Average home attendance per game lowest in six seasons
It’s no secret that the CU men’s basketball team has had little student and fan support this season – on Wednesday, only 3,123fans showed up to watch Buffs get their first Big 12 Conference win.
After 10 home games, the Buffs’ average home attendance per game this season is 2,851. Although the season is not over yet, the Buffs could finish with the lowest average attendance per home game in the last six seasons.
This year, the team has an overall record below .500 and a sub-par conference record. Before winning their first conference game, the Buffs lost three conference games in a row.
With the attendance, or lack thereof, that the Buffs have had this season, the Coors Events Center, which seats 11,064 fans for basketball games, will be difficult for the Buffs to fill. In the Big 12 Conference, playing on the road can be difficult, especially when teams have very high fan support.
When the Buffs traveled to Oklahoma for their first road conference game, they had to play in front of a crowd of 9,336 screaming Sooners’ fans. A large number of fans screaming for the opposing team increases the difficulty for the Buffs.
“When we go on the road, I feel we know it’s hard to play in that type of environment. So fan support is definitely huge; it’s a good home-court advantage,” junior guard Richard Roby said.
But the interesting thing is that over the past four seasons, Buffs’ opponents have had a larger average home attendance per game than the Buffs.
In the 2004-2005 season, the Buffs had an average home attendance per game of 4,209 fans. Buffs’ opponents had a much larger average home attendance per game at 9,492 fans. The Buffs finished 14-16 for the season.
In a stretch from the 2003-2004 season to this season, the Buffs on average have had to play in front of drastically bigger crowds on the road than at home.
Fan support is a major part of college basketball for several reasons. For the most part the program has done well in the past, but a major change is necessary to turn around the program.
“Well, it’s been alright in the past. They’ve made the tournament a couple of times, but it definitely needs a boost,” said Buffs’ fan Mike Turnquist, a freshman engineering major. “We need a coach that is going to raise attendance.”
Even though the team’s overall record is poor, Turnquist still feels more students need to attend CU home games.
“They’re my team. I got to show support for them. I can’t just not go,” Turnquist said.
But the important thing to keep in mind is that fan support can fuel the players’ energy and help teams win.
“What I’ve always asked students and fans to do is not to wait on us to win but come and help us win, because our team feeds off their energy and support,” head coach Ricardo Patton said.
Patton also said the more you win, the more people want to see you play. But it’s important to remember that this year’s team is young, and they will go through some growing pains.