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UAZip0510

How to Improve the Student Section

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I think the problem is you want students to want to sit in the student section. With GA bleachers on three sides, only an idiot would have issues not sitting where they want to sit.

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I think the problem is you want students to want to sit in the student section.

Right. Like I said earlier, the problem is that few of them want to be involved. That needs to be 100% of the focus. Not creating a situation that forces them to sit where they may not want to sit.

Maybe they just want to go to the game for something to do, and would rather go to an open space and talk to their friends, or don't want to sit in a packed-in section, or don't want to stand the entire game, etc.

How do you get them to WANT to be a part of that group?

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I feel like there's two different discussions going on here. One for those who believe student attendance is negligible, and one for those who believe students are there, but the student section is lacking. I'm under the assumption that attendance has been good, but I haven't heard much since the Coastal Carolina game one way or the other in terms of numbers. If anyone knows how student attendance has been, it would help.

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One % of students attend games? I wonder what % have a clue about what is going on during the game? Win and they will come? Well, its fun to win. What can be done to make it fun to attend? Having the players interact with students on campus was a great idea! Its fun to watch someone you have a connection with. One idea won't touch everyone; so, lets keep that up and add many more to it. The "shoot for prizes" events get people engaged. Its fun. Could we have an intermural game woven into the event. This could get dorms and greeks involved. Before every time out, the cheerleaders could choose a "buddy" from the student section to help lead the cheer. Have a costume contest with contestants selected throughput the game. The winner could be chosen by cheer during the under 4 TO. That may drive the introverted student to hide with those 80 year olds, but the wildly animated extroverts are the ones we want in the student section. In my HS days, I'll bet close to 90% of the students went to BB games because there was a dance after the game. I know that many here would attend an evening game; then go home to bed. Many student recreational activities don't start until 9 or 10. Could a post game show that would appeal to the students be added?

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I think the program is doing just fine with attendance. They had a nice crowd after a horrible run of games that in years past would have resulted in 2,000 fans at the game. If the students don't want to attend, then they should stay home. If they need a free gift on the way in to get them to go, there is nothing keeping them once they go in so what was the point? I personally think it is idiocy the way people fight over those stupid shirts anyhow.

Akron is a large enough city with a major metropolitan area within an hour. Win basketball games and people will show up. Give me 4,500 people who want to be there over 5,500 with 1,000 who don't want to be there any day of the week.

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How about high def streaming of the game to every IPhone in the JAR. That way the students never have to risk injury by lifting their heads. They could Snap Chat that experience to the person next to them who became a Friend, because they Tweeted they would be there. LOL...OmG

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I would say that the total attendance numbers are top 5 in the MAC (which isn't saying much.)

To me the 1/2 full (and that is being generous) sections behind the hoop doesn't pass the eye test, it looks bad.

If the students don't want to sit there, let groups of kids sit down there. They would love it and they would be louder anyways.

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A commuter school mentality is the problem, yes there are some students living on campus, but when you compare to a bigger program, most of those students have moved from mom & dad's house to go to school. I was one of those commuters back in the day but still went, so it can be done. I am not sure what it will take, obviously a winning program doesn't work, so what could it be? the experience at game day? A new arena with maybe some night life around it could help I guess...I am just a little stumped at the lack of students.

Bring back 1986 when the entire upper deck GA where the reserved seats are now were packed with students. That place was tough to play at, see OVC championship game and the environment.

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Bring back 1986 when the entire upper deck GA where the reserved seats are now were packed with students. That place was tough to play at, see OVC championship game and the environment.

I remember it well !! And back then, very few people even lived on campus, and we all WANTED to be there, and found a way to get there.

Did we have less options for things to keep people occupied back then?

I'll blame phones with internet connections for the change in student participation. Heck, even my own wife, who is an extremely vocal Zips fan and well past student age, will sit down during parts of the game to read and sent messages to people.

