Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Health and Nutritional Sciences

First Advisor

Hung-Ling Liu


While attending collegiate sports events is part of the college experience, especially in the United States, there is a decline in students’ attendance at collegiate sports events shown in the past years. The purpose of this study is to (1) investigate college students' experience in attending collegiate sports events, (2) identify college students’ motivations and constraints in attending collegiate sports events, and (3) recognize possible strategies to improve collegiate sports events attendance and engagement on college campuses. A qualitative research approach, focus group, was used to facilitate discussion and interaction with a group of students sharing their experiences and perspectives at college sports events. Purposeful sampling was used to recruit juniors and seniors at a Midwest university. A total of nine students participated in three focus group discussions. Content analysis was applied to analyze text data from focus group transcripts, where a systematic classification process was used for coding and identifying themes. The result shows two themes were identified as students’ overall college experience: the university’s impression and connection; and also, opportunities and a sense of self-growth. Three main motivations emerged; social network, new is exciting, and incentives. There are six constraint factors experienced by students: weather, parking, other commitments, event atmosphere, unfamiliarity with sports, and friends. Students suggested three strategies to increase their attendance: marketing tactics, target programming, and meal plan at concessions.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

College sports.
College students -- Attitudes.
College students -- Recreation.
Motivation in education.



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright