The Spectrum (N.D.) — If you have attended a Bison men’s basketball game this year and last year, you have probably noticed considerably more green around, and it is not because NDSU fans are favoring the color over yellow. It’s the result of a palpable drop in attendance and a greater number of unoccupied seats.
Yes, the padded green seats brandishing embroidered Bison logos inside the Scheels Center at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex (SHAC) have been noticeably emptier in the 2017-18 campaign.
Quantifiably so, as a matter of fact.
Last season, the inaugural season for the glistening SHAC, the Bison recorded the 11th greatest increase in average attendance in the nation, adding 1,054 more fans per game than they did a season prior.
The Bison Sports Arena had a sparkling new replacement, and the future looked bright for NDSU. Students could once again walk to basketball games on campus, having previously needed to schlep over seven miles south to the Scheels Arena. Locals in the largely residential area surrounding campus had the same luxury. Boom times appeared to be on the horizon.
Except, it hasn’t quite played out that way. The average attendance for the Bison’s 10 Division I home games this season has been 2,983. That figure represents a greater drop in average attendance than was gained in 2016-17. To make matters worse, the previous season drew five crowds over 4,000 and three over 5,000. By comparison, this year has only seen one audience eclipse 4,000, on Tuesday, Jan. 16 against North Dakota.
There’s not a lot that the North Dakota State student newspaper has done well lately. They’ve turned a award winning bi-weekly newspaper into a Buzzfeed publication. Very sad. The sports section has been weak for a few years but I think once the writer of this article (above) takes over as the sports editor next year it’ll be on the up and up.
Yesterday, Thomas Evanella, wrote a good piece about poor attendance at NDSU basketball games. Sidenote: Evanella turned down a position at Bottled Sports. The numbers that he found were interesting and makes the case that Bison basketball is dead. The men are 4-6 in Summit League play and have lost three straight.
People are calling for Dave Richman’s head and I don’t blame them. His poor ass three man weave offense is trash with the players he has. The women aren’t much better. They are 1-9 in the Summit League and have lost five straight. Rough winter on campus.
Last season the men had eight crowds of 4,000 or more. This season? One audience that drew more than 4,000 fans. Richman looked good early in his coaching career with NDSU because he was winning with Saul Phillips’ players. Now the nuts and bolts are off the wagon. While, South Dakota State and South Dakota are blowing up the league the Bison men and women are trailing far far far behind and that’s odd to NDSU fans are they are so used to winning. FIRE RICHMAN FIRE RICHMAN FIRE RICHMAN
Also, what if NDSU got Mike Big Dong Daum next season? WIIIIIIIIILLLLLLDDDD