January 6, 2014 at 3:25 pm #12933
I don’t think improved facilities will have a major impact on attendance, but I think there could be some impact especially if improvements were accompanied by continued success on the court. Totally agree about lack of tradition and inaccessability for students being two of the major hindrances to good student support. It certainly seems like Reed and Co and doing what they can to turn the program into a sustained winner, and as for the location of Stabler, there isn’t much to be done.
I think a smaller basketball venue closer to campus would be great, but those things take years if not decades and I have heard no hints that it is even being looked at. If that is the case, the question then becomes if it makes sense to do some renovations to Stabler to modernize a bit? I would also think the downtown Allentown arena will have an impact on arena football, concerts, tradeshows, and graduations will impact the revenue from Stabler. I don’t know if that makes basketball specific renovations more or less likely. I’d have to think that it would be (relatively) cheap to do a video board and upgrade the sideline seats to bring them closer to the court. And do something creative with the open end of the court.January 6, 2014 at 9:15 pm #12946
StablerBum, great summation. New video boards would be a good start & tremendous improvement over the historic scoreboards in place now. The building as we know however is cavernous. Anything under 2,000 attendees and it looks empty. I’m not sure what you do about that. Maybe there are architects out there with ideas to create a more intimate atmosphere without permanently losing a lot of capacity.
Keep winning, work with local media and local schools (promotional days), spruce the place up, and maybe you could get 2,000+ regularly on games other than Lafayette & Bucknell. Our son went to Northwestern (Chicago) and they have been fairly successful adopting a theme (Chicago’s Big Ten Team) and really pushing it locally. Different scale & budget of course, but “Lehigh, The Lehigh Valley’s Division One Basketball Team” has a nice ring to it……January 7, 2014 at 10:06 pm #12950
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.January 11, 2014 at 1:02 am #13004
QUOTE: At some places today — military academies, including VMI, students must attend.
At Army and Navy, I think the only event that all students must attend is the Army-Navy football game. No requirement for most students to attend any basketball game – even Army-Navy.January 11, 2014 at 2:24 am #13007
I hear that Bison – but at the same time “officially required” and company commander “suggestions” aren’t that different.
Full disclosure: my dad attended Annapolis.January 12, 2014 at 3:09 am #13028
Liberty Flame students are required to attend games. Remember that 19,000 at Williams Field 2 years ago during football……..After a few games you don’t have to require attendance, THEY learn to love it
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