I attended the open practice/scrimmage the Seattle Seahawks held at Husky Stadium on Sunday at the mid-point in training camp. It was a fun event and a great chance to get a sneak preview of the team. And, it was free, with free parking. Hard to beat that.
The only problem: only 6,231 people attended. That’s pathetic.
I’ve attended the equivalent practice for the Ohio State Buckeyes in previous years at Ohio Stadium that consistently draws 60,000 people. And, as Allen Iverson would say, “We’re talkin’ ’bout PRACTICE.”
Here were, in my view the chief problems of the Seahawks’ scrimmage:
- As a fan, it was difficult to know what was going on. There were random drills all over the field, then what appeared to be a game. However, the ball would shift position at random times with no explanation.
- There was no interaction with the fans whatsoever.
- It was not well advertised. Many people didn’t know it was going on. I found out through Twitter, and I don’t remember seeing anything about it in the papers.
Here’s how to fix training camp to be better for fans:
- Focus fans toward one big training camp event. Instead of promoting all the practices in Renton, still keep those open, but encourage fans to attend the big one at Husky Stadium.
- Put some advertising muscle behind it.
- Have a public address announcer. Have them announce who caught the ball, who made the tackle, etc. Add some excitement, and take away some of the bewilderment of organized chaos on the field.
- Have the players either come early or stay late and sign autographs. Really make it a fan friendly event.
- Bring in the SeaGals. They need to practice for the regular season too.