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Your assertion that SLU cannot duplicate the ticket scarcity they had in a building twice the size of Chaifetz is laughable.

First a history lesson: The Billiken scalpers were certainly not overworked in Nov-Dec 1995 (the dawn of the Corey Frazier era). I'll assume you meant November-December 1994. I don't remember those early season games against the likes of Bethune-Cookman selling out. After the run in of sellouts to close out the Arena, I expected it to carry over into the following season, but that was not the case. I remember the first sellout being vs Austin Peay on December 28th. Realize they averaged 17k playing in a 21k arena - if they were selling out the early season crap games, they'd have averaged 20k.

But that's beside the point, since they no longer play in 20k arena. This year, they drew 5,384 fans for Tennessee St. That's our rock bottom the plane has hit the mountain number. Last year, they drew ~6,500 for Mississippi Valley St and Kennesaw St. If they make an NCAA tournament run in 2011-12 and have the nucleus coming back, I'm pretty sure they can win over 3,500 new 'die-hard' fans from a metro area of nearly 3 million people who prefer the college basketball experience to NFL games which are more expensive in both money and time.

re: playing games at Scottrade or the Dome

If that's what it takes to get a game against Mizzou or Illinois, I think they should do it. I know we lose our home court advantage, but it would still be good for the program. I'm not sure the 1997-98 team gets an at-large bid without that win over Illinois at the dome.

C'mon, Roy. Bet me a beer there will be scalping for at least some game in the next two years. I didn't say every game! :)

One other thing to take in consideration. Chaifetz was originally planned as a bigger building. I don't recall the exact number but think it was in the 13,500-14,500 range. SLU had every intention of building it bigger. The original architectural plans were built this way. While I don't know this for a fact, I'd guess the reason was because they felt demand justified it. As I understand it, the reason it was downsized was because they forgot to budget the attached training facility and there were some issues with the ground underneath Chaifetz being able to support another deck. So part money, part engineering issues. Bottom line as dufffman says, putting more than 10,000 in a market with 3million -- no brainer.

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i believe in hindsight the biggest factor to the billikens fabulous attendance in the 90's was no nfl team. the casual sports fan has x amount of sports dollars they want and need to spend. with no nfl team they fell into slu's lap. once the rams came to town, those dollars flew away relatively fast.

i do not believe we will ever draw that number of fans again. our 10k arena is perfect. and i believe we can indeed build to a nightly sellout with a number of fans froze out and the ability to draw a big night for "the big games". but the days of drawing 19k+ for the likes of alcorn state and austin peay like we did in 1995 are never going to be seen again.

i also hope we never agree to play those "big night" games at the eddydome or scottrade as well. while it indeed would be a great payday, it would take away our home court advantage as well.

roy, I disagree. IMO the biggest factor was the success of the program and the appeal of the conference. I think that the new Kiel was also a major factor in our attendance. The Blues were doing well and were a hot ticket. The Rams were already here is 1995. We were drawing well with Hughes 2 years after that, so I don't think that was the case. Having games against the likes of Memphis State, Louisville, Cincy and DePaul made us a worthwhile investment for season tickets in the eyes of more casual fans...not to mention walk up crowds.

I'm with you on the dome games. However, it was nice to see us beat Illinois that night. The fact that they lost the neutral location game to us means they'll probably never play us in St. Louis again.

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C'mon, Roy. Bet me a beer there will be scalping for at least some game in the next two years. I didn't say every game! :)

One other thing to take in consideration. Chaifetz was originally planned as a bigger building. I don't recall the exact number but think it was in the 13,500-14,500 range. SLU had every intention of building it bigger. The original architectural plans were built this way. While I don't know this for a fact, I'd guess the reason was because they felt demand justified it. As I understand it, the reason it was downsized was because they forgot to budget the attached training facility and there were some issues with the ground underneath Chaifetz being able to support another deck. So part money, part engineering issues. Bottom line as dufffman says, putting more than 10,000 in a market with 3million -- no brainer.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but (as I recall) the original plan was for 13Kish. The problem is that would have involved building a secong tier and added a great deal of cost to a building that was already way behind in fundraising.

