Sean Larson recently touched on the growing attendance problem for men's basketball games at Matthew Knight Arena. Crowds have been abysmal regardless of opponent or day of the week. Having covered numerous games this season, I can attest to just how sad the fan support has been. Many of the ATQ faithful have identified the students as the main culprit for this crisis. I also subscribe to this theory. With that being said, I have a simple 3 step plan that will SOLVE THIS DILEMMA and put students' asses in the seats! Let's get to it.
1. LET US BOOZE: OK, so I realize Matthew Knight Arena doesn't allow the sale of alcohol at basketball games, but let's pretend we live in a unicorn filled fantasyland where this outrageous rule doesn't exist. Simply allowing beer sales will not bring the mobs of students to Matthew Knight. I understand college kids are set on damaging their liver every chance we get, but we are also poor, and even Tommy McFratbro isn't going to be chomping at the bit to drop $8 on a cup of horse piss. Now here is the million dollar idea: All beers are $1 throughout the entire duration of the game for UO students of the legal drinking age (DUH). Drink deals are like crack to college students. We can't resist them. Taylor's knows this, as does the Silver Dollar. It's why we'll blow off homework and studying on Mondays and Wednesdays because DERR CHEAP BEER DERR. A retirement home could offer dollar beer bingo nights and college students would flock there in herds. More importantly, this deal would make basketball games A THING, and in the hashtag era of today, that's all that matters.
2. Better AND cheaper food: Did I already mention how poor college students are? We are, and this is because we spend all our money toward getting shit faced (as mentioned in suggestion #1). Stadium food is overpriced and shitty (WHAT A REVELATION). And it's my dinner every time I work a game. It's just one of the perks of working for ATQ, kids. I get to eat this crap for free! Did you know they use potato buns for the hot dogs? Who the fuck actually likes potato bread? Have Taco Bell…or an actual half decent restaurant set up shop in the arena for games. Give the fans a reason to eat there instead of just waiting until the final whistle blows to drive elsewhere. It's an easy setup you have, vendors. Americans love nothing more than sitting on our asses and stuffing our faces while watching sports. That pretzel with the canned cheese dipping sauce truly does make up for the 579 TV and regular timeouts called throughout the game. Ignore all that fancy economic talk about profit margins and equilibrium. Drop the price and raise the quality and your revenue will be gravy.
3. (Better) Incentive induced entertainment: Barring the cheerleaders, the entertainment aspect at Oregon basketball games, for lack of a better word, sucks. Stop trying to create an NBA environment. It's never going to happen with Oregon's student fan base who can't name more than two players on the current roster. And the "I CAN'T HEAR YOU DUCK FANS GET LOUD" videos on the Jerry World screen aren't getting these people AMPED either. Your "hype man" on the mic, who is deployed to get the crowd riled up, sounds like a middle-school dance DJ. In terms of halftime, offer better prizes for the contests you make the participants degrade themselves in. If you wrap yourself up in toilet paper, spin in a circe ten times, then ride your partner like he's a pony, a $10 gift certificate to Outback Steakhouse could be yours! BOW TO ME. EFF THAT. Change it to 1 try half-court shots for free tuition. Do this every game. Fans would actually pay attention to the halftime show! Oh, and shoot t-shirts out of those nifty guns at every timeout. It's like trying to catch a foul ball at the ballpark, only you can wear it!