Fans embracing Texas Basketball
Feb. 24, 2010
AUSTIN, Texas -- The saying goes, "If you build it, they will come," and the Texas Basketball tradition has been building for some time now.
Appropriately, the people are coming.
"We really owe it to our fans," UT Men's Athletics Director DeLoss Dodds said. "This has been our best year in terms of attendance and fan support. Our fans are wonderful."
This season, Texas Men's Basketball boasts four sellout crowds of 16,734 -- against Michigan State, Texas A&M, Baylor and Kansas. UT has packed at least 15,000 into the Frank Erwin Center for seven games this season, and boasted 10 games with at least 14,000 in attendance. Overall, attendance for each game at men's basketball is up 1,300 compared to last year.
The success is due to providing more opportunities for fans to get involved through a variety of ticket options -- creatively designed, flexible and affordable opportunities for fans to attend games.
Mini plans were introduced for the 2005-06 season. The advantage of a mini plan ticket package is not only the value proposition, but also the variety of games and the opportunity to sit in the same, best-available seats for every game in the plan.
Mini plans have grown in popularity since their inception as evidenced by sales. During the 2005-06 season, 716 mini plans were sold for men's and women's basketball; 2,220 were sold for this season.
Building on the success of mini plans, three-game packages were introduced this season. Three-game Holiday Packs offered timely family entertainment at a significantly reduced price, while a six-game winning streak for the Texas Women's Basketball team proved an optimal time to offer fans a chance to be a part of all three remaining regular season home games with a 3-Point Pack.
The women's basketball team attracted 9,123 fans for the annual WBCA Pink Zone game against Baylor on the last day of January, and that marked the largest crowd since the 2004-05 season. For that game, 1,299 Pink Zone "Bundle Packs" were sold, and while basketball may not have been the only motivator for attending, offering extra incentives -- and in this case, pink incentives -- proved successful in enticing fans to join the effort to raise breast cancer awareness.
"There is a nice buzz to our home game atmosphere at the Erwin Center. Our team is so likeable and plays so hard. Our fans have been steadily supportive, and we feel the energy building as we get ready to host postseason games," UT Women's Athletics Director Chris Plonsky said. "It takes everyone to create that home court electricity -- hard work by the team and coaches, coordinated ticketing, promotional, media and marketing outreach, sponsor support and donors, fans and students attending consistently.
"This has been a fun season all around for Texas Men's and Women's Basketball."
In an effort to expose the community to Texas Basketball and The University, UT Athletics offers group rates to businesses, youth teams and other organizations. In recognition of their service to the campus and community, special ticket rates have been offered to first responders, military, government employees, medical professionals, teachers and educators, including UT faculty and staff.
Finally, specially designed programs such as Classroom Champions, Bevo's Buddies and Coach G's Hook `Em on Reading Program have offered complimentary ticket opportunities to large groups of at risk youth.
"We really just want to show appreciation for our fans," Dodds said. "We want to have the best basketball venue in the country, and our fans have turned it into a really hard place to play for opponents."