Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Empty Student Section To Greet Players On Friday

Supposedly the University of Denver Student Section is going to be empty on Friday night as several hundred students are off to Winter Carnival. Ticket sales are so slow for the Mercyhurst game that DU is offering special $10 tickets to the public.

Its too bad the students won't be out in force this weekend. Needless to say the DU hockey team has seen two of the best students sections in the country in Wisconsin & North Dakota on their recent road trip. To come home to dead arena would be a tragedy.

HEY DU: How about FREE tickets to students on Friday night on a first come first serve basis? Maybe it will help soften the blow of Chancellor Coombe's impending tuition hike.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

In all honesty the student section has been dead for a few years now. Sadly, ffter the back-to-backs and the NHL Strike.... it has fizzled out. There has been some good showings here & there for the big contests.... but all in all... dead.

Shram said...

don't forget the $3 per ticket charge from Ticketmaster..pricks... how about craigslist?

Anonymous said...

The student section is continually getting better. This weekend's dead atmosphere isn't the students' fault...it's on the folks who planned Winter Carnival for a hockey weekend. They've had a copy of the schedule since the beginning of the year, at least.

dggoddard said...

I think the student section is making progress. Obviously having the band at games helps, but they are only at a half dozen hockey games a year.

Compared to what we saw in Wisconsin, there is a long way to go. Compared to CC's student section we're doing well.

There's a new version of "D-Rah" that's pretty cool that we'll post on the blog as soon as we can. We'll continue to push for Boone against the adamant refusal of the Chancellor and administration. And we'll continue to work with the students to build a spirit.

achsdu17 said...

The student section is getting better then from what it was during my last days as a student. Still it still lacks a lot of good, hardcore, school spirited hockey fans. I mean there are only a good handful of devoted fans and there are more then what their was but too many students treat it like social time, sitting and don't care about the game.

Anonymous said...

Not every student is going to Winter Park. Where are the rest??

Anonymous said...

The current crop of freshman are really helping to up the atmosphere at the games.

I get that Wisconsin has a great student section, but also realize that those places have a good 20,000 more students enroled than we do. Add in the fact that in places like Madison and Grand Forks, there are no other professional sports to watch and you can start to understand why their student sections are so vocal.

Take a look at the Gophers. Mariucci can fit 10k a night. The campus has 44,000 folks who are just students. Add alumni and the fact that MN is hockey crazy and it's easy to fill the place. Even further, none of the whole-winter pro sports franchises are performing spectacularly (both the Timberwolves and Wild are in the midst of rebuilding) and it's no wonder people flock in droves to a successful squad.

Denver is quite different. It isn't the State of Hockey. The campus is 10,000 strong, 40% of whom are generally disinterested grad students. The two whole-winter sports franchises (Avs and Nuggets) are both performing very well.

All that said, the atmosphere in Magness is still growing steadily. When Magness gets loud, it gets VERY loud. There hasn't been a "dead" game yet this year, and I've been to every single home game. Last year, the series right after school started again was absolutely dead. This time around, the student section was full.

Baby steps folks, baby steps.

Anonymous said...

The DU student section is one of the worst in NCAA (arguably the worst in the WCHA). It's unfortunate that the days of the Bleacher Creatures are long gone. The old barn used to have some of the best (and drunkest) fans out there. What a shame...

Anonymous said...

Here's the deal. I lived with a few of the varsity players when I went to DU a few years back, and they continuously told me that Denver had the WORST student section in the WCHA. The worst! Obviously, when you look at Minnesota and Wisconsin, they are huge schools compared to DU and, you would expect to have a larger, louder turn-out. However, these guys told me that even the smaller schools (CC, Mich. Tech, etc.) have way better student sections. I am not sure exactly how they judged who was better than whom, but they said that playing at Magness was pretty sterile. Maybe they were wrong, but go to a DU game. There are a little more than 6,000 seats? How many times have you seen a sea of red seats in ever section, especially the STUDENT section? Of course, there are the dedicated students who are right up on the glass going nuts all game, but half of the kids show up mid-way through the game and take off before it’s over. I don’t get it. People camp out to get student tickets every year (well, banners #6 and #7) and then they skip the games? It makes no sense. However, I would rather go to winter carnival on Friday night too. Mercyhurst (yawn). Gwoz is going to play the practice squad. That is my rant. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

It's easy to call it lame. Harder to fix it.

Anonymous said...

An 8th National Championship will cure that!

Anonymous said...

I think our student section does an admirable job vs. CC, UND, Wisc, Minn. That's it. There's much improvement to be had for the other series during the year. Although, I do think that the student section is getting better overall. Even the general fan base seems to be getting better. The game against BC was a good example.

I'd like to see DU do some contests during the year. Pit fraternity against fraternity. Whichever fraternity has the most attendence at each game gets a free pizza dinner or something like that. When I went to school there, there was even pride among Halls vs. J-Mac vs. what floor you lived on in Halls. Give a free pizza dinner to the floor in Halls with the most in attendence each game. This will encourage people to pressure their friends and neighbors to go.

I know, kinda lame to bribe people to go, but a lot less lame than having a virtually empty student section.

Anonymous said...

