Oklahoma's Basketball Attendance Woes Part Of Larger Trend
Seats behind the baskets at the Univ. of Oklahoma's Lloyd Noble Center were "virtually all empty" for Wednesday's men's basketball game against Iowa State, as the school estimated an attendance of 4,240 with 8,235 tickets sold, according to Berry Tramel of the OKLAHOMAN. It might have been OU's "smallest crowd for a conference game in 40 years." Only the seats "between the baselines were reasonably populated, and then only in the lower bowl." This "isn't just an OU problem," as the "same fan apathy exists" at Oklahoma State and the Univ. of Texas and much of the Big 12. Tramel: "I watched the Texas Tech-Texas game in Austin, and from the crowd reaction on a made shot you couldn't tell which was the home team." The same attendance concerns impacting the Big 12 "exist on most college campuses." OU still sells an "impressive number of tickets to basketball," but many of those buyers are "benefactors who seem to want to support the program so long as it means not having to show up for games." Both OU and Oklahoma State have "gone to great lengths to enhance the fan experience." OU often has "NBA-level halftime entertainment, students who purchased a season football ticket get in free to basketball and the marketing never ceases." Some fan complaints are valid, like the 8:00pm CT mid-week tipoffs which are "rough for anyone living outside of Norman/south Oklahoma City" (OKLAHOMAN, 2/14).