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In case anyone missed it, I posted a link in another thread to a USA Today story about falling student attendance at college basketball games almost everywhere. Even the Cameron Crazies at Duke are no longer filling their student section at basketball games. It suggests that attendance at college basketball games may have peaked years ago. It's a generational trend that has raised concerns throughout the college basketball community. This story helps explain the erosion of student attendance at UA despite nearly a decade of improved team performance. It offers a clear warning that UA needs to be careful about not over-sizing any new arena, as future student and alumni attendance may be in a long-time period of decline. Link.

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I had lunch at Polsky's on Tuesday, February 25, the day before we had a road game at Miami. In the 45 minutes that I was at Polsky's, I saw three students wearing Miami gear. As a whole our Students don't get it. In addition to students wearing other college gear, I always see students wearing their old high school jackets, shirts or sweatshirts. The students need to take pride in their/our university, which is easier said than done. Students need to be proud of who they are and what our great university is about. I know...it is a free country, but for their four(ish) years on campus, can't they open their eyes and embrace one of the true gems of Northeast Ohio?

There are a lot of great student supporters and they deserve credit for working hard. But, how do we change the culture as a whole? That is Tom's job.

Go Zips!

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I am not sure what it will take, obviously a winning program doesn't work, so what could it be?

As GP1 mentioned - we drew 4,000 fans to a game against sub .500 Bowling Green, with the Zips coming off a 3-game losing streak and missing two of their top five players. And another player coming off a slightly embarassing 2-week disiplinary suspension.

We are 1,500 fans short of a sellout, with a team that starts Carmelo Betancourt and Nyles Evans. With Deji Ibitayo as the 6th man. The JAR should have been barren! Who in their right mind would brave single-digit temperatures to watch that?

Someone should be praising UA marketing for filling those seats instead of grousing about the minority of the empty ones.

But to the point of a "winning program" - We have a winning program at the MAC level. Students today have been bombarded their entire lives with BCS hype. Back in the Huggins era, the OVC was still a pretty big deal. The Beacon gave the Zips a ton of coverage, and ESPN was lucky to get college hockey reruns to fill it's programming time. The Zips brand was locally stronger in that era, with much less competition for attention. Now, fans of that era are dying off. And there is a TON of competition for the Zips fans attention.

Until the Zips really become The Gonzaga of the East, we should be estatic that there are only 1,500 empty seats for a highly unattractive mid-major match up. 4,000 "hard cores" beats 5,500 w/1,500 "halftime-leaving t-shirt mongers" every time.

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How much do you think the University has to spend to bribe students to show up?

Considering we payed through our tuition (regardless if we're at the game or not) to support athletics, there should be a free giveaway near every game. At least something good, not the crap they always handout. Since I was there we NEVER had "Beat Can't" rally towels...whenever I went to Can't for the Akron-Can't Game, they ALWAYS had them. Simple, relatively cheap...students actually like them.

Better seats is a must IMO. I always hated the current student section (which switched three times I was there) because you can never see the scoreboards. At the very least put up a small unabstructed score-board in that section that can be seen by the fans in that section.

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Considering we payed through our tuition (regardless if we're at the game or not) to support athletics, there should be a free giveaway near every game. At least something good, not the crap they always handout. Since I was there we NEVER had "Beat Can't" rally towels...whenever I went to Can't for the Akron-Can't Game, they ALWAYS had them. Simple, relatively cheap...students actually like them.

Better seats is a must IMO. I always hated the current student section (which switched three times I was there) because you can never see the scoreboards. At the very least put up a small unabstructed score-board in that section that can be seen by the fans in that section.

To be fair, you get free tickets to any event.

I agree with the better seats sentiment. I wonder what the correllation is between students not caring and apathetic alumni. Treating the students better would go a long way towards the "disconnect" we talk about. Easy to feel disconnected when you're given the worst seats in the house. These "disconnected" students become "disconnected" alumni - that's not good.

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The students need to take pride in their/our university, which is easier said than done.

But, how do we change the culture as a whole?

