The issue: WKU’s football team has had a fantastic season, but game attendance has been low.
Our stance: With the Hilltoppers facing Southern Mississippi for the Conference USA championship on Saturday, fans should pack Smith Stadium.
The attendance at WKU’s home football games during the 2015 season hasn’t been the best. This year we’ve had an average of 18,187 people attend each game, ranking WKU eighth in Conference USA attendance out of 13 teams. Considering the fact that students can go to the games for free, we should have much higher attendance rates.
This season the Hilltoppers were undefeated in conference play, and with a 49-28 win over Marshall on Friday, became the East Division champs. The 2015 squad has been one of the best WKU teams of the past few decades, so why is attendance low?
WKU is hosting the championship game this Saturday at 11 a.m., and as many students and fans should be there as possible. Smith Stadium’s capacity is 22,000 fans, and we should pack it full.
It’s understandable that attending sporting events isn’t a fun way to pass the time for a lot of people, but university athletics are actually important. They shouldn’t be ignored.
Doug J. Chung, assistant professor of marketing at Harvard Business School, did a study in 2013 on the correlation between the success of a university’s athletics programs and the quality of applicants to that university.
Chung found that they are positively correlated, meaning that better-performing sports teams belong to universities whose applicants have higher SAT scores. Having a good athletics program also increases students’ morale.
Football games are fun. You get to eat nachos and hot dogs and drink beers with your friends. You are allowed to be rowdy and scream “Swag Brandon Doughty,” as loud as you like — even if you didn’t realize that was something you would ever want to do.
As students, we need to take the initiative and support our Hilltoppers. Make sure Smith Stadium is packed on Satuday for the championship game. Go Tops!