Friday, December 10, 2010

Column: What happened to the crowds?

By Alex Conover

Sports Editor

I spoke to an alumnus recently who remarked that when she went to Saint Mary’s in the early seventies, you couldn’t find a seat at the sporting events because it was so crowded. The school pulled out both sides of the bleachers for basketball games, and still filled every spot. The hockey arena was filled with chanting fans sporting their “Blue Line Club” sweatshirts. What happened?

Today’s fan attendance is a far cry from that of 30+ years ago, even though our current enrollment is a few hundred students larger. The basketball teams are lucky to fill half of one side of the bleachers; baseball, softball and soccer are grateful to get 100 people watching. Hockey is probably the best-attended sport, but with such a limited amount of seats, it really should be full for every contest.

Many students cite losing teams as the reason why they don’t attend SMU athletics; but consider the winter teams’ current records. Men’s hockey is the only losing team at 3-7, while women’s hockey, women’s basketball and men’s basketball sit at 6-1-3, 4-2, and 4-1 respectively. This is one of the best starts SMU winter sports has had in several years.

Please consider attending more sporting events – it’s entertaining, it helps build school pride and it helps our teams win. That sounds like a win/win/win scenario to me.

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