I'm pretty sure that after every home game there has been at least one complaint about the poor student attendance thus far. Obviously, it's been upsetting and even embarrassing at times that our beloved Hoyas are getting such poor support from the student fan base, especially given our success; however, how is whining and complaining about it actually going to accomplish anything? Instead, why not try to figure out the source(s) of the problem and propose solutions to them?
Reasons for poor attendance after the jump.
The biggest reason behind the lack of attendance this year is very simple: there was negative hype coming into this season. No one who is currently an undergrad has seen a post-season victory and everyone came into this season expecting it to be a rebuilding year. This made the upperclassmen who weren't die-hards apathetic and took away from the game-day atmosphere on campus. The freshmen have no real reason to be excited about it for a few reasons: 1. there was no pep rally this year, 2. midnight madness was not exciting (compared to prior years) and poorly attended, and 3. the number of upperclassmen who are overtly excited around campus about basketball are few and far between. Also although I don't have the exact numbers, I'd bet that, due to these reasons, student season ticket sales are at a 5 year low.
Solution? I know that Hoya Blue, whose members comprise 99% of the die-hards that still exist, has been desperately trying to spread the Hoya fever to the rest of the Hoya community, but I feel like it is something that is going to have to come naturally as the season progresses and the Hoyas continue to impress.
We could not have a worse schedule this year (which also contributes to the low season ticket numbers that I'm predicting). Our only exciting non-conference game, against Memphis, was scheduled during winter break. There also wasn't a game in McDonough this year, which I've always thought was a huge boost in excitement for the fan base (when we didn't schedule ODU at least). Beating Radford 110 to 51 in McDonough is still one of my favorite games. Even our conference schedule is disappointing: 1. no home game for Cuse and the away game is in the middle of the week (no student road trip), 2. no away game for Nova (no road trip), and 3. our only real exciting home game will be against UConn since Nova and ND aren't playing well and the Marquette game is over break.
Solution? Unfortunately, we can't do anything about the schedule, but it clearly is a factor for why there is such poor attendance. I'm a die-hard fan so every game is exciting to me, but besides the few minutes where Howard got dangerously close to us, there has not been a game that I would consider exciting for a casual fan. I would really like to see the athletic department require a mandatory home game against a cupcake in McDonough every year (Howard would have been a perfect game for this).
A yearly issue is that we play in the Verizon Center, which takes at least a half hour to get to using some combination of buses and metro for students. The athletic department no longer provides metro cards and GUTS buses are becoming extremely limited (especially on the weekend). All of this makes the task of getting to and from the game more daunting.
Solution? This one is difficult. Buses directly to the Verizon Center have been suggested, but that's difficult to coordinate, especially for the return, and DC traffic can be awful. I really don't have a good solution for this one. In combination with the lack of hype, smaller issues like this seem to be keeping more fans at home.
I'm sure there may be some other reasons, but I think these are the biggest three. I welcome everyone to bring up other issues you believe are present and solutions to fix these problems in the comments and hopefully we can actually increase attendance instead of just complaining about it.