Tony Clayton, a Southern law school graduate and member of Southern’s Board of Supervisors suggested Grambling should be cut from the Bayou Classic via email. Clayton’s email was directed towards attendance and revenue. This coming just four days after Southern defeated Grambling 40-17 to tie the Bayou Classic series at 20 games a piece.
Post Hurricane Katrina era, the Bayou Classic attendance has struggled tremendously with putting fans in seats. Poor records from both teams have plagued crowd attendance as well. During the 2010 and 2011 Bayou Classic’s averaged an all time low 41,834 fans. But in 2012 ticket sales increased 19 percent. The Bayou Classic once average 70,198 fans spanning from 2000 to 2004.
“For the last several years, Southern has been doing 90 percent of the work and producing 70 to 80 percent of the fans, and we’re having to split the proceeds,” said Clayton, reported The Advocate. “It doesn’t make sense.”
In 2011, Grambling and Southern spilt 1.32 million dollars of revenue. The Bayou Classic brings in more than 75 million dollars to the city of New Orleans. Compared to an event such as the Sugar Bowl the city collected over a 150 million dollars of revenue.
With television contracts to NBC extended until 2015, Grambling State President Frank Pogue quickly put an end to the notion by telling Baton Rogue newpaper.
“Every now and then these things are said,” said Pogue. “We’ve talked about it too. You’re going to have up and down seasons with attendance. When Southern has losing seasons, as they’ve had frequently in the past, their fans don’t come out. It’s the same for Grambling.”
Since the start of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) football championship in 1999 Grambling has played in seven championship games and won all seven, the last championship dates back to 2010-2011 season. Southern has played in two championship games in which they also won, the last championship dates back to 2002-2003 season.
The Bayou Classic has a lot of history and tradition inspiring the game. It’s one of the premier experiences in Black college football for both players and fans.
The Bayou Classic is more than just a game it’s a gathering of the state’s top historical black universities. Without Grambling being involved in the game the, title has to be changed from Bayou Classic. Legendary Coach Eddie Robinson made Grambling and the Bayou Classic a household name.
“I think it’s very cocky and disrespectful! What gives them the right to say that they don’t want to play in the Bayou Classic,” said student Jeremiah Martin.
Also the email mentioned Grambling fans aren’t taking the trip down I-10. With Grambling five plus hours away this makes it difficult for the average student to make a trip.
But with Southern in Baton Rouge right down the road the trip is a lot easier and cheaper.
GSU and SU students and alumni
respond to Tony Clayton’s comments on removing Grambling from Bayou Classic.
That’s just what he (one person) thinks… Not what will be done. Too much tradition and history in the Bayou (both schools being from Louisiana) Classic. Change the schools that play… Change the classic completely…. There would be no Bayou Classic.
I feel we like us as #gramfam need to come together as school and pick up the pieces and build our program back to the way it is Eddie Robinson style.And as of fans we need to pack the bayou classic more to make the whole affect and to continue the legacy.
Southern wins 2 years in a row and don’t know how to act, didn’t we win 5 years back to back before yall could win 1. SIT DOWN. Grambling State is world wide and yall need to stay in yall lane a play yall local role. We have way more rings, awards, wins, honor, etc up under our belt than yall will ever see. Dont come for Grambling because we didnt send for yall.
It’s costing SU money. Grambling has no fan base! Why do they get a 50/50 split, when is SU supplying all the fans??? Then gram is unstable as hell! What if they decided not to show? SU can’t take those kinds of chances. They should be replaced! It’s only good business!
#ByeFelecia Southern wins one game and thinks they have the power to dismiss people. Hahaha I can’t. #GramFamForLife.
There is no such thing call the bayou classic if its not SUs GSU as much as I hate #gramfam at the same time I have much respect for that great institution a game with rich history dating back to 1974 first game being played at Tulane stadium. There is no other school that can replace either school to get a better experience. If its not #gramfam vs #teamsu the Saturday after thanksgiving I WILL NOT BE IN ATTENDANCE I really hope this was a misprint because I can’t even take this serious at this very moment….