Dec. 6, 2005
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Project 20K, the University of Wyoming's football attendance initiative, was a resounding success for the 2005 season, according to UW Athletics Director Gary Barta.
The UW Athletics Department established an attendance goal prior to the 2004 football season.
The initiative was originally implemented in response to the NCAA's 2004 attendance guidelines which mandated that each Division 1-A football program must average at least 15,000 fans per game. UW set an aggressive goal to exceed the minimum and attempt to average 20,000 fans per game, something that had not been accomplished since 1993.
The Cowboys finished the 2005 football season averaging 20,650 fans per game.
"Thank you to every fan who made this happen," UW Athletics Director Gary Barta said. "The people of Wyoming responded. It is fun again to come to War Memorial Stadium to watch a game."
Before the 2004 season, a Project 20K committee, made up of supporters and marketing professionals from across the state, created a comprehensive plan to reach the goal. According to Barta, the ideas and concepts that came from the committee have now been fully implemented.
"We gathered a group of passionate fans who also were professionals in their field to serve on the committee," Barta said. "We are grateful for the hours and expertise they put into this project."
To address the attendance issue, the Project 20K committee devised a four-pronged strategy: to design and implement a multimedia campaign to educate UW fans and students regarding the NCAA's minimum attendance requirements; to improve the fan's game-day experience; to create a season-ticket program for fans who want to support Wyoming football, but who are unable to attend games (i.e., a clearinghouse); to develop a more effective strategy for marketing season and single-game ticket packages.
"Even mother nature was a Poke fan this season," Barta said. "We had perfect weather for four of our five home games. With a fan base that's spread across the state, it's critical that we have favorable travel conditions."
With the NCAA approving the addition of a twelfth game to the schedule, Barta is working to add a seventh home game for next season.
"Right now, we have four conference games and two non-conference games scheduled for Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium," Barta said. "If possible, we want to add a seventh game to give Coach Glenn, and his team another chance to play in front of our fans."
As for achieving the goal of averaging 20,000 fans per game this past season, the Athletics Department is planning to celebrate the occasion by hosting a reception for the Project 20K committee members prior to an upcoming home basketball game. UW's goal is to average over 20,000 fans every year. With the team improving, and the renovations planned for the stadium, exceeding the all-time per-game average of 24,831 set in 1977, is once again within reach.
"I can't think of another Division 1A program in the country that can boast of drawing nearly four percent of its state's population to its football stadium," Barta said. "If that doesn't deserve a celebration, I don't know what does."