Treasure Valley – Are We on a BSU Bandwagon?
Driving around the Treasure Valley, there's no shortage of locals supporting Boise State. Whether it be clothing, car stickers, or local signs of support in downtown businesses, you can't get enough Boise pride. But is Boise all talk with no action?
This past football season, despite having a great season with great weather, Albertsons Stadium couldn't fill the stands. When we asked our community why they worn't attending games, the most popular response we heard was a complaint regarding late kick off times. However, the early games came and went, and there was no noticeable sign of additional seats filled. Our playoff game here in town? There were sections of empty, unused seats and it was a dinner-time event.
Then, people started complaining about ticket prices. Tickets were in-fact high the 2017 season, and not just because of Coach Harsin's salary, but the average price we found on Stubhub was $17 per ticket for the North End Zone. $17!
The same has carried on to the basketball season. Despite having exciting games, $8 tickets, and a winning season, we still can't fill the seats.
Coach Leon Rice even offered to swim across the Boise River if we could pack the Taco Bell Arena. The response? 7,558 people showed up when it seats 12,000. It didn't matter that it was a conference opener against Colorado State, and it didn't matter that we won the game. People still didn't show up, and when they did, many left before the game ended.
"I've never been to any game at BSU besides football. I never know when the games are," local Malcolm Robb told me while wearing a BSU windbreaker when we were in line together for lunch.
"Would you go to a game if you knew when the game was taking place?" I asked. He pondered, then ultimately stated he enjoyed sticking to football.
I received similar responses when walking around the BSU campus, and talking with some locals around the Triangle. It didn't matter how cheap the tickets were, or when the games took place, they still worn't going to attend the games, watch them at a bar, or even check the scores on their phones.
When do we look at ourselves and think, we love living in a college sports town, but we don't care about the actual teams or games. We don't attend games, we don't watch the games, we sometimes check our phones for the scores, but that's only when we remember there was a game.
While it's true you can like a team or like where you're from without following them religiously, why are so many in our community treating it this way? Why are we such a walk-up town that leaves at half-time?
Maybe there's no perfect answer for why we are the way we are. But until that answer exists, I'll continue to wonder if the Treasure Valley truly loves our local sports, or if we're just on the bandwagon, purchasing our gear, and enjoying living in a winning town, without really knowing or doing anything else.