Since the last year-plus of the Paul Hewitt era in Georgia Tech basketball, fan attendance has never really been where we're used to seeing it. Fans got frustrated with Hewitt-coached teams and quit coming to games, and have never really started back in a lot of cases. Even with a new head coach and a new state-of-the-art arena, Georgia Tech home games still see lots of empty seats. This problem is especially visible in the student section of these games. However, instead of just hoping the problem fixes itself, the Athletic Association is being proactive and instituting a new "rewards" program that incentivizes students to show up for games, with some pretty lucrative prizes.
Image courtesy of Georgia Tech Athletics.
So, a few observations here:
- Students are being incentivized not only to attend men's games, but women's games as well. In fact, the incentive is doubled for women's games, meaning it is likely impossible to win without doing both.
- There is a maximum of 26 points available for those who attend all 17 games.
- Incentivizing Georgia Tech students with pizza, a Playstation 4, and a gift card to the bookstore is a guaranteed slam dunk. (No pun intended.)
- Knowing the competitive nature of our students, the AA might end up with the ultimate problem of too many students reaching that maximum plateau of 26 points.
- Our Athletic Association needs a better spell check system if they can't spell "basketball" right. (Note: I received a version from the AA with the typos corrected. Edited as of 12:50 EST.)
Frankly, this type of thing draws the mocking of other fanbases. They'll point and laugh at how we have to incentivize students to go to basketball games. My opinion? I couldn't care less. In fact, I'm excited that this is happening. I love that the AA is investing in bringing back the environment of past years. Here's to hoping this has an impact on the team's performance during ACC play.
Thoughts on the new incentives being offered to Tech students to attend basketball games? Do you expect a major attendance bump for Saturday's ACC home opener against Notre Dame?