Our game day atmosphere doesn’t come close to what I’ve seen on tv today. Starting w the ole miss crowd. The auburn crowd awesome. Duke is duke. I see students in prime seats making noise. We have a bunch of sit on your hands I’ll cheer when something good happens crowd. Our students get a sliver of decent seats. Talked to a relative who is a student up there and she goes to a few games but says it’s not that much fun, whatever that means. I think there is student apathy that was created by the Jeff long I want money philosophy and lack of having a good team. I hear of coaches going on campus to generate interest. Does Anderson do any of that I wonder.
My son usually drives up two or three times a year, and he just tells me not to see that crap. A crying shame the state of the program.
For what it’s worth, Long and his administration expanded student seating behind the east-side basket - better seats than they had before. Before that all of the student seats were down the sidelines or in the upper deck.
I’m putting at least part of the blame on BWA itself. When they build BWA they said they just wanted “a bigger Barn”, which seemed exactly right at the time. However, the thing that made Barnhill awesome, IMO, was how the seating made it feel like, as a fan, you were right on top of the court. The reason for this was the steepness of the seating - walking down those isles was 1/2 treacherous because they were at such a steep angle. The bottom row of seats also went closer to floor, isles were narrower, etc. (I know they say the furthest seat at BWA is closer than the furthest at Barnhill - some of those Barnhill seats were WAY up - but that was always misleading. Like saying the weakest player on Hog football team is stronger than the weakest Bama player, therefore Hogs must be better.)
The first time I walked into BWA I was a little shocked… after all the “bigger Barn” talk. BWA was just the opposite of “a bigger Barn”. The isles where wide, there were a bunch of them, and for some reason they brought the corners all the way to the court so there was a huge isle in either side of just a few seats, creating gaps right by the floor. Plus, the bottom row seats seemed pushed back from the court - including the ridiculous spread out double rows of press tables along one side. BUT, the biggest screw-up in my opinion was the lack of steepness - felt much more like watching in an auditorium than being “on top of the action” like Barnhill. (At the time it reminded me of Tennessee’s Thompson-Boling arena which stood out as an example to me of what we didn’t want.). Also, 20,000 seats was just too much, for when the inevitable “best of times” passed.
An awesome team more than masked these issues and momentum after those awesome teams helped too. Bud Barnhill was special for a reason (or reasons) and when the team became not so great and the momentum of the exiting “new arena” faded, so did that awesome atmosphere. Empty seats, auditorium seating, etc… we got what we bargained for.
Really? Of course that wasn’t at all the point of the post… and it’s just wrong??? But whatever… Thompson-Boling seated 24,535 during the period I was referring to (and now seats 21,678 - because they realized they also over built). Here’s where their attendance has been the last few years.
2011-2014 - 16,218
2005-2011 - 19,414 Bruce Pearl
2001-2005. - 13,403
So even though TN has higher capacity than BWA their attendance is almost always behind ours. Is that what you consider “packing the place”? Facts can be stubborn things. (But I’m sure you’ll resort to the ole “I never said they were the highest attendance is all time” stuff…)
In 1994, the year I was talking about, they averaged 13k in a 24,500 seat “auditorium”.
There were a number of teams that overbuilt in the '80s and '90s and either have or will correct that in future renovations. As you pointed out, Tennessee already has. Kentucky is about to do it at Rupp Arena. I think Arkansas will at least start the process within five years.
Matt I respectfully disagree. I watch our games and I see the privileged few sitting in primo seats, mostly sitting on their hands. Our atmosphere is nowhere near as raucous as other places. Maybe it’s because there’s not a lot to cheer about. What 4 loses at home.
I’d like to see students on one side have the entire court end to end. But money talks and really vocal fans walk I guess.
The Arkansas fan base has given more and gotten less in return than any hoops program in the country the last 20 years. They are consistently in the top 10-15 in attendance.
As a season ticket holder, I’m likely not going to stand up and act like a super fan for a game that starts at 8 pm on a Wednesday for a team that’s just barely fighting for a tourney bid against another underwhelming SEC team (which has usually been the case during SEC play at this point in the year).
Yeah, but when Nolan was Rollin, the players fed off the crowd and band and vice versa. Now, it seems everyone wants the team to do something exciting to get them into it. If the crowd was hyped from the tip, I bet the guys would come out enthusiastic and motivated.