Everybody who attended the party was counted in the official attendance. But the real goal was to introduce more people to Spartan football so that the school can average at least 15,000 fans per home game in 2004, when new NCAA rules take effect for maintaining Division I-A status.
A $5 general-admission ticket for the UTEP game included music, food booths, beer stands, and also a BIG Spartan win over the Miners.
Who could ask for anything else, right?
Even children 14 and under were admitted free to the festival and the game!
Last saturday's game and event combo was the first in a season-long series of SJSU fan promotions that include free tuition and books for students who attend the games.
Although the athletic department has scheduled only one festival, it plans to have promotions throughout the season to attract more than the 10,207 the NCAA said it averaged last season.
At each of its four home games, SJSU will give one student a semester's free tuition and will pick another student from the stands to attempt a short field goal for books. (Both students failed at their respective kick attempts at the UTEP game). Students are admitted free with a school activities card.
A postgame fireworks show is planned for the Nov. 9 game against Louisiana Tech, and a motorcycle will be given to a student at the home finale Nov. 23 against Fresno State (students will be able to register to win only at home games).
One of the other ideas for drawing students was to close campus dining halls during games and provide their meals at the stadium. However, SJSU Athletic Director, Chuck Bell, has stated that this idea will be saved for the 2004 season.
SJSU hopes the co-sponsor of Saturday's festival, the GI Forum, the organization that sponsors the downtown Cinco de Mayo festival, will introduce a new demographic to its football team.
In San Jose, we have a large Hispanic population. The administration wanted to do something to reach out to some of these folks for the UTEP game, thus, "Fiesta de los Spartans" was launched.
Imagine what it would be like when Fresno State comes to town for the season finale, and their fan based heavily populated with hispanics make the trip, and SJSU has lured the outlying hispanic community to come to this game as well!
SJSU could offer an even better atmosphere that would be "electric", and even rival the fan base known in Oakland as the "black hole".
Fitz should start an end zone section for crazy fans, as to jump start this possible tradition.
It could'nt hurt, could it?
Here is yet another idea that many of you out there may not know about.
If you can gather a crowd of 20 or more people for your next tailgate, you can purchase a block of 20 tickets that only cost $9 per person!
The $9 per person includes a game seat, a parking pass, game program, and a special PA announcement welcoming your group.
For an additional $3, your group gets a beverage in a souvenir Spartan cup and a hot dog to boot!
Thats $12 for a game ticket, parking pass, game program, cold beverage, and a hot dog.
That averages only $2 per item!
There are additional discounts available for parties of 100 or more as well, so call 408-924-1478 to reserve a spot for your group today!