Sports marketing is still trying to fill the growing number of empty seats at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.Because the men’s basketball team has a 4-14 record, head coach Neil Dougherty said, fans are not remaining loyal.
Dougherty said he thinks that may be part of the reason the team is not playing its best.
“These are your classmates; they need you,” Dougherty said. “The student body’s attitude should be, ‘I’m a Horned Frog. If they are there, I will be there.'”
The average attendance for men’s home games this season has been 3,558, but the coliseum holds 7,200 people.
There are still loyal fans who go to games, however, despite the team having a good or bad season.
Stali Riley, a sophomore business major, said the team does not play as poorly as its record denotes.
“I go to a lot of the games because I like watching. If they win or lose, it is still entertaining because they play pretty well,” Riley said.
Riley said she used to play basketball and thinks teams feed off of crowd energy.
“When there are people in the crowd, it is more intense and when you get your adrenaline running, you play a lot harder,” Riley said.
Some students, like senior general studies major Claire Brunner, have a different perspective about going to basketball games.
“I don’t go to basketball games because I never know when they are,” Brunner said. “If there was tailgating, I would be more likely to go.”
The scheduling of the games was also an issue for Brunner, who said Friday night games would be easier to attend.
Kelly Imig, assistant director of marketing, said since basketball season starts in early November and is interrupted by the Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks, students lose motivation easily.
“It’s hard for fans to build momentum in attending games because students are coming and going at the beginning of the basketball season,” Imig said.
She said in the past, media relations has tried to get students to attend games by using incentives like T-shirts and iPods.
Imig said media relations will be holding a drawing in the third week of February for students to win a trip to the UNLV game in Las Vegas.
Dougherty said students should take advantage of the opportunities university life offers.
“Students will look back with regrets on their college experience,” Dougherty said. “Going to the games is an important part of college and it means a lot to the players.”