Skeptics of fan support proved wrong

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    Attendance at TCU football games has been under scrutiny by ESPN.com in the past. Writers claimed the university was lacking in fan support, but last season’s attendance rate at the Tositos Fiesta Bowl should have proved skeptics, Director of Athletics Media Relations Mark Cohen said.

    In a 2008 article on ESPN.com, reporter Graham Watson commented on Horned Frogs fan support writing, “TCU’s fan support, or lack thereof…”

    Watson also reported that when selecting bowl game match ups, each bowl committee uses its knowledge of fans willing to travel. She also quoted the executive director of the Las Vegas Bowl Tina Kunzer-Murphy who said the Mountain West Conference has “horrible travelers.”

    Cohen said he could not be more proud of attendance at last year’s Tostitos Fiesta Bowl and that the turnout should have proved Watson wrong.

    “Twenty thousand traveling to the Fiesta Bowl was a great statement,” Cohen said. “I think it eliminated any doubts that people would have [about] whether TCU would travel to a bowl game half way across the country.”

    This season, the Horned Frogs sold out Amon G. Carter Stadium twice for two of the top-five highest attendances in TCU history. The Sept. 18 game against Baylor University ranked second in attendance with a crowd of 47,393 fans and Saturday’s game against the Air Force Academy had the fifth-largest attendance record of 46,096.

    Cohen said attendance was 38,000 when the Horned Frogs played the University of Wyoming this year, which was played during the university’s fall break.

    “It’s fall break,” Cohen said. “The students are gone, there’s four other Division I football games going on in the metroplex, the [Texas)] Rangers had a playoff game, and we still had 38,000 in attendance.”

    According to the TCU Athletics Media Relations 2010 football fact book, TCU has an average of 43,021 attendees over the last seven football home games, 97 percent of Amon G. Carter Stadium capacity.

    Cohen said he sees nothing but growth in attendance in the future of Horned Frog athletics.

    “Now the kids that are growing up through elementary school…have only known TCU as a school that wins 11 games a year,” Cohen said. “They are growing up seeing TCU winning.”

    The new stadium renovations, expected to take place after the last home game on Nov. 13, are only going to help bring more fans to the games.

    “It is going to be a great place for fans to attend a game,” he said.

    During the 2011 season, while areas of the stadium are undergoing renovation, it will seat between 30,000 and 35,000 fans, he said.

    When finished, Cohen said, it will seat around 40,000; however it was built to be expandable.

    “Later, down the road, it could eventually seat 50,000,” Cohen said.