Univ. Of Memphis Men's Basketball Attendance Struggling Over Last Few Seasons
Univ. of Memphis men's basketball is averaging 5,648 fans per game at FedExForum, "down from 9,622 last season," and in the last four years, attendance has "been cut by nearly two thirds," according to Geoff Calkins of the Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL. Last year's number was already a 40% drop from the 16,121 fans Memphis averaged in '13-14. The team on Saturday drew an official attendance of 4,373 for a game against Bryant Univ., but there were "maybe 2,000 people in attendance ... continuing a dismal season-long theme." Memphis AD Tom Bowen said, "We’re doing everything we can, we’re being very aggressive." He added, "We see the response. (We’re) very aware. What bothers me is that if you look at these seats around me (here Bowen waves his arm toward rows of empty lower bowl seats), these seats are all sold. People have bought them, they’re paid for." Calkins noted the school "can’t get people to use basketball tickets they’ve already purchased because (coach) Tubby Smith has put together a team that is expected to finish in the bottom half" of the AAC. But if Memphis "keeps winning games like Saturday, fans might eventually come around." Attendance also is "expected to pick up for conference games, at least, if those conference games go well" (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 12/10).