The most bizarre part of this, as mentioned earlier, is the student tix. Supposedly they sell out every year, people camp out, long lines blah blah blah. So what happens? The student section still sucks. What do the students do with all of those tickets?? They just go to waste?? Bizarre.

dggoddard said...

My guess is that the Athletic Department is so hell bent on trying to get students and fans to basketball games that they won't be interested.

Its up to the students and the alumni to build student interest in hockey and fund programs & ideas.

Anonymous said...

Most of these guys who play for DU could have their pick of almost any of these other WCHA teams. Maybe it's just me, but I'd rather play for a school like Wisconsin with a packed house of 14,000 almost every game and a rowdy passionate student section with a band and everything. Kinda mindboggling that we can still pull top talent with a joke of a student section. Maybe that indicates fan support isn't that big of a deal to these prospective players? I don't know. Just seems weird to me.

Anonymous said...

DG - wasn't sure if you've saw this section of the email from the DU alumni update...

On Saturday, January 23rd the Chicago Alumni Chapter got together for the DU vs. Wisconsin game in Wisconsin. The group was joined by fellow Pioneers from Chicago, Atlanta, Houston, and Colorado at the Nitty Gritty for a pre-game dinner.

Chapter Co-Chair Adam Gunzberg states, "Sitting around so many Wisconsin fans, we sure made ourselves known and heard singing DU songs and cheers. And yes, while the game's final result was not what we had hoped, the evening was fun nonetheless." There was even an appearance by Boone.

More images of this event have been posted at Smilebox.

dggoddard said...

NHL is priority #1 for these players. Gwoz & staff are the hot commodity right now.

Even though Wisconsin has a great building, the players only play games there. At DU players practice & play in Magness 90% of the time.

I can't speak for the players but I'd say priority list would be:

1). Accessibility to NHL
2). Coaching staff
3). Playing Time
4). Close to family (DIA is nonstop flight everywhere)
5). Winning tradition
6). Facilities
7). School/Degree/Rep
8). Location
9). Girls
10). Fan Support
11). Teammates

dggoddard said...

I saw the Online Alumni Newsletter. Will post a link tonight.

Great to see Boone get the publicity. :-)

Anonymous said...

If only the student section attendance outweighed living in Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisco for their long, cold and terrible winters. I think most 18-20 year old players pick DU and CC for the facilities and climate, and they dont pay too much attention to the student section when making their final decision.

Anonymous said...

DG, you're absolutely right about the AD putting all their resources towards the basketball growth.

They're trying to ride the team's success alone to get fans in the stands, instead of doing fun giveaways like pizza, etc.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update on the tix, DG, I just went over and got mine for Fri night, wasn't planning on going, but now, I'm in ... I'll do my part!

c

Amy said...

Well I'll be there. And we do have one of the worst student sections. Most of the students there talk about how they're going shopping or skiing the next day. We're there to cheer on the team not sit down and socialize.

Anonymous said...

All Colorado schools have fairly low key student sections, and even our pro team fan sections have mellowed in recent years as well.

I think people in Colorado are generally spoiled on participatory sports, and really don't sink their emotional capital into spectator sports as vociferously as in other college towns or isolated places where sports options are limited.

DU will never have the kind of fan support of a Big 10 school, or a North Dakota where hockey is the major winter entertainment in Grand Forks. There is also the composition of the DU student body, where more then half of the students didn't grow up here following DU, more than half are affluent and have many entertainment choices in the winter, and finally, with the upsurge in academic quality, DU is getting more leaders and maverick types, rather than "joiners" - the kids who usually go to sporting events.

I think skiing on weekends will always trump hockey here, and that will always be a problem in generating student crowds on those weekends where it's not a big name opponent in town. No disrespect to Mercyhurst, but they are not a draw in Denver.

Ralphie said...

I got my undergrad from CU and we bitch and moan about this all the time. IMO it's related to the transient nature of our state population as a whole and most especially the students at our universities. I know CU rides the backs of out-of-state tuition paying students much more so than other state schools in the Big XII. You don't have the loyalty bred from birth like you do in Madison, lincoln, Norman, etc. Also, most of the other Big XII cities, like the WCHA, have little or no competition from professional sports franchises and all the other offerings (skiing, hiking, cultural, outdoor activites, etc) our beautiful state affords us. It's hard to get these kids tied into the university sports teams when there is so much else going on. Even when the Buffs were perennial top-10 and won a National Championship this was an issue.

dggoddard said...

Lots of really good points made on this topic. Its certainly helpful to me to hear these ideas, suggestions and feedback. Hopefully DU is listening.

One advantage that DU does have, is its small enrollment and more close knit than the giant universities that we're competing against and comparing ourselves to.

Institutionally DU would be well advised to go down the "school spirit" path and build unity on campus rather than trying to hang its hat on "Diversity & White Privilige." Raise the endowment, offer more minority scholarships and build inclusiveness through school spirit. Its a far more positive message.

Anonymous said...

"Add in the fact that in places like Madison and Grand Forks, there are no other professional sports to watch and you can start to understand why their student sections are so vocal."

While this may be true, hockey at the UW has to compete with two successful major sports for the student's money and attention. There was a period of two decades when hockey was the only good game in town. Now the football and basketball teams routinely post annual average attendances higher than many professional teams of the same sport. Yes, they are shorter seasons, but they overlap with the hockey season and there's only so much money for students to spread around.