I propose the University hire Chauncey Gilliam to be hall monitor. When he sees anyone wearing a sweatshirt from another institution he administers corporal punishment. School spirit will skyrocket.

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I propose the University hire Chauncey Gilliam to be hall monitor. When he sees anyone wearing a sweatshirt from another institution he administers corporal punishment. School spirit will skyrocket.

Keener is on a roll!!! spank.gif

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To be fair, you get free tickets to any event.

Yes, we do. What I'm saying though is that those "giveaways" should be worth while. Only about 1000-2000 students would probably be allowed per game...and the giveaways would be to the first 200-500. They collect tuition fees that go to athletics from about 23,000 students. Make the giveaways worth showing up for, and generate buzz for it.

I wonder what the correllation is between students not caring and apathetic alumni. Treating the students better would go a long way towards the "disconnect" we talk about. Easy to feel disconnected when you're given the worst seats in the house. These "disconnected" students become "disconnected" alumni - that's not good.

I absolutely 100% agree with this, and wonder myself.

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What I'm saying though is that those "giveaways" should be worth while.

It seems to me that if the students are looking for something of value for going to the game, the school would spend a lot of time thinking about what would be of value to the students and still never be able to make everyone happy. I guess my question would be, how much would the value of the give away need to be to get the students to attend? Would the give away make everyone happy and attract students? Would the time of the employees of the athletic department be better spent trying to attract ticket buying customers?

The way I see it is if the students want something of value for going to the games, why wouldn't the University just hand out $10 bills to every student in attendance, or at least the first (insert number here)? It would save them the time of having to think about a give away item and the cost of the give away item. $10 is better than getting stuck with a stupid bobble head doll or something that will collect dust forever. The student can spend the $10 on anything he/she wants.

Sports marketing departments at many sporting levels have created a situation where fans buy a ticket, walk through a gate and expect something for free to land in their hands. If they don't get something for free, they will maul the guy next to them trying to catch a stupid $1 t-shirt with the name of a bank or something on it. It's silly on almost every level and is really a reflection of the increasingly silly society we live in. I'm pretty convinced that if cheerleaders threw free half pound cans of cancer cells into the stands at a sporting event, there would be an unusually large number of people fighting over catching one of the free cans. I'm absolutely certain there would be no problem getting 500 people to show up early for a game to get a free bobble head doll made out of cancer cells.

I could care less about the 500 mooches. Give me a lot of dedicated fans who want to cheer for their team without the distractions of nonsense happening around them.

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Until the Zips really become The Gonzaga of the East, we should be estatic that there are only 1,500 empty seats for a highly unattractive mid-major match up.

First, please keep in mind that there were far more than 1.500 empty seats. The entire lower bowl is considered FILLED for attendance counting purposes every home game, regardless of who actually shows up. It's been that way the entire season. However, I do agree that the BG crowd was surprisingly larger than expected for the circumstances.

But, I like that you brought up the "Gonzaga of the East". Is it possible that the level of competition that we are beating is possibly getting as boring to the casual supporters as it appears to be getting to some of the long-time regulars? Even some people on this board? Does the game-day anticipation wane after you spend 10 years pretty much doing the same thing?

I think the lack of game day posts on this board during the course of this season might be giving us the answer.

I think we're becoming desperately in need of an "eye-opening" win.

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1) Bobbleheads and other cool giveaways do work. The idea of course is if you get someone there that might not normally go because of the giveaway and put on a good show, they come back again without needing a giveaway. This is used successfully at every level - collegiate, minor leagues, professional. I'm pretty sure there were lines out the door for the Dambrot and LBJ bobbleheads, no? I'd love to see a Romeo/Dru combo, a Zeke...items along those lines of thought. The championship ring was an incredible giveaway.

2) With that said, there's two different debates that have morphed into one here. I don't think the crowds in general have been bad - I've actually been pleasantly surprised with most turnouts. The issue - and the reason for this thread - is low student turnout and impact on the game, not the crowd size in general. Two completely different topics IMO.

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