New coach, new arena, new attendance record

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This basketball season has brought not only a new coach and new facilities, but also a new attendance record for the new arena.

More than 1,400 TCU students packed the Ed and Rae Shollmaier Arena for the game against Baylor–one of many games where TCU came in large numbers to support their frogs.

The attendance for the Baylor game set a new record, it was the largest turnout since the arena was remodeled. Steven Schoon, the Associate Director of Athletics Communications, said the game was also the third largest crowd in TCU basketball history.

The student section was full and many were turned away at the door.

“We got here an hour before and the line was already wrapped around to the BLUU. But it was awesome,” said Michael Brown, a first-year student and basketball fan. “I got the last seat in and it was so cool.”

Some students who waited were eventually let in the arena, but were not given seats in the student section. They were allowed to sit in other open seats until the ticket owners arrived.

Some credit the rise in attendance to the new facility, which opened just over a year ago.

Before the arena was built, the team played off-campus at the Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center. Katelyn Jennings, President of Frog Army, said an estimate of only 20-50 students attended the off-campus games.

Jennings said the team’s improved record could also be a reason why more students are attending.

“When the team plays well, a lot more students want to come see the team play because it’s a winning team,” Jennings said.

Jennings said student attendance has increased from an estimate of 400-500 students a game to around 600-800.

“I love it. I think it’s cool,” Brown said. “We’re usually kind of a baseball or football school and now that basketball is getting recognized, it’s awesome.”

Frog Army promotes giveaways like T-shirts, hats, and speakers to get students involved and to create a tradition of basketball on campus.