School spirit has never really been Temple’s thing. Students barely fill up one section at home football games, and if any at all make the trek to Ambler for a soccer game, it’s a celebration in its own.
But when students do muster up enough Temple pride to get out to a game, it’s probably to the Liacouras Center for a basketball game.
A men’s basketball game, that is.
According to statistics released by the team, 3,969 people attended the men’s basketball home opener against Army last Tuesday. Considering that the Liacouras Center can seat 10,206 people, that’s pretty pathetic.
But, what’s even more pathetic is that only 890 people attended the women’s basketball home opener on Saturday. That’s less than a quarter of the men’s attendance.
Low attendance for women’s teams isn’t only a problem at Temple. Women’s teams have always had less of a fan base than their male counterparts.
Last year, The Temple News reported the highest attendance the women’s basketball team had was 4,311 people. The men’s team averaged 4,614 people at each home game.
This was during the women’s team record breaking, 28-4 season. They had a 25-game winning streak, and made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The men’s team had a fair season, with 16 wins and 13 losses, but didn’t make it to the NCAA Tournament.
Even though the women went farther in the division than the men and won more games, attendance to the women’s games was well below the men’s average. Why do basketball fans seem to turn to the men’s team to watch the game?
The women’s team is full of student-athletes who spend as much time at their sport and work as hard as the men’s team does. Their games are just as aggressive and physical as the men’s games.
Both Temple teams are lead by famous and charismatic coaches. Dawn Staley, an Olympic gold-medal winner, is as well-known as the coach of the men’s team, John Chaney.
And, it can’t be because ticket prices are too high. Students can get in free to most games with the General Activities Fee card, but other fans are charged up to $35 for a men’s home basketball game ticket. The highest priced women’s ticket at the Liacouras Center is $7.
These lowered prices show the university is making an effort to draw more students to the women’s games, but it’s not enough.
We need to realize that women in college-level sports deserve as much attention and support as their male counterparts.