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Asses In The Seats?


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This is not intended to be a slap at young people, just a statement of fact. You are more likely to get 18 and 19 year olds to a rave than 60 year olds. If the basketball games were looked at like raves there wouldn't be any room for 60 year olds. Come to think about it, I just took a slap at the 60 year olds!

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IIRC when University Gym opened in the late 60s attendance was pretty good for a few years, maybe 2000 in a at-most 3000-seat gym with a full house for Siena, Brockport, Buffalo. And at that time the enrollment was 7 or 8 thousand. By the mid-70s I think it had fallen off, from a year or two when they tried to charge students, cable TV on campus, Siena going Division I in 1977 cut into whatever general public came. The only good crowds were usually the annual game vs. Potsdam. After the RACC opened in 1992 there were a few times when the team went 25-3 into the NCAAs, and we hosted the D-III regionals that the place looked pretty full, but otherwise not much.

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I can dig up pics of the RACC in the late 90's of games with maybe 100 people in attendance. DIII years were ugly, and we were a very successful program back then too, coached by the legendary Doc Saurs

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IIRC when University Gym opened in the late 60s attendance was pretty good for a few years, maybe 2000 in a at-most 3000-seat gym with a full house for Siena, Brockport, Buffalo. And at that time the enrollment was 7 or 8 thousand. By the mid-70s I think it had fallen off, from a year or two when they tried to charge students, cable TV on campus, Siena going Division I in 1977 cut into whatever general public came. The only good crowds were usually the annual game vs. Potsdam. After the RACC opened in 1992 there were a few times when the team went 25-3 into the NCAAs, and we hosted the D-III regionals that the place looked pretty full, but otherwise not much.

 

I agree substantially with UAalum on his assessment of attendance and school spirit. I hope I can add a few more details. During most of the DIII days we played our games in University Gym. The attendance was up and down. One aspect of the down years was a poll taken among US colleges that showed UA ranking dead or nearly dead last in school spirit. The other side was high attendance for the game of the year. Siena was a prime opponent until the mid 1970's. Quite often when playing them the gym was full.

 

If I recall correctly, the official seating capacity was 2800. But often during the early years of the gym the capacity was ignored, and the place had well over 3,000 fans. The place was so packed that the aisles disappeared, and the corners of the gym that were standing room only were also filled. During some games, if you came late, you were shut out. Perhaps for those special games a mystique grew around the campus that you had better get to the gym, or you wouldn't get in to see the game.

 

Another advantage of University Gym was the hard wood for the walkways between seating. The hard surface created a huge noise when fans were stomping their feet. I have remarked before on this forum about how the gym was so loud that even the officials couldn't hear each other blow their whistles. Someone 90 miles away from Albany reported this fact to me from other officials who had heard about the game. University Gym could be legendary among NY colleges for being a tough place for opposing teams to play.

 

I don't know whether the student newspaper is still relevant on campus today, but I do know that it played a major role in motivating students to get to the games in the late 60's and early 70's. Sometimes before important games or after successful big games the edition would sell out early. I also liked the competitions among student groups, particularly frats, before big games. A prize would go to the best sheet poster that a club or group would create and hand in the gym before the game.

 

I believe this advantage has disappeared from SEFCU, but it could be partially restored if the corners could somehow be filled in with additional seating. I would really like to see SEFCU become a place where only far superior opposing teams could win. At one point in University Gym's history UA had a 25-game winning streak. The streak began when UA, then only DIII, beat UBuffalo for the first time in modern history. As the streak grew, the gym was often packed. The streak ironically came to an end when we played UB two years later. Then the fan attendance dramatically decreased, and it was never the same again while in University Gym.

 

I loved many of the games that were played in that gym. It was truly a "golden age" of men's basketball. I'm really happy to hear about the increased attendance at SEFCU over the last few years. Despite the fact that I now live far from Albany, I couldn't be happier than to hear about increased fan support for men's basketball and other teams. I hope it continues to grow. I want the event to become the "place to be" on campus in the future. The conference final against Vermont about ten years ago shows that it can become that again. Eight hundred student fans camping out to wait for tickets is evidence that it can happen again, maybe in just two weeks!

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I was there from 92-96 and went to probably 15 games the whole time. I followed and knew what the team was doing but couldn't drag my friends to the games until they hosted the DIII tourney, then they all wanted to go and it was packed. Those games were fun. I so wish we were D1 when I was there because I think more of my friends would've wanted to go since many were sports fans just not the low level DIII we were playing.

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The difference in attendance today is the make up of the fans. When I played over 50 years ago in Page Hall all the fans were students. Faculty, and many attended, sat in the coaches offices. None students were non existent. Now we have 1000 to 1500 non students (alums/community) who attend and very irregular student attendance,except for the band which is GREAT!!! Frats & Sororities always had their space at the games. I know BY now HAS more Greeks than ever but you would never know it at athletic events. Please enlighten me.

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That beer sign has been up all season haha.

 

Umm, I have been to a bunch of games this season and a bunch last year and before a few weeks ago, I didn't know it was there... and several employees at SEFCU apparently did not know either. I do not remember seeing it there as recently as the Stony Brook Game. You sure it's been there all season? I must be blind.

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As a student from 79-83, I attended every home game at University Gym that was during classes, never missing a single one. Crowds were usually in the 1500 range, but the Potsdam game was always the highlite. The greatest game I have ever seen in person was the game vs. Potsdam in Dec, 1980 when we were both in the top 10 in DIII poll and over 3,000 squeezed into the gym, people sitting on the steps that walk you up the bleachers. The pep band, and stomping of the feet on the bleachers made for an electric feel. We ended up losing in triple OT, 71-70. Potsdam went on to win the national championship that year even after we went up to Potsdam and beat them in the SUNYAC title game. Usually the SUNYAC champ gets to host the opening round of the NCAA's, but they gave it to Potsdam and they beat us in the second round in OT. Ended up 23-5, one of Docs best teams ever.

The ASP did a great job covering the team and promoting the upcoming game. Alot more students attended back then. Wish the apathy of todays students would improve and realize the college game is great entertainment especially with our recent success.

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That beer sign has been up all season haha.

 

Umm, I have been to a bunch of games this season and a bunch last year and before a few weeks ago, I didn't know it was there... and several employees at SEFCU apparently did not know either. I do not remember seeing it there as recently as the Stony Brook Game. You sure it's been there all season? I must be blind.

 

Yes, Dr Watson, all season.

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That beer sign has been up all season haha.

 

Umm, I have been to a bunch of games this season and a bunch last year and before a few weeks ago, I didn't know it was there... and several employees at SEFCU apparently did not know either. I do not remember seeing it there as recently as the Stony Brook Game. You sure it's been there all season? I must be blind.

 

 

This was pointed out a couple months ago (maybe before you joined the board?). The beer room was absolutely packed..again..at halftime during yesterday's game.

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