What Happened to the Fans?

On Saturday afternoon at 4p the Maryland men’s basketball team played the Charlotte 49’ers. The announced attendance was 16,500. Gary Williams thanked the fans for their support.

One little issue, there were by my estimate 6,000+ empty seats. Out of 17,500 total.

Over the past two months the Terrapin fans have disappeared. Are all the turtles hibernating? Where are what was once referred to as ‘the best student fans in America’ ?

Starting with the Michigan basketball game, through the Florida State football game, the Humanitarian Bowl and the recent Charlotte basketball game the fans (both student and alumni) have not shown up.

I see this situation as troubling. This is first season in memory that one could purchase a season basketball ticket off the street. We are still not sold out.

Florida State came to Maryland in a first place battle in November. What an exciting situation. To bad there were thousands of empty seats.

Is it the economy? Is it the overload of the holiday season? Is the faith in our teams on the way down?

Could be a lot of reasons. I will leave that to the business pages. I am worried that the population does not care about Terps sports like they used to.

This is a bad time to stop caring and showing up. The Debbie Yow administration is close to finishing a luxury box expansion of Byrd Stadium. All the seats that are to be added are premium seats. High $ matched with low demand is not a good mix.

The basketball team plays in a palace. In one of the hottest basketball markets around. Yet on Saturday afternoon, there were thousands of empty seats.

I think that the high price of Terrapin Club membership has driven out a large portion of the real fans. When the going gets tough, who are we to turn to for fan support?

I know that sports programs need money. When the fans stop showing up, or we have driven them off can money trouble be far behind?

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