On page four in the “Sports” section of the Daily Evergreen, there is an article that was written in regards to the Washington State University men’s basketball team. This article discusses the tough loss that the Cougars faced against the PAC-12 powerhouse UCLA Bruins (#11). With a record of 4-6 in PAC-12 play thus far, the Cougs are striving to finish out the rest of their season strong and keep themselves and their fans satisfied.
Growing up just 15 miles north of Pullman my whole entire life, I grew up attending many Cougar athletic events. I remember when I was young during the era of the dream team which consisted of a roster with players such as Kyle Weaver, Derrick Low and Aron Baynes to name a few. During these few years, the Cougs had many successful seasons. In fact, during their 2007-2008 season lead by head coach Tony Bennett, they made it to the sweet-sixteen in the NCAA tournament.
Even though I was only about 11 years old at the time, I remember how hard it was to get hands on good seats in Beasley Coliseum to watch this team. There weren’t many games that dipped under an attendance of 10,000 in the 2007-2008 season. The atmosphere was unlike anything Beasley had ever seen and I felt as though being able to travel 15 minutes to watch a team that the whole nation was going crazy over was truly amazing. Today, it is very rare when the attendance tips over 3,000, a number in which I have obtained from the 2015-2016 season. This, however can be brought up even though many “Coug Fans” have not been as interested in attending men’s or women’s basketball games.
When I go to both men’s and women’s games in Beasley now, I look around and notice how different the atmosphere was when it came to the attendance and the overall crowd involvement during those couple of golden years for the Cougs. Being a Sport Management major, I feel as though there are more ways that the we as a program can get the community as well as the students involved in increasing attendance. Even though the teams are not of the hype they were in the years past, if being a Coug really means something, a win/loss record should not determine whether the community attends a game or not.
Ideas such as having more giveaways, celebrity features as well as more social media and word-of-mouth influence will greatly increase attendance. I feel as though this is a great department for the Sport Management program to get a hold of and try to conquer this long feat so that we can continue to support all of Cougar Athletics. I have no doubt that this has already been in the works for years and I truly hope that this will be taken on whole-hardheartedly.