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As a Fordham grad, '91, New York is a pro sports town. Colleges can't get much ink. There are already two pro basketball teams, three hockey and two football to get the coverage. St. John's got it when they were very good, but that is about it.

Fordham is also located in the Bronx, which would be similar to a so-so part of North County, not a great area and kind of far away from 'city center'. It takes real work and effort for people to get to the games, via train or automobile. Not much else to do on game night nearby. Campus a good college campus, but good places to eat are about a 15-20 minute walk away from the Rose Hill Gym (not a good gym, either). Who wants to do that on a winter night.

I could go on and on. I root for Fordham, but a school's gotta know its limitations, if you know what I mean.

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I stand by my statement .. short of the baseball Cardinals, St. Louisans love a winner, and will switch accordingly. Will there be a loyal, hard-core contingent that supports its icemen and footballers? Sure. One need only look to the late, great St. Louis Steamers to see the rise and fall of pro sports frivolity. Going to those games was an entertainemnt event --- even with Kevin Slaton doing the announcing!!! As I understand the lore, Saint Louis University hockey sprung up and was accepted for what it was worth because the initial love affair with the Blues was such that demand outdistanced ticket supply and the overflow was left for the Billikens to sweep up. Crowds in the Mario Faubert days easily eclisped the 15K mark on average, yet in my four years with the team, we saw an approach to those numbers only twice ---- once when #1 Ohio State came to town and then the day AFTER Dick McDonald scuttled the program. At least as I recall.

The competition for the disposable entertainment dollar, no matter how its shrunk, remains fierce. We have umpteen thousands of SLU alumni in the greater metro area and still find it somewhat a chore to fill up half an arena that was supposed to be 2 to 3 thousand seats larger? That right there tells me that even the alumni are fickle and don't understand what it takes in terms of commitment. We are consistent across the U spectrum in at least that regard.

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I stand by my statement .. short of the baseball Cardinals, St. Louisans love a winner, and will switch accordingly. Will there be a loyal, hard-core contingent that supports its icemen and footballers? Sure. One need only look to the late, great St. Louis Steamers to see the rise and fall of pro sports frivolity. Going to those games was an entertainemnt event --- even with Kevin Slaton doing the announcing!!! As I understand the lore, Saint Louis University hockey sprung up and was accepted for what it was worth because the initial love affair with the Blues was such that demand outdistanced ticket supply and the overflow was left for the Billikens to sweep up. Crowds in the Mario Faubert days easily eclisped the 15K mark on average, yet in my four years with the team, we saw an approach to those numbers only twice ---- once when #1 Ohio State came to town and then the day AFTER Dick McDonald scuttled the program. At least as I recall.

The competition for the disposable entertainment dollar, no matter how its shrunk, remains fierce. We have umpteen thousands of SLU alumni in the greater metro area and still find it somewhat a chore to fill up half an arena that was supposed to be 2 to 3 thousand seats larger? That right there tells me that even the alumni are fickle and don't understand what it takes in terms of commitment. We are consistent across the U spectrum in at least that regard.

Frivolity? Oh really? 43 years of St. Louis Blues frivolity, many of which having had amongst the league's best attendance despite limited on ice success.

Frivolity? The Rams lost more than any other NFL team in the 1990's, and they've had exactly four winning seasons since arriving in Stl, yet they sold out 95 straight games.

Oh those Blues and Rams, such short term fads.

Btw did you see the tons and tons of empty seats at Busch Stadium last year when it became apparent the Reds would finish ahead of the Cardinals later in the season? I'm guessing you missed that.

But you go ahead and stand by your statement.

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Frivolity? Oh really? 43 years of St. Louis Blues frivolity, many of which having had amongst the league's best attendance despite limited on ice success.

Frivolity? The Rams lost more than any other NFL team in the 1990's, and they've had exactly four winning seasons since arriving in Stl, yet they sold out 95 straight games.

Oh those Blues and Rams, such short term fads.

Btw did you see the tons and tons of empty seats at Busch Stadium last year when it became apparent the Reds would finish ahead of the Cardinals later in the season? I'm guessing you missed that.

But you go ahead and stand by your statement.

