Halftime pass outs are rare in college football, so Dave Doeren can be forgiven for being taken a bit aback by just how much it affected attendance in the second half on Saturday. Doeren implored fans to get back to their seats in a more timely fashion going forward, and here's the good news, coach: when your team is playing a decent opponent, this won't be nearly the problem it appeared to be during the Louisiana Tech game.
"I think this program has a goal of being a national program and to have home games at a place as awesome as ours, with the number of tickets we sell and the passion that our fanbase has, we need them in the seats in the third and fourth quarter to be a great team," Doeren said. "You win games in the third and fourth quarter. It's great to start fast with a big crowd, but it's better to finish with one. I think that's an advantage we need to gain."
There are several ways to put an effective end to halftime pass outs. Sell beer in the stadium. Don't schedule bullshit teams. Upgrade the concessions across the board. The stadium shouldn't be out of Chick-fil-A sandwiches by halftime. Even including that offering, the food options at Carter-Finley are terrible. There are probably Single-A baseball stadiums with better selections. We are talking about a stadium that has run out of bottled water on particularly hot days. What exactly is NC State doing to keep people in the building? How 'bout they start there, and then point fingers at the fans after a thorough self-evaluation?
Not everybody leaves just to have another beer or two. Some people leave to grab a snack that isn't awful and doesn't cost five bucks. Some folks head back to where they know for sure there is bottled water. Some want to socialize with friends and family they might not see as often as they'd like. There are countless reasons for leaving; there aren't many for sticking around.
The halftime show is centered around the dull antique otherwise known as a marching band. The jumbotron is put to waste in a useless mix of band shots and advertisements and first-half replays. I'd rather be in the parking lot watching another game live, even if only for a few minutes.
It's not always going to be like Saturday, when the weather and Brandon Mitchell's injury combined to suck the life out of the building. But there are systemic issues that are gonna be there every week, and until those things are addressed, [insert coach] is going to be unhappy about attendance at the start of the second half.