Fan Base

This topic contains 17 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  LU65 8 years, 11 months ago.

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  • #3976

    norcalfan
    Participant

    This is a topic that has been visited many times, but I will ask again. Why can’t LU get the kids out to the games? We have the best player in the league, but no one cares. The administration has not done anything that I am aware of since we acquired CJ. For those who have been with LU sports over the years, can you explain why there is no interest in basketball, girls or boys? This year and next are probably the strongest seasons for LU basketball. Looking at the numbers for the Liberty vs Eastern Kentucky brought back my frustrations. Even the blog only has LU65, StableBum?, LUHoops00 and of course the west coast pest, me, keeping the blogs alive. Students where are you? As much as I complain about Reed, he seems to be a nice guy, so why the silence on the blogs or low attendance at the games? So much for my rant.

    #4008

    lehigh90
    Participant

    This is one topic I just can’t understand. The students seem interested in football thanks to tailgating, and I think wrestling outdraws basketball, thanks to alumni and the obvious tradition. Lehigh has one of the best arenas for a school of their size, and I would say probably the best in the PL. The team doesn’t have much of a history, but has had some peaks here and there and a few NCAA bids. I think a lack of true tradition hurts them, and the alumni interest in wrestling hurts them. But, they should be drawing 3,000 every night. Scheduling doesn’t help draw crowds either when you look at the lack of big time opponents at Stabler. Any decent games are on the road or in tournaments. I know that bigger programs won’t play on the road early in the season, but it would be nice to see Penn State at Stabler, along with the lesser Big 5 schools (St. Joe’s, Lasalle, Penn, Drexel), and some other local rivalries (Princeton, etc). Couldn’t they do 2 for 1 or 3 for 1 arrangements to get those games?

    The deemphasis of the Greek system at the University hurts basketball attendence, as those are the most likely students to attend. When you had 50 guys in each house and 35 houses, you could get big chunks of students if a house decided to go. Now, with the Greek system at under 20 houses, and Greek population dropping rapidly, that is not as likely. But, obviously it is not the "cool" thing to do.

    It is pretty obvious that the Athletic Dept and the University could do a lot more to support hoops on the campus and in the community. Let’s face it, there is not a ton to do in the Lehigh Valley, and with no professional sports within 75 miles, you would think college athletics would be an attraction. I also think they are hurt by the fact that not a lot of alumni stay in the Lehigh Valley upon graduation. I could be wrong on that, don’t have any figures to back it up, but I know very few alums that settled there. NYC and Philly alums are just too far away to travel there midweek for basketball games. That all being said, other small schools that are Lehigh’s size have built big time basketball programs. Schools like St. Joe’s, Wake Forest, Gonzaga, etc, have done it, so it is possible.

    It has to be hard to recruit student athletes in basketball when potential recruits see 900 fans at a home game. If they come from big time high school programs, it is really a let down. I give Reed credit for getting the players he has gotten recently.

    #4022

    norcalfan
    Participant

    Lehigh90,

    I appreciate the comments. It does seem strange to me, even though I am a newcomer compared to some on this board, that football and wrestling get such a draw and basketball does not. As the economy gets tough, universities are looking for money makers or looking to cut programs that do not produce revenue. This may explain why LU basketball is on the road. LU is a great university academically, but the administration does not seem to care about basketball. I agree that many of the athletes LU has attracted came from sold out schools night in and night out. Adjusting to a college crowd that is not any larger than your high school must be disappointing. At the end of the day, they can all walk away with degree from a great university. Some may find if difficult to get motivated to play at their highest level in such an environment. I assume that the teammates are rather close and that keeps them sane. Lehigh recruits stay for the most part, so that must mean they are there for academics and not just sports, a good thing. After going to the NCAA, I thought the attendance would increase. Blame has been placed on the location, bus rules (no drinking) among many.

    "lehigh90" wrote: This is one topic I just can’t understand. The students seem interested in football thanks to tailgating, and I think wrestling outdraws basketball, thanks to alumni and the obvious tradition. Lehigh has one of the best arenas for a school of their size, and I would say probably the best in the PL. The team doesn’t have much of a history, but has had some peaks here and there and a few NCAA bids. I think a lack of true tradition hurts them, and the alumni interest in wrestling hurts them. But, they should be drawing 3,000 every night. Scheduling doesn’t help draw crowds either when you look at the lack of big time opponents at Stabler. Any decent games are on the road or in tournaments. I know that bigger programs won’t play on the road early in the season, but it would be nice to see Penn State at Stabler, along with the lesser Big 5 schools (St. Joe’s, Lasalle, Penn, Drexel), and some other local rivalries (Princeton, etc). Couldn’t they do 2 for 1 or 3 for 1 arrangements to get those games?

