By Eric Froese
Two weeks ago, I watched the Dinos men’s hockey team beat the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns in the last second of their first playoff game of the year. Unfortunately, I was one of only a few people, besides Lethbridge fans, that took in the spectacle. Not only that, but I seem to recall more fans at the regular season games than this particular playoff game. After looking around the stadium a couple times, I realized that there were very few university students in attendance. This was different from regular season games. So I got thinking to myself about student apathy, yadda, yadda, yadda, and why nobody would want to come out and watch the game, when I realized that the students weren’t there because they didn’t want to pay the $5 to get in! During the regular season it is free for students to get in.
I realize that five bucks might sound trivial to people who make money in excess, but in a three-game series over a weekend, students with only a little cash aren’t going to pay to sit in a half-empty stadium, even if the hockey is good. Indeed, I almost didn’t want to go to the second game and my brother-in-law plays on the team!
I’m not sure where the extra money goes, although I’m sure that it probably goes towards the good of the university athletes, however I’d argue that it would do more good for the athletes to have a packed and rowdy house during a home playoff series. What good is having home advantage anyway, without the fans?
Meanwhile, a couple blocks away, our fine women’s basketball team was battling it out with the University of Alberta Pandas in their first round of playoffs. Now, not having the uncanny ability to be two places at once, I don’t know how the ladies fared in terms of attendance, but I hope it was better than their hockey brethren. I do know, however, that along with the hockey team, the women’s basketball squad deserves a stadium full of thousands of their fellow students, screaming and yelling and giving meaning to the home-court advantage. Let the university students in for free and gather a beautiful mob of people.