Assistant director of marketing for the women’s basketball program, Jackie Torda, describes the attendance as unfortunate.
“It’s not where it needs to be,” she said.
According to Torda, there has been a department-wide trend of decreasing student attendance. From fall 2016, decreasing attendance from students has gone up for men’s and for women’s.
Marketing to students via email, social media and flyers on campus is to increase participation at the games.
“Getting students to games has become a challenge these days, not just here at TCU, but as a nationwide trend,” Torda said.
The Atlantic study on student attendance at women’s basketball games, college games across many sports representing both genders are seeing declining popularity.
The report commissioned by Associated Press Sports Editors shows women’s sports have always had a difficult time incentivizing attendance at games.
“Men generally attract more students and fans,” Torda said.
The men’s team have a designated group with a budget that focuses on students on campus. The group for the women’s team is not as active and does not have as many resources as the men’s, she said.
A survey was conducted by TCU 360 to determine the factors that affect why the students do or don’t attend women’s basketball games.
The TCU guard/forward, Jada Butts, compares the student section at women’s games to the men’s.
“I see students spread out [at our games] but I come to the men’s games and I can’t even sit down,” she said.
Torda said the struggle is not only with getting students to games but getting them involved during the games.
“I see students in clusters in the top sections relaxing rather than participating and sitting in the open front row, like you would see at the football games and men’s basketball games,” she said.
The TCU women’s basketball players said the lack of student attendance affects the atmosphere.
“It [student section] is not good,” Jada Butts said. “I feel like it could make a better atmosphere and would really help to have students come out and support us.”
Coach Pebley talks about the impact of the TCU students.
“When they show up to any sport they are an x-factor,” Pebley said. “They’re missed when they’re not there because they make a huge impact.”