As a Rams fan, I feel I should point out that because of their fantastic 1999 season, they staved off the worst record in the 90s giving the crown to the bungles.

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The competition for the disposable entertainment dollar, no matter how its shrunk, remains fierce. We have umpteen thousands of SLU alumni in the greater metro area and still find it somewhat a chore to fill up half an arena that was supposed to be 2 to 3 thousand seats larger? That right there tells me that even the alumni are fickle and don't understand what it takes in terms of commitment. We are consistent across the U spectrum in at least that regard.

But how many of those folks are even sports fans, let alone basketball fans? I suspect all but a small percentage of SLU students and alumni don't even understand basketball.
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C'mon, Roy. Bet me a beer there will be scalping for at least some game in the next two years. I didn't say every game! :)

One other thing to take in consideration. Chaifetz was originally planned as a bigger building. I don't recall the exact number but think it was in the 13,500-14,500 range. SLU had every intention of building it bigger. The original architectural plans were built this way. While I don't know this for a fact, I'd guess the reason was because they felt demand justified it. As I understand it, the reason it was downsized was because they forgot to budget the attached training facility and there were some issues with the ground underneath Chaifetz being able to support another deck. So part money, part engineering issues. Bottom line as dufffman says, putting more than 10,000 in a market with 3million -- no brainer.

The reason for the change in size was purely financial in terms of the cost of the entire facility. The original design was for about 14,500 and included two levels of concourses and all of the other amenities. When they started to bid it out it became obvious that the price tag exceeded anything reasonable for the University so they went to the designers and asked if they could reduce the size and the price. After a lot of good creative work, the current design was agreed upon. For my money, I think the entire complex is excellent and if we could just avoid these potholes in the road--i.e. suspensions, injuries, etc. -- I think we will fill the place for most games and the noise level will be very high! Go Bills!

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The reason for the change in size was purely financial in terms of the cost of the entire facility. The original design was for about 14,500 and included two levels of concourses and all of the other amenities. When they started to bid it out it became obvious that the price tag exceeded anything reasonable for the University so they went to the designers and asked if they could reduce the size and the price. After a lot of good creative work, the current design was agreed upon. For my money, I think the entire complex is excellent and if we could just avoid these potholes in the road--i.e. suspensions, injuries, etc. -- I think we will fill the place for most games and the noise level will be very high! Go Bills!

And don't forget the astounding fact that the original design did *not* include a practice facility or the athletic department offices.

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Courtside --- give me a break and read what I said. I equated "frivoloity" in the same sentence with the "St. Louis Steamers." It was a self-contained sentence meaning it was a singular idea. You took it into that grey area and "out of context" by equating the frivolity mentioned about the indoor soccer craze and applying it to the established NFL and NHL teams, respectively. Please don't put words into my mouth or typestrokes onto my comments. I am quite capable of befouling them myself.

As for the empty seats, no, I did not see those. Betcha' they were sold seats, however. And as pro teams count, sold tickets equal actual attendance. Owners don't care if you show, just so the seat is sold. Of course, coming is better as parking and concession sales increase. But an invisiblke ass in the seat still counts if the ticket is sold.

As to thicks comment about what percentage understand basketball and that percentage being low among thousands of SLU graduates and alumni --- no sale! I know a youn glady who has been a season ticket holder to Tennessee football, and know almost nothing about football --- except you have to scream like hell and sing "Rocky Top" as far off-key as you can. Oh, and you wear a gawd-awful orange alot. But she'd die to the Vols, bay-bee! Our accountants and doctors are too staid for that ... except of course Dr. Chaifetz.

Basketball IQ is not an excuse.

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Of course there are plenty of local grads and of course they don't show up. They know enough about basketball.

Why should they show up? Just because they are grads?

Meh...A mediocre program for a zillion years.

Once the product gets fixed, they'll be there. we just have to give them a reason to come other than blind faith.

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Courtside --- give me a break and read what I said. I equated "frivoloity" in the same sentence with the "St. Louis Steamers." It was a self-contained sentence meaning it was a singular idea. You took it into that grey area and "out of context" by equating the frivolity mentioned about the indoor soccer craze and applying it to the established NFL and NHL teams, respectively. Please don't put words into my mouth or typestrokes onto my comments. I am quite capable of befouling them myself.

