UCLA's Fan Base, or Lack Thereof
Can someone explain this one to me?
UCLA has had a very nice season and is the most storied program in the history of college basketball.
Here they are in the entertainment capital of the world (a mere 4 hour drive from LA), playing in the Pac-12 Championship against, in my opinion, the best team in the country, Arizona.
Of the 13,000 fans in attendance, MAYBE 1,000 were supporting UCLA. Maybe. There was one section in the entire joint filled with UCLA fans. I'd say it was a 95/5 split in support of Arizona.
I know the team isn't as good as they once were. But they're pretty solid. And it's Year 1 of a new era.
Someone needs to explain this one to me.
The articles below attempt to explain the declining attendance. The justifications include the decision to divide student sections, padded seats (rowdy students prefer bleachers), and the preference to stay home and watch a superior tv product. Others blame the rising apathy on the implementation of the one-and-done rule . Whatever the cause, UCLA attendance is down 17% from last year alone.
Dick Vitale is pretty concerned himself. These are his thoughts on the matter:
"I see 5,000 fans at Pauley. 5,000 fans at a school and team of that caliber in Southern California, that's just humiliation. I know you've got to win and produce or people aren't coming out in Hollywood, baby, with all there is to do. But are you serious? UCLA is winning, winning big and there should be excitement, enthusiasm. With a school with that much visibility and history and now the Bruins are winning, they should be selling out."
I don't know what's causing it all, but the sunshine and the beautiful women probably aren't helping.
Supposedly they never even drew well when Bill Walton and those guys were there.
There is a lot to do in LA especially now that the Clippers are good.
LA might not be a college sports town.
UCLA is not as important as their fans would leave you to believe.
It's almost finals week and every UC student is furiously studying for their respective exams. UCLA is a prestigious university known for their rigorous academics so everybody is pretty much living in the library right now.
I don't buy that.
Duke and Stanford are even more academically prestigious (and rigorous) than UCLA, yet don't have an issue at all drawing students to games around midterms/finals time.
Vanderbilt is, more or less, on par with UCLA academically and doesn't seem to have this issue either.
Heck, Northwestern is bad in basketball every year, yet still draws plenty of students to its games before midterms and finals (my son graduated from NU).
I don't even see why the "students are busy studying" argument is even relevant, to be honest.
After all, current students make up a tiny portion of a college program's fan base. The vast majority of fans are past graduates or just people who live in the surrounding area.
With 400,000 living UCLA alumni and hundreds of thousands of more fans (possibly millions) from the LA area, you'd think that you'd be able to draw more than 1,000 fans to a conference championship just a few hours away from home.
I don't know you tell me what's more important. Studying for an exam that may determine your future or going to Las Vegas and sacrificing valuable studying time plus other distractions that may present itself? Your probably not even a college student(or never were one) so you can't possibly speak on behalf of all students with your ignorant remarks. Students have other priorities get that through your head.
You clearly didn't read my post.
If students at Duke and UVa are able to attend the ACC Championship then why can't students from UCLA?
Furthermore, as I said before, the vast majority of a college basketball program's fans are NOT students, they're alumni and people living in the area.
A program as strong as UCLA should be able to draw 6,000+ fans EASILY at the Pac-12 Title, even if NOT 1 student showed up to the arena.
I actually graduated from Northwestern University, as did my son.
So much for me not knowing about basketball at an elite academic institution...
i went to a ucla game last season and with the newly renovated pauley pavillion i expected big things. But it was straight up crickets. Probably the loudest the crowd got was when they showed mel gibson on the big screen and all the fans booed. The fans that do show up sit down and stay quiet and dont get cuaght up in the emotion lke we see at damn near every other top college sporting event. Its just no atmosphere at all. I really think there is just this los angeles attitude of being cool and having better things to do comes into play so you dont see passion from the fans.
Here are the true reasons why we didn't show at the game tonight, and the reasons why we lack in attendance in general:
- This is finals week, 90% of the students are in the library
- Other than UNC, Duke, UVA, UCLA is one of very few 'prestigious' universities that have stellar basketball programs
- UCLA has a student culture more focused on achieving academic success than arguably any other school in the top 50 for basketball this year (well, Harvard)
- I am a HUGE UCLA basketball fan, but I prefer to watch on the 120" screen at my fraternity than go to the game.
- Pauley Pavillion: it's huge, which makes the population of students at the games seem miniscule
I was super high on Kyle Anderson coming out of high school. His freshman year was slightly disappointing, but he is BALLING this year. His percentages are up. He is so versatile. He is savvy, smooth, unselfish, fluid. Watching him in college is a little bit like watching Mike Miller when he was at Florida. He's really good.
If the Cavs fail to resign Deng this offseason, I will highly recommend drafting Kyle Anderson in the 8-10 range.