    The deemphasis of the Greek system at the University hurts basketball attendence, as those are the most likely students to attend. When you had 50 guys in each house and 35 houses, you could get big chunks of students if a house decided to go. Now, with the Greek system at under 20 houses, and Greek population dropping rapidly, that is not as likely. But, obviously it is not the "cool" thing to do.

    It is pretty obvious that the Athletic Dept and the University could do a lot more to support hoops on the campus and in the community. Let’s face it, there is not a ton to do in the Lehigh Valley, and with no professional sports within 75 miles, you would think college athletics would be an attraction. I also think they are hurt by the fact that not a lot of alumni stay in the Lehigh Valley upon graduation. I could be wrong on that, don’t have any figures to back it up, but I know very few alums that settled there. NYC and Philly alums are just too far away to travel there midweek for basketball games. That all being said, other small schools that are Lehigh’s size have built big time basketball programs. Schools like St. Joe’s, Wake Forest, Gonzaga, etc, have done it, so it is possible.

    It has to be hard to recruit student athletes in basketball when potential recruits see 900 fans at a home game. If they come from big time high school programs, it is really a let down. I give Reed credit for getting the players he has gotten recently.

    #4026
    van
    van
    Participant

    If you think football and wrestling get a lot of students to attend, better check again. Student apathy seems to be broad based.

    #4027

    LU65
    Participant

    Some may recall that on Dec. 9th of 2010 I posted a topic entitled, "Fan Support." It can still be viewed on the Board history. It got a lot of attention (819 views) at the time and I thanked all who contributed. As promised, I packaged-up the ideas generated by your comments and forwarded them on to Athletic Department officials. Sadly, not much has changed. One year later we’re back at "square one" again. With our home-opener just days away (Monday, Nov. 28th), I fear more of the same in 2011-12 when we averaged 931 fannies in the seats. And, that’s an inflated number as many with season tickets occasionally failed to show. Take away the 2,323 who witnessed the 2/20/11 Lafayette game, the season average fell to 839 last year.

    No promises, but I will again position the topic and your ideas to the Administration.

    #4028

    norcalfan
    Participant

    "LU65" wrote: Some may recall that on Dec. 9th of 2010 I posted a topic entitled, "Fan Support." It can still be viewed on the Board history. It got a lot of attention (819 views) at the time and I thanked all who contributed. As promised, I packaged-up the ideas generated by your comments and forwarded them on to Athletic Department officials. Sadly, not much has changed. One year later we’re back at "square one" again. With our home-opener just days away (Monday, Nov. 28th), I fear more of the same in 2011-12 when we averaged 931 fannies in the seats. And, that’s an inflated number as many with season tickets occasionally failed to show. Take away the 2,323 who witnessed the 2/20/11 Lafayette game, the season average fell to 839 last year.

    No promises, but I will again position the topic and your ideas to the Administration.

    LU65,

    I do indeed remember the post and that’s what got me thinking about it again. LU needs to build tradition to get quality and motivated athletes. CJ is the star now. What happens when he leaves? I really want the athletes to enjoy the fruits of their labor. After all, they put in 25 plus hours per week in their respective sports. Happy Thanksgiving!

    #4030
    Bison137
    Bison137
    Participant

    "lehigh90" wrote: Lehigh has one of the best arenas for a school of their size, and I would say probably the best in the PL.

    If you think Stabler is better than Bucknell’s Sojka, then you clearly have not been to Sojka. Any neutral observer would tell you there is no comparison.

    Army’s arena is also clearly much better, although they draw no fans, as is that of Navy.

    Although their arenas don’t compare to Stabler in some ways, I definitely prefer the Hart at Holy Cross and even Kirby at Lafayette when it comes to watching a game.

    #4031
    Bison137
    Bison137
    Participant

    "lehigh90" wrote: but it would be nice to see Penn State at Stabler, along with the lesser Big 5 schools (St. Joe’s, Lasalle, Penn, Drexel), and some other local rivalries (Princeton, etc). Couldn’t they do 2 for 1 or 3 for 1 arrangements to get those games?

    As Bucknell has discovered, you can’t get Penn State even with a 5 for 1. A 3 for 1 might land St. Joes and a 2 for 1 some of the others. Other than the big guarantee games, LU has traditionally shied away from playing challenging opponents for some reason. Or in a few of the older years, there were some good second-tier games but no games with Big 6 conferences. In addition to the three guarantee games on this year’s schedule, it would be nice to see some of the better teams from the CAA, A-10, or even the MAAC on the schedule. At least Wagner has improved enough this year, that that game might be an interesting one.

