Last night when I was perusing the box score from the NC State-Michigan I noticed one very interesting stat. It was the attendance which was listed as 13,135 at the RBC Center which seats somewhere in the neighborhood of 18,000. Now far be it for me to call NC State fans out but I am wondering why the attendance at Wolfpack basketball games is not close to capacity? Especially when you consider this was a nationally televised game in the ACC/Big 10 Challenge.
What is intriguing about the attendance numbers is that some portions of Wolfpack nation have made a lot of hay over UNC’s poor attendance of football games. We have heard how great NC State fans are at football games while UNC fans are apathetic and do not care. Well, it would seem the same is true of NC State fans in basketball. Also, last April during the coaching search, many Wolfpack fans argued vehemently that NC State was a destination school for basketball coaches and could be a perenniel basketball power. On top of that during the last seven months Pack fans have expressed so much excitement about Sidney Lowe and the fact NC State would be running a better brand of basketball on the court. So excuse me if I am a little confused as to why NC State fans are not showing up for the games? If you are out there saying your basketball program should be top notch and excited that Sidney Lowe has replaced Herb Sendek, then I would think you would do the same thing you do in football and show up for the games. And the opponent is not an excuse. UNC had 19,000+ for a Sunday afternoon game versus Gardner Webb which is near Smith Center capacity. However, NC State has an ESPN2 game against Michigan as part of a major early season event and the RBC Center has 5000 empty seats.
In my opinion, if NC State wants to be a major player as a basketball power then the fan base needs to show up, bring in money to the program through ticket sales and create a serious basketball atmosphere. Otherwise all of the weeping and gnashing of teeth we heard over Herb Sendek and the grand talk of having a top program is just that. Talk.
And yes, come next fall if Kenan Stadium has several thousand empty seats despite the presence of Butch Davis, then feel free to blast away at me.