Pat Forde brings IU’s attendance into perspective

  • 02/11/2009 12:09 pm in

I’ve already said my piece on attendance at Assembly Hall this year, but since then and the addition of the $5 tickets in the balcony, attendance hasn’t been too shabby. If you make it cheaper, they will come. Sunday against the Illini, IU is going for a stripe out, having certain sections wear red, and others wear white. This is an idea I’ve heard proposed among students for a while now; I’m glad someone in the athletic department decided to actually follow through on it. Should be cool to see in action. (Correction: IU did a stripe out last year for the Michigan State game. Thanks commenter BornRed.)

According to Pat Forde (a one-time interview subject here at ITH), Assembly Hall is near sold out for the stripe out and compared to at least one team that’s been successful this year, we’re outdrawing them.

The first was the sight of Indiana (2) players and coaches engaging in a virtual group hug with the crowd of 14,247 in Assembly Hall after (finally) winning a Big Ten game last week against Iowa. The second was the news that Arizona State (3) is hoping to draw more than 11,000 fans for the first time this season when UCLA comes to Tempe on Thursday.

You read that right. The Hoosiers are 6-16, enduring what might be the worst season in school history — and easily outdrawing the 18th-ranked, 18-5 Sun Devils.

This is what’s known as the difference between a basketball school and a non-basketball school.

At Indiana, the winning percentage is .273 this season, but the gym is full to 79.8 percent capacity (average attendance is 13,933). The fans are overachieving.

At Arizona State, the winning percentage is .783, but 14,198-seat Wells Fargo Arena has been only 58.2 percent full. The fans are missing out on a good show from coach Herb Sendek, James Harden & Co.

Well, that’s sure comforting. In a year where the product on the court has been pretty brutal, our fans are still showing up in bigger numbers than a ranked program at the moment.

Small victories. I’ll take it.

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