    #4214

    LUHoops00
    Participant

    Bit late to fan base conversation, but had an idea after seeing 5k show up at. Lu vs psu wrestling, does anyone recall ever seeing a single gate lu wrestling and hoops game. If we get 5k for wrestling, start that up at 5 and do lu hoops directly after. Not sure how long it would take to tear down wrestling mats but I can’t imagine it taking more then a half an hour. Have the band play in between, cheerleaders cheer, and throw shirts into the stands. Do discount beverages and food in between games and try to show the locals what a good time lu hoops is. Economy is tough, so a free hoops game, lu band and cheerleader performance, and discount food and bevs would go a long way.

    If you have em there, might as well entertain them.

    65 – make this happen? Perhaps its lu vs psu on the mat and the hardwood, true doubleheadr.

    #4216

    lehigh90
    Participant

    After an announced crowd of 425 last night (yes 425!), I would be willing to try anything. So, in 3 home games, we have drawn 853, 908 and 425 for an average of 729 fans per game. With Maryland-Eastern Shore on the horizon, on a Tuesday night, when Lehigh is on break (I am guessing), that game may draw even less than Arcadia. Best case scenario is that we probably average 1,000 in the PL home games, and that is very optimistic.

    There is some issue with basketball that I don’t understand. I thought Lehigh football and wrestling drew decently, although someone said they did not. But, I looked at football this season, and in the 6 home games they averaged 8,508. Even if you throw out Lafayette where they did 16,013, the average in the 5 other games was 7,007. That is not tremendous by any means, but it is 10x higher than basketball. Wrestling, apparently, did 5,000 vs. PSU, and I would bet Lehigh basketball hasn’t done 5,000 at Stabler in their history. I would be curious to see the wrestling attendance at the other home matches. So, there is something with basketball that has virtually no attraction, other than for people on this blog. Maybe Lehigh should take their lead from other schools like Villanova and play their "big" games at Stabler and their lesser games at a local middle school gym. It is that sad.

    Rough numbers last night, 425 in the arena, if those are truly "paid" attendance at $8 per, you are at a gross of $3,400, think about that loss for the school. The fixed costs alone have to be over that, hell, the utilities are probably more than that. And, in reality, that number probably includes students who get in free, and season ticket holders who paid less than $8 a game, and giveaways.

    #4221

    norcalfan
    Participant

    I agree anything is worth a try. I could not believe my eyes last night. The bench players got more time than they will probably get all season and no crowd. It’s like beating a dead horse, but many reasons have been given for the lack of a crowd. Well, I guess the young men and women attend for the education. That is the most important thing. They put in a numerous hours of practice, get injured, only to come out to a crowd like that. As I have said, high school had a larger crowd. This is frustrating!!!

    #4222

    norcalfan
    Participant

    "LUHoops00" wrote: Bit late to fan base conversation, but had an idea after seeing 5k show up at. Lu vs psu wrestling, does anyone recall ever seeing a single gate lu wrestling and hoops game. If we get 5k for wrestling, start that up at 5 and do lu hoops directly after. Not sure how long it would take to tear down wrestling mats but I can’t imagine it taking more then a half an hour. Have the band play in between, cheerleaders cheer, and throw shirts into the stands. Do discount beverages and food in between games and try to show the locals what a good time lu hoops is. Economy is tough, so a free hoops game, lu band and cheerleader performance, and discount food and bevs would go a long way.

    If you have em there, might as well entertain them.

    65 – make this happen? Perhaps its lu vs psu on the mat and the hardwood, true doubleheadr.

    Yeah 65, let’s make it happen. The young men and women deserve better.

    #4243

    Mtnhwkfan
    Participant

    Grace Hall is listed as having a seating capacity of 2,200, but I expect that is for wrestling. Does anyone know the capacity for basketball? I believe that playing some games at Grace would capture the attention of students and could be the beginning of a growing fan base. There would be some hardship on non-students in regards to parking and accessability, but at this point we don’t have a lot to lose.

    #4252
    RichH
    RichH
    Participant

    Didn’t Bball use to schedule a couple of games a year at Grace Hall? Would indeed be a good way toget more kids in stands. Would ratherhave 1000 to 1500 there then 500 at stabler

    #4253

    lehigh90
    Participant

    I think playing some games at Grace would be a great idea. Walking distance for all of the campus, rather than driving over the mountain to Stabler. I don’t know about seating capacity or configuration, but I know they have done Midnight Madness events there in the past, and I think the team used to practice there. Maybe they still do, I don’t know.

    Was that Lehigh’s home court, before Stabler was built?

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