WKU’s McDonald pitches Greek attendance incentives

Brad Stephens

The WKU men’s basketball program is reaching out to the school’s Greek system in a push for increased men’s basketball attendance.

Head Coach Ken McDonald addressed the Interfraternity Council delegates’ meeting Monday in Downing University Center, encouraging Greeks to watch the Toppers in Diddle Arena this fall.

McDonald, who was accompanied by Basketball Director of Operations Andrew Theokas, pitched possible partnerships between the program’s corporate sponsors and the philanthropic organizations of the Greek organization with the highest percentage of its members in attendance.

“We know college life is pretty hectic with school and obviously your activities,” he said. “But we would love to try to get you guys at games as much as possible.”

There have been promotional efforts from the athletic department to boost men’s basketball ticket sales after an average of 3,281 fans went to Topper home games last year — less than half of Diddle Arena’s 7,326 seat capacity.

Blacking out home games locally to boost attendance was ruled out as an option in August when it was announced that more than 90 percent of participants in an athletic department survey said they wanted men’s basketball games to continue being broadcast live on television.

The athletic department instead announced less expensive season tickets for men’s basketball, with individual season tickets starting at $99 and a $340 season ticket package for families.

McDonald said Monday there will be a variety of possible attendance incentives for Greeks in addition to philanthropic donations.

“We’re interested in giveaways, putting together cookouts or tailgates for you guys, and who knows, Coach Theo may throw in a keg here or there,” McDonald quipped. “We’d like to have some fun with it, and we’re completely open to your ideas.”