The attendance at UR soccer games is abysmal. Now, I don’t expect Fauver Stadium to be teeming with students, but a little support for our dedicated athletes would be nice once in a while.
Last Friday, I went to the men’s soccer home game against Washington University in St. Louis. The Yellowjackets were ranked No. 18 at the time of the game – their second highest ranking of the season – yet the total number of people cheering the team on barely amounted to twice the number of players on the field. Even worse, the majority of people in attendance weren’t actually students – they were parents or relatives of the athletes.
This sad sight first became apparent to me when I attended my first soccer game at UR about a year ago for the Flower City Tournament during orientation. I supposed at the time that the reason was just the lack of upperclassmen on campus. However, things did not change dramatically after.
It astounds me that a team who wins its conference title four years in a row has difficulty drawing a significant crowd. I can say without a doubt that my high school soccer team drew a rowdier, more passionate crowd for its games. And we weren’t even the best team in our division. The number of students in my high school totaled around 800 and we would routinely see 100 in attendance at home games, with slightly lower numbers at away games. Doing the math, we might expect one-eighth of the student population to show up for games. I’ll even be nice and say one-sixteenth. However, only on rare occasions do we see 250 out of 4,000 students at Fauver Stadium. A dichotomy such as this shouldn’t exist.
I have tried to reason why students don’t show up to games. First, students are too busy to watch a game. Although I acknowledge college students have less free time on their hands than high school students, a game lasts no more than an hour, barring overtime. Additionally, it is a great way to relieve stress from studying and enjoy watching an exciting sport.
Students are also apathetic about the outcome. I think this reason is closely tied in with the reason the attendance is so low.
There are no major rivals – except maybe local teams Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. Rivalries are at the heart of sports – they are what keeps fans coming back for the next game. They are the essence of supporting a team so they will have that little extra boost to win the game.
It all has to start somewhere and there is no better time than now to go out and watch a game. This is an urge to all students to support not only the men’s soccer team, but all sports teams. The appreciation will be gratifying.
Tice can be reached at email@example.com.