By Anja Rosales
March Madness is about to be in full swing. With the performance the men’s team displayed throughout the final stretch of regular season play and the conference tournament, the No. 6 seed has Baylor Nation hyped up for the big dance.
The beginning of conference play was quite the struggle for the Bears. They had faced a lull of some unfortunate losses.
However, once the Bears started turning their season around, the attendance at games didn’t follow the same trend.
It’s no secret that a winning season brings sellout crowds and high attendance. It’s just the way the cycle works in the sports world.
As much as it breaks my heart as a sports fan and as an athlete, it’s the ugly truth.
It was sad to see the lack of effort put in by fans when the Bears were putting in immeasurable effort on the court. I began to notice the problem with our dull atmosphere wasn’t solely from lack of attendance, but the placement of certain fans in certain places in the arena.
This is why the placement of student seats in the Ferrell Center should be moved closer to the court where students can do a better job of bringing energy to the team and the game.
In the Ferrell Center, student seating is in sections 114-119. These sections are located in the corner of the court and high up in the arena where the seats barely receive any lighting.
There are two small sections behind each basket, but with the band taking up one-half of these sections, it is not enough space to seat the number of students who wish to be wild courtside.
It wasn’t until ESPN came to Waco for the Big Monday matchup against Oklahoma State back in February that I noticed how much of a difference students made when they sat courtside.
The reason this was brought to my attention was because an announcement was made in the arena. Ferrell Center officials permitted students to sit in the empty courtside seats, but if the rightful ticket owner showed up to the game then the student must give them their seat.
Why were these courtside seats so empty during such a big game?
It is a widely known fact that these courtside seats are owned by a demographic much older than that of a college student.
Most of these courtside season ticket holders are Baylor alumni and donors, who aren’t known to be the most energetic and passionate bunch.
This game against Oklahoma State was scheduled for 8 p.m., which was a little too late to start a basketball game for some of these ticketholders.
Since these seats are close by the court, they are shown on television during the game. With these courtside seats empty during such a huge game on national television, I’m sure it looked bad.
I realize Baylor students do not have to buy tickets for sporting events since they are “free” as it is covered in our tuition, so the placement of these seats don’t have to be the best since they are pretty much given to students.
I also realize that fans and donors pay for these courtside seats, but the placement of their seats is not the best choice.
The rowdy atmosphere that the students brought to the Big Monday matchup against Oklahoma State is common at schools such as Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and other “basketball schools.”
It wouldn’t take long to notice the atmosphere at one of these school’s home games. The students surround the court and cheer with energy and passion, affecting the visiting team by heckling them because they are close enough to do so.
There needs to be a change at Baylor in the placement for the student section at basketball games.
I know it’s hard to be rowdy high up in the nosebleeds because I feel so far away and left out of the excitement.
Placing the student section closer to the court will enable students to be rowdy and energetic since they feel will apart of the game and all of its action.
Anja Rosales is a junior journalism major from San Antonio. She is a reporter for The Lariat.