Wolf Pack Mens Basketball Seeing Lower Fan Attendance This Season
"As seasons go, you're going to see fluctuations in attendance based on a variety of factors -- your performance on the court, other events going on in town, economy, whatever it may be," said Chad Hartley, Nevada Associate Athletics Director. "Obviously, we've had a few struggles with our basketball team this year, but there's been some good signs. There's been some positive play. We've been in a lot of ball games. We've seen our fans come out for big games. UNLV, recently over 7,000 people in the house."
The Wolf Pack faithful come out continuously for the whole game day experience with things like the cheerleaders, the band, and the halftime entertainment.
"All the different things we do inside, just to provide a good family-friendly environment," Hartley said.
Students told Channel 2 News it is also a way to escape for the night.
"The stressful amount of work you're doing in school, or you're having social issues, and like, it's just easy to just fall in love with the game and just do something else for once," said John King, a University of Nevada Junior.
Many Wolf Pack fans told us they are disappointed with the fan attendance recently.
"It's sad to see that the community doesn't come out and support the team anyway," said Kim DuBois of Sun Valley. "But, I understand why because they're not winning and people come out to see their team win."
"As students, we'll try," King said. "But, at the same time, for how long? Wins are necessary."
The Nevada Athletics Marketing Department has worked tirelessly on game day promotions to bring fans to Lawlor Events Center. On Wednesday, the first 5,000 Wolf Pack fans got T-shirts to fill the arena with white for the home team. However, it does not end there.
"Our Valentine's Day game is a night game," Hartley said. "We're going to give away a ring, which will be a neat promotion, and hopefully, we'll get some folks out for that."
Lawlor Events Center's capacity is at 11,536. However, Hartley says the attendance numbers are sometimes not necessarily a factor. It is more about the environment.
"You might only have a few thousand people in there, but if the students are in there packed, if it's loud, if it's rowdy, sometimes that environment is as good as having a full house."