Just a quick look back at the men's basketball attendance in the MAC. I was mostly interested in seeing how our attendance changed when BG moved to the Stroh Center.
Granted, the team was a little better than the year before, but the team wasn't a lot better and it wasn't like BG was on a MAC title run at any point, so I will suggest that the move to the new facility was the bigger variable. We also had Toledo at home and a nice home game with Temple, too. Other than that, it wasn't anything too outlandish.
Attendance did improve. For all games, BG drew 2,157 per game, which was a 37% increase over the last season at Anderson. And BG moved from 10th in the MAC to 8th in the MAC. Obviously, that still has a ways to go--we are pretty far behind the next highest team--but we're not going to start drawing like that until the team starts to win consistently. Still, it was a nice improvement.
Beyond that, a few conclusions. UT always draws well in MAC standards, and as Kowalcyk gets things turned around, you'll see them either lead or compete with OU for the lead. OU and Ball State, I will contend, are the places where I consider there to be a year in and year out, win or lose historical support for the program. Obviously, Kent and Akron are usually good and good at home, so they are drawing pretty well, too.
EMU, has the opposite problem. There is just no feel of support for any of their programs, win or lose. Perhaps Murphy will change that.
Back to the Falcons. I honestly think until people start to sense that this team is challenging for something, this about as high as it is going to get. We don't have UT next year but we are supposed to have MSU so that will help. I just don't see too much more of an increase so long as the team is about .500 and not among the truly elite teams in the MAC. We have not drawn anything close to well dating back to end of the Dakich years.
Anyway, the Stroh did bring some improvement, and has the potential to be a great place to watch a game with a great home crowd. All we need is some wins.