Student attendance at college sporting events around the country is dropping, and TCU is no exception, an athletic administrator said.Scott Kull, associate athletic director for external operations, said the size of the average basketball crowd at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum is 3,000 to 4,000 people, most of whom are young children and their parents.
Despite the Lady Frogs’ 13-4 record and reaching No. 23 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches’ poll and the men’s team sitting at 10-5, Kull said students are not making the trip out to Daniel-Meyer Coliseum on game days.
The majority of basketball tickets sold go to large groups of children from the surrounding area, Kull said.
“We go after those groups that really show an interest in basketball,” he said. “This year, we’ve really tried to go into smaller communities, like Aledo and Burleson and towns like that, to try to gain support for our basketball programs.”
Christian Smith, a sophomore theatre major, said he doesn’t go to games because he thinks they are not publicized enough.
“(They are) not advertised very well,” Smith said. “For the football games, there’s advertisements all over TCU. There’s messages over the phone, but for basketball games, there’s nothing like that.”
Freshman nursing major Diana Singer agreed more advertising would help fill the seats, especially because game days are not the same week after week. She also suggested featuring halftime concerts to draw in more students.
“They just don’t advertise very much,” Singer said. “Is it on a set day? Football games are always on Saturday. If they had halftime shows or sell T-shirts for a certain game, or have a certain person performing, I’d be more likely to go.”
On game days, Kull said members of the athletic department place signs along campus walkways and intersections.
Past promotions, such as T-Shirts, have not increased attendance, Kull said.
Jack Hesselbrock, associate athletic director for internal relations, said it can be difficult for students to get involved because TCU has only been in the Mountain West Conference for two seasons, and no rivalries have emerged yet.
“Some of the teams that we’re playing, people haven’t really grown accustomed to yet,” Hesselbrock said. “When you say TCU-SMU, everybody kind of goes ‘grrrr’; When you say TCU-Wyoming, they go ‘OK.'”
The student section, the band, the cheerleaders and the Showgirls all work together to bring a competitive and supportive atmosphere to the floor, Hesselbrock said.
“There’s just a difference with the cheerleaders, the Showgirls, the band and the student section full,” he said. “That’s what the arena is supposed to be like.”
Members of the women’s basketball team could not be reached for comment due to their travel schedule. Members of the men’s basketball team declined to comment.
The Frogs’ next home game is against the UNLV Rebels at 7 p.m. Saturday in the coliseum.