In the March 20th column “Let the students move down,” Anja Rosales argues that Baylor Athletics should allow students to sit courtside rather than the alumni and donors who pay to sit there. She says that the atmosphere would be better and more students would come to the games.
There are several reasons why the atmosphere at Baylor Basketball games is not the same at schools such as Kansas and Kentucky.
Baylor basketball simply doesn’t have the tradition that those schools have. Sure, some season ticket holders don’t show up, and the “older crowd” might not be as rowdy as it could be, but the main reason that the atmosphere is lacking is because students don’t show up to the games, and the reason for poor student attendance in not because of the seating assignments.
So why don’t the students attend? Baylor Athletic Marketing and the BaylorVision video crew provide one of the best fan experiences in all of college basketball, and students don’t show up.
The Bear Pit along with Baylor Athletic Marketing put on tons of promotions and giveaways, and students still don’t show up. I began thinking that maybe we just had fair weather fans, but then we started winning again, the students still didn’t show up.
Students don’t take any ownership in Baylor basketball. At other schools, students have to pay for tickets to games. The fact that they had to pay for the tickets gives them a vested interest in the team, and in going to the game.
Now I’m not suggesting that Baylor starts making students pay for tickets to athletic events, but they need to give the students some way to have a vested interest in the team.
In previous seasons, the way they did that was through the Bear Pit. Students could pay a small fee to become a member; they would then get a matching shirt, learn all the cheers and traditions, and in return get the best courtside seats. Now that the Student Senate had to go and ruin that, the Bear Pit struggles to gain membership and struggles to get students to the games.
The Bear Pit was the only good thing about the student section at Baylor basketball games in previous years, and now after one year with the changes, it seems obvious to me that the Bear Pit needs to be restored to what it used to be.