended toddler wander onto the “track” and get creamed…..! (Yes, I’ve got small kids).

    I know this crowd will appreciate it (I never do this, by the way) – check out this You Tube video on Navy’s victory over Notre Dame – it absolutely rocks.

    See y’all at the opener.

  18. Cant get enough of that !
    Lookin forward to 2 in a row this year. We gotta get this one because I fear next year the Irish will pump up to the “big time” again for a few years ( and we start a new QB era again).

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