A few weeks back we heard about a plan from incoming Syracuse University student president Aysha Seedat to create a student athletics fee to cover student tickets for football and men's basketball. While I didn't think it would have much affect on attendance (though I admit I may yet be wrong), I did believe it was a great fiscal move. It would save students money (at least those who go to games) and it would bring in guaranteed revenue to Syracuse Athletics.
Michael Burke followed up on the story for the Daily Orange and found out that the Student Association now have an important ally in the fight to introduce the fee: Otto's Army.
The groups are working in tandem to increase student attendance at sporting events and revamp and expand the student section at football and men’s basketball games. Additionally, they are hoping to make the men’s basketball student section easier to access for students with disabilities.
The two organizations are also looking to create a point system to incentivize student attendance at other sports. Students would amass points for going to games and could trade points for different prizes, said Otto’s Army President Natalie Wiesnet.
Anything to get students more excited and involved in supporting all Syracuse Orange teams is a good thing. While students aren't the real problem when it comes to Dome attendance, it never hurts to have a full student section. But even if this fee just means getting more students to attend field hockey and soccer matches in the interim, that's not a bad thing. Incentives and freebies can go a long way.
Interesting sidenote in the story, Seedat talks about her meeting with Chancellor Kent Syverud on the issue where it was relayed to her that AD Mark Coyle is "especially concerned" about football attendance. Expect all of the stops to be pulled out next season in order to get more butts in those seats.