[quote=“CynicalSenior@MainCampus, post:12, topic:1614”]A few thoughts on why attendance is low:
For many people up here, Penn State basketball is just like any other Penn State sport, such as soccer or wrestling or field hockey. There is simply no interest or ‘buzz’
Yes, there are 40,000 students, but not all of them live on campus or directly near campus. Many of them live in apartments further away, well outside of walking distance. They might justify making the treks for 8 home football games, but why would they want to drop big bucks for parking just to see 2 poor teams during the week?
The cold weather might turn off kids who would otherwise go on a whim, particularly the ones who would have to walk a long distance.
It’s the last week of the semester, and many have term papers/exams to focus on.
Many people just don’t want to go basketball games. This will sound sexist, but good luck getting a group of girls to show up to the BJC just to watch the game (as opposed to football games).
For as many kids show up to football games, you would be amazed (or maybe not) how many would not show up if there was no drinking/tailgating involved. If a basketball game involved huge amounts of drinking all day long, attendance would be through the roof.
The team just doesn’t look very good this year.
Just some thoughts. Don’t shoot the messenger (me). I’m just relaying what my friends tell me and what I hear from people around school.[/quote]
Here are my thoughts (and I was there from 95-99, so it hasn’t been THAT long since I was in the same situation…
1 - I agree completely, which is part of the issue. But I don’t even think that it’s just PSU hoops. Go to a sports bar in town on a night during the winter, and you’ll usually see 3-4 times as many hockey fans there as you’ll see basketball fans. Many of my friends were huge PSU football, NFL, baseball, and even NHL fans. But very few cared about the NBA or college hoops, expect for the NCAA tourney. I think it’s just the culture of central and western Pennsylvania, and one of those hurdles that people often discuss that any coach will have to overcome.
2 - I lived in Cedarbrook my last 2 years, and while it wasn’t extremely far from the BJC, it’s wasn’t exactly next door. Regardless, the 25-30 minute walk never stopped me from walking up to a men’s or women’s game. When UConn plays a game in Hartford or Georgetown at the Verizon center, there isn’t a single student that can walk, but yet they’ll pack thousands of them in. I really hope we hit the day where a little bit of a walk or a short drive isn’t enough to keep students away. Is there another school in the Big Ten (seeing as though we’re trying to compete against our peers) where so few students go to games because of the distance to the arena? I see Indiana packing them in when they are awful, Iowa packing them in when they’re awful, even Northwestern was getting a lot more students when they were bad. Winning will of course help, but should it really be this bad when we’re losing?
3 - Same as my answer to #2. It’s cold everywhere in the Big Ten. I’m sure it was freezing in Bloomington when they were losing game after game the last two years, but they had a packed house every night.
4 - I wish it was that simple. But the student turnout didn’t just suddenly turn south last night.
5 - When I was up there, you’d see several groups of girls at basketball game. Certainly not the same guy-girl ratio you’d see at a football game, but there were plenty of girls that were behind the team.
6 - I agree that tailgating would increase attendance. However, you have gyms all across the country packed with students who aren’t tailgating, so why should PSU be that much different?
7 - Agreed. But increase attendance would certainly help them out. I’ve probably watched over a hundred games this season so far, and the only “home court advantage” that I can even compare to the BJC (outside of the MD game, which was still disappointing) was Northeastern playing in the TD Bank arena in front of a thousand fans. It had the exact same feel to it, a really small group of students and a bunch of empty seats and no noise. A team like MSM coming to the BJC is their Super Bowl, and it’s too bad that we didn’t have any type of advantage to try and intimidate them.
Really, I don’t have any answers, it’s just frustrating to see. There was so much buzz around the team in the 95-96 season where you had over 4k student tickets sold, students camping out for nights on end for front row seats, students sitting right on top of the court and making it a great environment, the entire buliding packed, even for weeknight games, etc. And it wasn’t all due to winning, since they sold all those student tickets before the team ever started winning. They were coming off a NIT season, and yet they sold 5X as many student packages as last year’s team that was coming off an NIT championship. If you gave us crowds like we’ve had lately in 95-96, I don’t think that team runs the table at home. Something has to be done, but I don’t think it’s nearly as simple as getting a new coach in here. It’s almost like the entire culture needs to change.