Two of the more successful college football programs in the state of Ohio as of late have been the University of Cincinnati and The Ohio State University. These two programs averaged more than 30,000 and 100,000 people respectively at their home football games during the 2009 season.
Among Division I football teams, the average home attendance was more than 45,000 people. However, Miami University averaged less than 12,000 fans per home game last season, and so far this year the RedHawks have averaged just more than 14,500 fans per game.
What do these numbers mean? They mean fans do not come out to Miami football games.
After having attended the first two home games this year, I can also state with confidence that at least half of those fans were not Miami students, even during the white out that occurred during the first home game of the year against Eastern Michigan University.
The white out, which was sponsored and put on by Campus Activities Council (CAC) was a great event for the first home football game of the year. It organized the student body and encouraged students to come out and support the RedHawks. However, since then there have been no events put on by CAC and student support for the football team has been lacking.
It is the responsibility of CAC to encourage support for Miami athletics, especially for major sports such as football. However, after family weekend, student attendance at home football games usually drops off to the point where students do not care about Miami football enough to even show up to the remaining home games.
There are only three remaining home football games this year, including one scheduled for family weekend against Kent State University. Therefore, there are only two games the CAC would have to create events or themes for, such as the white out theme that was used earlier this year.
CAC has the ability to bring in performers such as Bill Cosby, the Goo Goo Dolls and Kid Cudi, but it is ridiculous that they cannot create themes or events for four home football games every year. It does not even matter if they recycle the themes each year because recycling is good, right?
CAC could schedule for a free giveaway at one of the games, they could create chants for the student section during the game, they could encourage students to dress up for games and the list goes on and on. Plus, members of CAC are much more creative then I am, so the opportunities are truly endless.
Some high school teams in Ohio get more fans to show up for games than Miami gets for its home football games. It is imperative that we start to change the athletic culture here at Miami so fans will show up to events other than hockey games.
We must honor the tradition of the Cradle of Coaches, and who better to lead that charge than the CAC?