This brings up a problem that I think has become quite troubling to me. What has happened to the Lehigh fan base?
Lehigh had always prided itself in having a significant fan base based on the level of program they field. The generation that made up a significant portion of that group are gradually dying off and the next generation has not replaced it. Based on what I have witnessed recently, the situation is only getting worse with today’s students.
There was a time when a Lehigh wrestling ticket was almost impossible to get and students would line up hours before a match. There are still decent crowds today, but there is no denying that hair color of choice is almost all grey. Where will the program be 10 years from now.
Football always attracted 10,000+ for decades. Even with the weather being nice the last few years, we are now hovering around 8,000/game and it’s almost easier to find Waldo than a group of students there anymore.
Basketball began the season with one of the most exciting college basketball players in the country and fresh off perhaps the biggest win in Lehigh history and IMHO, the attendance was still bordering on abysmal.
I bring this up because spending is only one side of the equation. I fully understand that the financing for athletic programs is multi-faceted but I still must assume that game revenue is critical in determining what we are able to spend.
I’m sure that Lehigh gets a lot of exposure by being on CBS College Sports and perhaps even Service Electric but I’ll assume that they get very little or no revenue from it. Is it hurting the attendance (esp Service Electric) and if so, should we be continuing to provide free access for a product that people should be viewing up close.
Just an item for discussion during slow time.