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Hope the Texas students remember his comments when he comes to Austin next year.
The West Virginia basketball team is in the middle of finishing up its final season in the Big East and with an NCAA Tournament bid on the line, the team has more important things to concentrate on than next season in the Big 12.
Regardless, on Monday night’s Bob Huggins Statewide Sportsline Huggins talked about the Big 12 Conference and what the fans have to look forward to when they travel to all of these new venues. Huggins spent one year at Kansas State and is familiar with the Big 12 and how things are in that conference.
Huggins says there are a lot of exciting venues for Mountaineer fans to experience.
“There’s a few,” said Huggins. “Catching a game in Manhattan, Kansas is special, it really is. Bramlage Coliseum really is jumpin’. It’s like we are a couple times of year, all of the time.”
“Ames, Iowa, the Marriott Center is big time,” continued Huggins. “For a long long time Iowa State was that way. They don’t lose in Phog Allen very often, but they’re pretty good too.”
Bramlage Coliseum is where Kansas State plays and Huggins says the student section there is one of the top student sections, if not the top, in the entire conference. He is also very high on the University of Kansas’s student section. Huggins says the Jayhawks fans always turnout for the games.
“Allen Field House in Lawrence is unbelievable,” said Huggins. “19,000 [fans] if they play the little sisters of the poor and an unbelievable student section. The thing that I think separates the Big 12 from the Big East is they have an incredible student involvement, absolutely incredible student involvement.”
Mountaineer fans have been know to be very loud and passionate, but Huggins has been disappointed at the student’s attendance recently when WVU plays some of the smaller schools. During his radio show he sent a challenge out the student body to show up for all of the Big 12 games.
According to Huggins, when WVU joins the Big 12 next season they will have one of the smallest student sections, attendance wise, in the conference. Also, when WVU joins the Big 12 Conference they will be the only school to let their students attend basketball games by showing their student ID, all of the other schools have to pay for their tickets. Huggins is hoping this will give the students a reason to step up and fill in the seats for all of the games.
“I hope something helps,” said Huggins. “We will be, other than Texas, if it continues the way it’s going, and I don’t mean this discouragingly because it’s a fact, probably other than Texas we will have the worst student crowd in the Big 12 numbers wise.”
Here is a list of the Big 12 venues the Mountaineers will play in next season:
· Baylor: Ferrell Center, Capacity – 10,347
· Iowa State: Hilton Coliseum, Capacity – 14,356
· Kansas: Allen Field House, Capacity – 16,300
· Kansas State: Bramlage Coliseum – 12,528
· Oklahoma: Lloyd Noble Center, Capacity – 11,528
· Oklahoma State: Gallagher-Iba Arena, Capacity – 13,611
· Texas: Frank Irwin Center, Capacity – 16,734
· Texas Tech: United Sprint Arena, Capacity – 15,020
· TCU: Daniel-Meyer Coliseum, Capacity – 7,201
· WVU: WVU Coliseum, Capacity – 14,000
2011 NCAA Basketball Attendance by team...............Horns rank #21 13,700 per game
This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by austinr 2 years ago
"Leadership is wisdom, courage and great carelessness of self"
Sad, but true statement.
For whatever reason we have never developed a culture of attending basketball games for any sustainable duration. I remember back in the early 80's when Texas put together something like a 15-0 start on the team that had Lasalle Thompson before the wheels fell off that year, the student body came out in huge numbers but only because winning was such a novelty then and once the team tanked you could not give those tickets away. With some of the really strong teams and great players we have had in recent years we should see an amazing draw from our students.
How does one change the culture? Look no farther than the fan sites where we have amazing football interest even in the farthest reaches of the off season, yet during basketball season you see very few posts from what are certainly some of the most dedicated of fans like those of us on this forum.
Not sure what can be done to change this fact. I have heard the way our arena is laid out with student section being pushed too far away is a major contributing reason. Not sure I buy that.
This post was edited by Texasmdcoach 2 years ago
Don't tickets to a Longhorn game in any sport cost more than most other schools?
