Stabler does seem cavernous at times, but I think it’s actually a pretty nice place to watch a basketball game. The key issue is accessibility – from campus you need to take a 15 minute ride to and from the game, meaning you need a car or a bus to get people there. They’ll show up for “event games” like Leh/Laf or maybe a team like Temple showing up for hoops or some sort of national broadcast, but Lehigh/Quinnipiac simply won’t bring out all those people.
The way to get around this (and to combat the apathy) is to make football and basketball games events in their own right. For football folks are doing a pretty good job of this (and an 80% winning percentage helps immensely in this endeavor). For basketball, though, it’s more difficult.
I think the solution revolves around some combination of free food and free wi-fi access. The more social media friendly any venue is, the more attendance will rebound.