The recent rise in student spectators at basketball home games is a pleasant welcome. With the pandemic slowly melting away it is hopeful to see students participating in school events once more. As we move further and further away from the old rules of masking up and social distancing, the thrill of crowded events will hopefully return.
The most recent increase in spectator attendance begs the question whether UD should officially create a designated student spectator section, where students cheer for our Crusaders. Though happy with the turnout of new student spectators, this increase reduces space and visibility, ultimately bringing up the question of game etiquette.
While at games, some spectators have shown concern that the huge influx of crowds could disrupt their view of the game. Rowdy students wanting to scream and shout for our home team often stand right behind our basketball team bench. The density of the crowd however begins blocking the view of spectators, even the ones sitting higher on the bleachers.
While the loud cheers are appreciated by both athletes and spectators alike, some students forget that by standing they might also be obscuring the view of other spectators. A student section would help ease these concerns, as students begin to get used to a new post-pandemic reality.
As of now there is no plan to add a student section in the gym, but there is an allure to having one. It could allow a space where visitors can see the unity and support the students of UD have. With the aid of organizations such as Blue Crew, it only makes sense that even more people will begin to come to the games.
Jarred Samples, the athletic director, said: “I’m not sure how we would add a permanent student section. We don’t have reserved seating. However, the students have always been right behind our home bench for volleyball and basketball games ever since I can remember. So everyone knows where the students stand/sit. Most other fans sit higher up or towards the middle in order to see around our student section”
So while there seem to be no current plans in the works for a permanent student section, perhaps the implicit seating of the students behind the home bench could serve as a semi-official student section.
With the rebirth of the enthusiastic Blue Crew, the student section has swelled at home games. The supportive cheers and rancorous participation have left some spectators frustrated as the Blue Crew members sometimes forget to be considerate of others.
Samples acknowledged the advantages of Blue Crew, commenting: “The student attendance at the recent home basketball games has been great. I think the Blue Crew did a great job promoting the games. The students add to the game atmosphere. I know our athletes feel their energy and enthusiasm. I hope we can continue to grow that support for all sports.”
While most everyone can agree that Blue Crew’s concerted efforts to increase attendance at games is most welcome, there is room for the students to be more careful in their enthusiasm, ensuring that the family, friends, and significant others of players have room to comfortably watch their loved ones play. Blue Crew is incredibly fun, but some people may not want to participate.
As far as how to learn when home games take place, Samples referred students to check UD athletics on their twitter, instagram, The Mall UD app, and on their website at www.udallasathletics.com.
Hopefully, the attendance at home games will continue to rise. The athletes, parents, coaches, and students love to see the support. However, at your next home game, ask yourself if you are allowing enough space for everyone to enjoy the game. There’s a role for everyone!