Staff Editorial: We need to show up
It’s no secret that student attendance at UH football games is horrible.
In fact, college football attendance across the nation has taken a hit. Student attendance at college football games is down 7.1 percent since 2009, according to The Wall Street Journal. They’re blaming increasing ticket prices, but that doesn’t affect UH students.
All athletic games held on campus are free for students. Even still, we haven’t filled up the student section in years.
Head coach Tom Herman has gone as far as displaying names of students in the locker room for players to touch on the way out to the field. He also started a new ritual with a pregame chant between the students and the players to encourage fan participation and attendance.
“We’ve been trying to do such a good job of spreading the word to the students that we truly do play for them,” Herman said.
The University of Houston has invested $120 million into a new stadium and hired a national champion as head coach.
They’re expecting a sold out stadium Saturday. Students should show up and paint the stadium red, taking part in the “H-Town Takeover.”
With the student section holding approximately 8,000 people and over 40 thousand students, Herman has had trouble understanding why filling up the student section has been a problem in the past.
“To me, that’s a very realistic goal,” Herman said. “I don’t know how things were here in the past. I don’t know how things are other places…we’re talking less than 20 percent of our student population for seven opportunities over the course of the year. Show up. Be there, be loud, be supportive. These guys have worked too hard. They deserve that stadium to be rocking to put on display the fruits of their labor.”
Despite the negative trend, the University of California, Los Angeles has turned around their student turnout. Apparently, turnout has climbed 58 percent since 2009, according to The Wall Street Journal’s article on student attendance. UCLA’s football team improved its record to 19-8 since the 2011 hiring of Coach Jim Mora.
Perhaps all UH has to do is win in order to see an increase in attendance. But there needs to be more support from the fans to cheer for the team.
Senior offensive lineman Alex Cooper said fan participation plays a vital role in their game play.
“It’s a big push to us, so we need that every single game,” Cooper said.
There’s been a lot of talk about UH joining the Big 12 in the near future. However, there are prerequisites that we haven’t reached yet, namely student attendance.
Competing universities need to have an average attendance of 33,500 at their home games in the 2015 season.
If you needed more reason to attend this seasons’ games and participate in more school activities, then take the advice from Chancellor and President Renu Khator.
"Students who participate in campus life have higher odds of graduating than others. Get engaged!" My message to new students.
— Renu Khator (@UHpres) August 27, 2015
This season let’s make a statement and show everyone that we are a force to be reckoned with.
-The Cougar Editorial Board