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The BG News
BG24 Newscast
September 21, 2023

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Students tend to watch popular sports, ones they enjoy

Based upon attendance records, the two most popular sporting events on campus are football and hockey— by a long shot.

Junior Conor O’Brien prefers going to football games because of the atmosphere around the game. Much like many other fans, he enjoys tailgating every home game.

Caleb Brown, a freshman, also said football games are his favorite on-campus sporting event because so many students go to support the Falcons.

Nearly 13,000 more fans pack the Doyt Perry Stadium than any other complex on campus.

In the 2013 season, 15,258 Falcon fans flocked to Doyt, which holds 24,000, to watch the Falcons en route to BG’s MAC championship. The team finished 10-4 overall and 7-1 in conference play.

This season’s attendance rates are down from last year’s 15,771. However, the team was slightly less successful. The 2012 edition of the team finished 8-5 overall and 6-2 in the MAC.

This year drew in just more than 200 additional people than the 2011 season in which BG had a losing season at 5-7 overall and 3-5 in conference play. The total attendance for 2011 was 90,039 and 2013’s total was just slightly more than that at 91,548 despite having a better team.

The next most popular sporting event on campus is hockey.

Sophomore Greg Harrison prefers hockey games to any other sporting events because of the energy surrounding the event. With fans like the Bleacher Creatures and with events like the mascot and SIC SIC beheadings, a more enthusiastic atmosphere is created, whereas the opening game and homecoming are the more well-known games for football.

In the 2013-14 season, the hockey team attracted an average of 2,022 people to the BG Ice Arena, which has a capacity of 5,000 people. The previous two seasons averaged 2,097 and 2,078, showing there might be a consistent hockey fan base at BG.

The next two most populated BG sports are men’s and women’s basketball, both attracting just more than 1,700 people for the 2013-14 home campaign.

However, this season men’s soccer saw a near double in attendance rates. In 2012, men’s soccer averaged 593 people. This season, that number spiked to 1,070 and the Falcons actually had a slightly worse record this season. Last year, the team finished 8-9-3 overall and this season the team went 6-7-6.

The attendance increase could have had something to do with the Falcons playing two well-known Big Ten Conference opponents at Cochrane Field.

The game against the University of Michigan, who was ranked 14 in the nation at the time, brought in 2,273 people. When the Ohio State Buckeyes came to town, a record 3,126 fans attended. That amount was nearly 1,000 more than any other attendance since it has been recorded starting in 1997.

Brown said hockey and football simply get more hype around campus.

O’Brien said that the popularity of the sport has a lot to do with hype. He said sports that are more popular nationally in college sports and in professional sports attract more people.

Some students said gender also plays a role.

The women’s basketball team finished the regular season with an overall record of 27-3 and went 13-0 at the Stroh Center. However, though they finished with a better record than the hockey team, hockey still averaged a much higher attendance.

“I think gender comes into play definitely,” O’Brien said. “I feel like men’s sports definitely get like an unfair advantage over women’s sports.”

Harrison said how the team is doing does not affect whether or not he shows up to the BG Ice Arena for a game.

“I think having school spirit is important so I’m going to go whether or not they’re like winning or losing because they’re fun to go to,” he said. “If they’re winning that’s a plus.”

However, students like junior Maddie Cooley said how well the team is doing has a large impact on whether or not she goes to watch her favorite team.

“I think it’s more fun when teams are winning because you want to go to the games obviously,” Cooley said.

Having a successful team makes BG fans more excited, O’Brien said.

“I see more people wearing brown and orange when the teams on campus are winning,” he said. “People like to win and when it’s your team, you’re invested so if they’re winning, you’re winning.”

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