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Searching for spirit
Several groups at QU work together to tackle the lack of attendance at sporting events.
With Yale tickets going on sale this past weekend and the game quickly approaching, it’s hard to ignore the excitement in the air as the student body gets ready for the highly anticipated rivalry game.
However, amidst this excitement, it’s also hard not to recognize the fact that the enthusiasm for this game is significantly different than that of an acrobatics and tumbling meet or a women’s basketball game.
Senior physical therapy major Chris Aiello has been a member of the Pep Band since he was a freshman. Having attended nearly every sporting event in the TD Bank Sports Center, Aiello has noticed a significant shift in attendance for each team.
“There’s a lot more people at ice hockey games than basketball,” Aiello said.
As this winter athletic season in particular plays out, women’s basketball has been experiencing tremendous success with a 14-game winning streak as of Feb. 21. With this is mind it seems unusual that basketball attendance is not as high as that of hockey games.
This attendance inequality does not only translate betweens sports, but also genders.
“Especially for ice hockey, there’s a lot more people at men’s ice hockey games than women’s ice hockey,” Aiello said.
While men’s ice hockey has been extremely successful this season, the women’s team has done just as well. The women’s team became 2015-16 ECAC Regular Season Champions on Friday, Feb. 19.
Aiello said he believes other sports that do not compete in TD Bank do not get the attention they deserve.
“There are other sports here that are just as interesting and the athletes are just as talented, like the women’s rugby team are some of the best athletes in the country and I don’t think they have the same attendance for that sport as they do for men’s ice hockey,” Aiello said. “It would be cool if the school promoted going to different sporting events besides just ice hockey and basketball.”
Senior history major Paige Ferreri says she regularly attends men’s ice hockey games but very rarely attends any other sporting events.
“I don’t really follow [women’s ice hockey], I don’t really know when the games are,” she said. “I’ve been to two b-ball games, a few soccer games, never rugby.”
Eric Grgurich, the executive director of the TD Bank Sports Center, has his own theory about the attendance at sports games.
“I think it’s because it’s an event. Once one group of students is going, everyone else ends up following,” Grgurich said. “I want to make the other sports events that they can’t miss.”
In regards to the upcoming, highly anticipated Yale game, Ferreri said she plans to go if she gets a ticket, but does not understand why this game is viewed as a superior match up to other rivalry games.
“I honestly have no idea why there’s a hype about just the men’s [games],” she said. “I feel like it should be for all of them because if there are rivals wouldn’t you want to go to all of the rival games?”
Quinnipiac’s Student Government Association (SGA) has also noticed that there’s an imbalance in attendance.
Freshman Class Representative Ryan Hicks spoke about SGA’s initiatives to alleviate the issue of a lack of attendance at certain sports games.
Hicks, as well as other SGA members, recognize that there are many different groups on campus that, when put together, could have a significant impact on the student body’s attendance at sports games.
Grgurich is enthusiastic about SGA’s initiatives to increase the turnout at games.
“I think [the SGA initiatives] are great,” he said. “Anything to get the school spirit growing is great. I’d love for it to just grow and take a life for itself. I’m all for helping out in any way that I can.”