The interesting thing is there is a lot of interest. Look at the other link for average attendance. Ranked #21.............plus when the Horns are on TV the rating are outstanding. Remember 2 years ago when the Horns played UNC at Jerryworld they drew 40,000 and it was the highest rated college basketball game for ESPN regular season in history.
I personally wish Barnes and his staff spent more time cultivating student involvement.
It's atmosphere or profitability. Can't have both. Texas has chosen profitability. Profitability markets to an older crowd with $$$. They take up the best seats and buy for the season. They also don't come to all (most) of the games and/or give them away to clients who are not emotionally attached to the Longhorns and are there as casual observers. They prefer the dignified golf clap when things are going well or to grumble amongst themselves about cutting off funding unless the coach is fired when things go poorly. Makes for a lowsy game atmosphere, but there is no arguing that we have a very profitable, very high profile basketball program.
That is our reality whether we want to acknowledge it or not.
You guys have mentioned some ways to Improve things here:
1. Lower prices on student tickets to more of a supply-demand model
2. increase visibility and marketing by the coaches and team on campus to the student body
3. Adjust the seating chart
4. Commit more resources to marketing the sport on campus?
Bullseye and NYHorn are 100% accurate...Texas has chosen profitability over atmosphere. Throw in Barnes poor coaching and teams collapsing at end of the year leads to poor attendance. The change in student participation is also evident in football. Seems Texas is getting a different student than even 15 years ago.
Agree. DeLoss is about money
Those are good ideas.
One thing I'll bring up is that contributes to the lack of atmosphere at the Drum is the venue itself. It's quite large and doesn't trap sound like other famous arenas. Even when everyone is on their feet, the volume seems pedestrian.
Did you have too much to drink last night?
#4 Yes............hell hire some marketing students and make it a project to get 2,500 students to every game.
The interesting thing is the atmosphere for big games in The Drum is really outstanding. Think about the KU game this year.
if you compared how big the student body is and how well a basketball program has done over the last decade and then compare that to the size of the stuent section, ours is probably the worst in the conference.
I've obviously never been there but i've read that the layout of the erwin center isn't ideal and that instead of putting the students close to the floor they put the old alumni there. is this true?
they should play a few games a year in gregory gym. i've never been fawn of the Drum.
The Drum sucks. The space itself makes it so that if you moved the Cameron Crazies into the Drum they'd basically be rendered mute. The students don't come because there's no electricity and they can't have an impact on the game, the arena could suck the soul out of a James Brown/ Aretha Franklin concert. I assume Deloss would love to have a new basketball only arena but it isn't going to happen because the only arena in town large enough for big events is the Drum. In a perfect world, years ago instead of renovating Gregory, heresy I know, they'd have taken out Gregory along with the ROTC building and the adjacent parking lot and put in a 10-12k seat arena dead smack in the middle of campus. Instead, we've got a place that no one can get to, with the shittiest parking on the planet.
Let me give an LOL to the idea that ticket prices are responsible. Even for non students, the cheap tickets are only $7, and you can usually move down. Texas just doesn't have great basketball support. I'm someone who has been to 90% of the games since Barnes has been here, so obviously I wish this was not the case.
However, there is no doubt that the Erwin Center is poorly managed and generally sucks as a basketball venue.
Try this one. Schedule two games a year in Gregory Gym. Pack the house with free student tickets. Give away food and prizes. Have pregame festivities with door prizes.
FEC is one of the worst basketball venues out there. Students are so far from the court unlike at other venues. Wish they build a new stadium for our basketball teams so the fans could be closer and more involved with the game. Just look at the Duke crazies.
Agree - the Drum is not a good Basketball venue, never has.
They need to change locations to a smaller, louder stadium.
- God Bless Texas
I doubt it's even remotely possible at this point but where could they put a new basketball arena? It seems like it would likely have to be off campus which probably would not help student attendance either.
Somewhere by the baseball field?
This is a great idea.
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