Issue: Attendance is lacking at each sporting event across the board.
Our take: Students and other people in Abilene owe it to our athletes to be at games and push them to be tough Div. I competitors.
ACU athletics has completely transitioned to Div. I and each team is eligible to participate in postseason play each year, however, it doesn’t seem game attendance numbers have transitioned at all.
The attendance at Wildcat Stadium in 2017 cracked the top 25 in all of FCS, but this was only because the stadium had opened for its first year and drew a sell out crowd in the first game.
Official attendance numbers steadily declined, with the exception of homecoming, and at the last game against Sam Houston only 5,995 people attended.
In the 2018 football season, attendance was much worse as attendance numbers reached 10,000 just once, which was for the homecoming game against Nicholls.
As basketball season comes to a close, the ACU women and men will be playing in Moody Coliseum for the last time for the 2018-19 season, and attendance was also lacking during the year.
With how well both teams have been playing this season, it’s vital attendance starts to resemble Div. I athletics.
The men currently sit at 24-6 overall and are looking to win their first ever Southland Conference Championship. Meanwhile, the women’s team is still battling for a bye in the tournament this Saturday.
While the men’s team has many seniors this year, there will be much to look forward to next season. Freshman Damien Daniels has been a massive contributor to the Wildcats this season setting them up for success for the future.
Meanwhile, ACU women’s basketball has had one of its best seasons in recent memory. Senior guard Sara Williamson has been a great producer for the Wildcats this year, but this roster is very young. Not only will the girls be battling for the conference championship, but they’ll likely be favorites to win the conference next season.
With all this being said, ACU athletics has come a long ways in previous years. We’ve seen drastic improvements in both our football and basketball programs that often are nationally televised.
With so many people watching, it should encourage fans and students to attend these games not only to show school spirit, but also to emphasize how much we’ve improved.
Athletics is constantly making innovations and creating ways for our players to settle into the Abilene environment in order to make them feel motivated to perform. The accolades and winning season our teams have put together across the board in such a short period of time as a Div. I school is simply greatness that we don’t witness when missing games.
Students, as well as other members of the Abilene community, owe it to our athletes to give them a crowd atmosphere they can get behind each game.
Nearly 2,500 people showed up to support the men’s basketball team when they hosted Sam Houston in Moody a month ago. The noise this amount people gave out when celebrating was deafening, but amazing in supporting the team. If each team on campus was given that kind of support from now on, our athletics program could move toward being one of the tougher Div. I programs in the nation.
Senior night is a great place to start. This Saturday, both the men and women’s basketball teams will play in Moody for the last time this season. A strong attendance number can spur each team to a win and send them out of the regular season with momentum.
Even if people can’t show up for Saturday’s games, there are still other teams on campus that need our support including baseball and softball which play through the end of the year.