Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Kickoff effect

Unless you've been to Lincoln on certain fall Saturdays, it's hard to understand how consumed this City and State are with University of Nebraska football (despite the Present Crisis.) Memorial Stadium has seen 294 consecutive sell outs. When you bring 85,000 people downtown in a City of 250,000 it is quite an event, and one that taxes the police.

I noted last week that September 27, the Saturday of the Nebraska v. Virginia Tech game, was our busiest day of the year so far, with 517 police dispatches. This past Saturday, October 4, is close behind, with 493. Win, lose, or get completely dismantled, I don't think it makes much difference. Game days are just plain busy. Alcohol-related events are a chief contributor.

There is, however, a lull in the action. Check over these two charts. You can click to enlarge them, but the hours of the day start at midnight, on the left. The first is the distribution of police dispatches on Saturdays during 2008, sans football game days. The second is the distribution last Saturday, Nebraska v. Missouri; a nationally televised game with an 8:00 PM kickoff.

As you can see, the radio becomes a bit more quiet as the populace becomes glued to the tube. I wonder if last night's presidential debates caused the same effect.


Anonymous said...

Last nights debate was nothing more than a pointing the finger parade. Obama did not have the piece of food or whatever it was on his lip as it was with the prior debate. Obama did, at one time, launch quite a chunk of saliva. It was not aimed at his opponet. Just one of those things that the camera catches when people are watching every move. I would guess this is why the audiance sits far away?

Anonymous said...

"Win, lose, or get completely dismantled, I don't think it makes much difference. Game days are just plain busy."

I think you're right. Consider the Chicago Bulls. If the Bulls lose, they riot and burn cars in South Chicago. However, if the Bulls win, they riot and burn cars in South Chicago.

Regarding the other, did you see a similar dip in activity on 10/2 for the VP debate? That one got ~70m viewers, according to Nielsen et al.

Anonymous said...

the president candidates are worthless.

Anonymous said...

I think we're talking about different sociological groups... so I'd say the debates aren't going to make much of a difference. I'm going to go ahead and stereotype here. Most of the people generating the police calls are too busy

a)generating or b) reacting to

the drama in their own lives to be concerned about presidential/vice presidential politics.

Anonymous said...

It'll be down hill from the last game, chief. Their on a losing streak again and the so called fans are poor losers, so they'll start staying home and crying in their red beer. Won't be long now they'll be giving Bo a two million dollar check and sending him on his way. Go Big Red.

Anonymous said...

we still have volley-ball!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Go Boise State!!!

ARRRRG!!!! said...

I don't think things will slow down during the debates, but whether you are for McCain or Obama I think you'll agree the next debate should be done like this.

BWayne said...

Chief Casady:

I'm getting back into research mode so we should look at some of these relationships statistically and see if we can determine if we have more DV on game days as well as the relationship between crime incidents frequency and high rating television broadcasts. Both of those should be fairly easy to put the data together for. And I'm sure we could think of a few more.

Bruce Silva

Tom Casady said...


That's what our intern will be doing (see the next post). I've already done it for Christmas and Christmas Eve (DV is about half what it is on the same days of the week during the rest of the year). We'll see if the number of cases on game days is sufficient to reach statistical significance--if indeed there is a difference.