TCU football’s national ranking and winning record are putting a squeeze on students, leaving some standing on the concourse if they don’t get a seat in the student section.
The student section at Amon G. Carter Stadium has room for about 4,000 students, or about half the undergraduate population, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Christopher Del Conte said.
But Del Conte said this season student attendance is averaging around 4,500-4,700, which leaves about 500-600 students without a seat.
“You can see how they just cram themselves in there because you can see how bent my bleachers are,” Del Conte said. “They created an unbelievable home field advantage.”
The standing room only zone behind the student section is meant to hold the overflow.
“We’ve created a great standing room only environment,” Del Conte said. “If you’re not in the student section you can stand right here and go crazy as well because you’re standing anyways.”
Still, Student Body President Maddie Reddick said some students are unhappy that the university isn’t opening more spaces for them. Reddick said she has received emails from students complaining about the size of the student section.
Reddick and Chief of Staff Matt Miller have been meeting with officials in the athletics department about the student section. Miller said that there is no quick fix.
“Overall athletics knows it’s an issue, but they also know there is really not a solution at this time because basically the entire stadium is sold out for the entire season,” Miller said. “The best solution, for now, is show up earlier.”
Junior strategic communication major Danielle Deffebach said student seats should have been more of a priority before the stadium was sold out.
“I don’t think it’s fair,” Deffebach said. “I get we have to make money at football games, that’s what football is for, but I think it would be better if they would open up the other sections.”
Sophomore business major Lalita Sundarrajan said the student section should be larger.
“For our student population, I feel like it’s a little bit small,” Sundarrajan said. “Our school is growing and there is more interest in football.”
Sundarrajan said if ticket holders don’t show up those seats should be for students.
“In that instance, there should be a caveat that students should be allowed to go fill up those empty seats because ultimately, we are students, we are paying to go here,” Sundarrajan said.
Del Conte said there are no expansion plans.
“I think I’ll address expansion when we’ve got ourselves to the point where we are completely popping at the seams everywhere” Del Conte said. “I’d rather have it packed, loud, and energetic. Bigger is sometimes not always better.”
The next chance to pack the student section is at 11 a.m. Saturday when the Horned Frogs take on the University of Texas Longhorns for homecoming.