Red Towel Roundtable: Which Will Be More Successful — #PackTheHouch or #SellOutDiddle
We’ve got a hashtag going on that’s splitting the WKU fanbase into two camps.
Alright, that might be a bit of an exaggeration. Or a bit more than a bit of an exaggeration.
Anyway, both the WKU football and basketball programs are attempting to drive up ticket sales and butts in seats with social media campaigns urging fans to sell out both L.T. Smith Stadium — #PackTheHouch — and Diddle Arena — #SellOutDiddle.
It’s a noble effort — albeit kind of embarrassing that it’s necessary, with WKU football in the middle of it’s best stretch in program history and with how often fans clamor for the Tops’ place in college basketball history, you think these would be the hottest tickets in town.
But, they aren’t, so I digress. It’s great to see the program — both official outlets (i.e. team Twitter accounts) and returning players — pump up their own cause.
And, while plenty of WKU fans will do their part for both causes, one campaign is bound to be more successful than the other. So, I asked the writing staff which campaign they think will be more successful.
I keep waiting for Bowling Green to show out for WKU football, but it’s still been more underwhelming than it should be. WKU’s success in football on a national scale is at an all-time high, but with a new head coach and the loss of future NFL stars like Taywan Taylor and Forrest Lamp, I feel like people will be more reluctant to go to games until they see that WKU will be in good hands.
I hope I’m wrong and that everyone will show up initially, but even after WKU won their first C-USA title and Brohm returned, attendance still wasn’t the greatest. Hopefully Stanford can get BG in the Houch by continuing the success WKU has obtained the past few seasons.
On the hardwood, despite many changes, rumors, and scares, Stansbury has still been able to save the WKU basketball offseason by bringing in many great players to the Hill. With nationally ranked players like Mitchell Robinson and Josh Anderson coming to the Hill, WKU fans have no excuse not to support the basketball team this year.
Obviously people still want to see if all these talented players can play with each other and win, but people will still want to see this team play. WKU (to me) has always been a basketball school at heart so I definitely feel like #SellOutDiddle will be more successful.
While the easy answer would be to say #SellOutDiddle will be more successful, I actually think it’ll be #PacktheHouch.
WKU football has slowly grown over the past decade in FBS football and going into the program’s seventh year of winning football and year three of competing for conference titles, the fan base (hopefully) has begun making trips to the Houch during Saturday’s in the fall a part of their yearly routine.
Last year, the football team averaged 17,705 fans in the seven home games (that’s 80% of the 22,113 seat capacity). While gathering that last 20% might prove to be very difficult with a fickle base, I believe there are several factors that will lead to football being closer to capacity than basketball (Diddle Arena was only 53% full last season).
The first factor being the fact that there will be zero 11 am kickoffs. These games have repeatedly sunk the fan turnout and dragged the overall attendance down. The pathetic showing at the Conference Championship Game (that game dragged down the attendance average by 748 fans) just goes to show how much tailgating time & later start times still play into our fan base behavior. Having favorable kickoff times will help the margins go up in all six home games.
The second factor is only having one home game after October 28th. WKU fans don’t show up consistently for November games — the attendance steadily drops when the temperature goes down regardless of how successful the team is. WKU only plays rival MTSU on November 17th and fans should be motivated to come to Senior Night with only one game in the final month (although it does suck that it’s on a Friday). Trading Vanderbilt for a renewed EKU series should limit the downside of not having a name brand sellout game.
Overall, I think the conditions line up just right for WKU football to be around 85% capacity (18,796 fans). In order to match that, the Basketball team would have to average 6,227 fans, the most they have since the 2007–08 Sweet Sixteen run.
Looks like I’m going to have to be the dissenting opinion here, aren’t I?
There’s a bit of an unfair advantage for one of these campaigns. While #PackTheHouch has been more of a ground-up movement, #SellOutDiddle is an official campaign, and something WKU basketball has been putting into motion for months now.
It shouldn’t even be a question as to whether or not The Houch is going to be packed — this is a team that has won consecutive conference titles and two straight bowl games. As our pals the Moonshine Throwdown have pointed out, this should be the hottest ticket in town.
However, regardless of what the recent history shows, I am still in the camp of “WKU is a basketball school.” There has been so much talk, excitement and waiting for this season — quite possibly the only one with Mitchell Robinson in a WKU uniform — that it’d be crazy to think Diddle wont be close to full every single night.
I think we will, however, see an uptick in average attendance and average full to capactiy in both venues. But, in the end, I think it’ll be #SellOutDiddle that sees more fruits for it’s labor.