OPINION: Despite on-field success, student attendance falls flat


Tess Riley, Senior Staff Reporter

Despite the Green Wave’s recent success on the football field, the Tulane community has not stepped up regarding attendance and enthusiasm to match the football team’s efforts against its opponents.

In a recent survey conducted by the Hullabaloo via Facebook, almost 57 percent of respondents have not attended any home football games this year, while only 28.5 percent of respondents have not attended any tailgates.

This problem is not unique to Tulane, even among Southern schools, according to Deputy Athletic Director Monica Lebron.

“[Low game day attendance is] an epidemic at every school,” Lebron said. “So I certainly don’t want the Tulane community to feel like… we’re the only school in the South where the students don’t come to the games.”

Only 15.3 percent of respondents said they stay for the entire game when they choose to attend. The student section often begins the game strong but empties out by half-time.

The most common factor among respondents for attending or not attending a home football game was what the respondent’s friends were doing, and the second most common factor was the amount of work or homework the respondent needed to do.

74.3 percent of respondents said they would attend more games if Tulane had a more successful record than in the past. Students also suggested incentives like free food or giveaways, such as T-shirts, to encourage higher and more consistent attendance.

According to Lebron, a change in head coach at Ole Miss, where she used to work, turned both the team’s record and the school’s spirit around. She is hopeful this will be the case under new head coach Willie Fritz, as has already been evidenced by the Wave’s three wins.

The football team needs the support of students and fans to win games. If students wait until the team is already successful to support them, they may be neglecting their role in the Wave athletics community.

The athletics department tries to do its part by making games as accessible as possible by offering complimentary tickets to home games for students.

Along with efforts of the Athletics administration, student athletes and their coaching staff work hard nearly every day to do their part in creating a successful program. The rest of the student body has a responsibility to create a supportive energy in the end zone that could be the deciding factor in a close game.

“If everyone is pulling the rope in the same direction, we will turn this program around and you’ve already begun to see and feel it,” Lebron said.

Leave a Comment