As for the empty seats, no, I did not see those. Betcha' they were sold seats, however. And as pro teams count, sold tickets equal actual attendance. Owners don't care if you show, just so the seat is sold. Of course, coming is better as parking and concession sales increase. But an invisiblke ass in the seat still counts if the ticket is sold.

As to thicks comment about what percentage understand basketball and that percentage being low among thousands of SLU graduates and alumni --- no sale! I know a youn glady who has been a season ticket holder to Tennessee football, and know almost nothing about football --- except you have to scream like hell and sing "Rocky Top" as far off-key as you can. Oh, and you wear a gawd-awful orange alot. But she'd die to the Vols, bay-bee! Our accountants and doctors are too staid for that ... except of course Dr. Chaifetz.

Basketball IQ is not an excuse.

"Short of the Cardinals, St. Louisans love a winner."

This statement above is yours and is false.

You also did not make a clear effort to break up your two thoughts immediately after discounting the other teams.

Your thoughts were that the other teams fans needed a winner to be supported, which of course they don't. And, your thoughts stated the Cardinals didn't need that. Well...once the Cardinals were not going to be winners, they weren't supported as much as you might think or state. There of course also have been other time periods when the Cardinals were not as successful and were supported less because of it.

Just an fyi...Tennessee football had lots of empty seats during its recent turbulence of poor play and coaching changes.

Perhaps your original statement more accurately could have been, "Aside from the Rams and Blues, St. Louisans love a winner."

The Cardinals have won at high levels every other decade for 100 + years.

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but (as I recall) the original plan was for 13Kish. The problem is that would have involved building a secong tier and added a great deal of cost to a building that was already way behind in fundraising.

On a side note, I went to the Blues game last week at the Scottrade. I haven't been at the Scottrade in a while and sat pretty high and I believe the game was a sellout or close to it. I could not believe how big the Scottrade Center seemed. Having been at the Chaifetz now for a couple years, the Scottrade Center seems huge. I felt like I was sitting in the Dome. I couldn't imagine playing there again, but what is even crazier is thinking about how large the crowds would have seemed drawing 16k back in the mid 90's. I was at all the those games in the mid 90's, but you forget sometimes how many people that is.
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On a side note, I went to the Blues game last week at the Scottrade. I haven't been at the Scottrade in a while and sat pretty high and I believe the game was a sellout or close to it. I could not believe how big the Scottrade Center seemed. Having been at the Chaifetz now for a couple years, the Scottrade Center seems huge. I felt like I was sitting in the Dome. I couldn't imagine playing there again, but what is even crazier is thinking about how large the crowds would have seemed drawing 16k back in the mid 90's. I was at all the those games in the mid 90's, but you forget sometimes how many people that is.

+1.
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roy, I disagree. IMO the biggest factor was the success of the program and the appeal of the conference. I think that the new Kiel was also a major factor in our attendance. The Blues were doing well and were a hot ticket. The Rams were already here is 1995. We were drawing well with Hughes 2 years after that, so I don't think that was the case. Having games against the likes of Memphis State, Louisville, Cincy and DePaul made us a worthwhile investment for season tickets in the eyes of more casual fans...not to mention walk up crowds.

I'm with you on the dome games. However, it was nice to see us beat Illinois that night. The fact that they lost the neutral location game to us means they'll probably never play us in St. Louis again.

Not much to quibble with here, but the NHL was locked out for the first part of the 1994-1995 season until early Jan 1995 (the 1st in the new Kiel Center).

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As to thicks comment about what percentage understand basketball and that percentage being low among thousands of SLU graduates and alumni --- no sale! I know a young lady who has been a season ticket holder to Tennessee football, and know almost nothing about football --- except you have to scream like hell and sing "Rocky Top" as far off-key as you can. Oh, and you wear a gawd-awful orange a lot. But she'd die to the Vols, bay-bee! Our accountants and doctors are too staid for that ... except of course Dr. Chaifetz.

Basketball IQ is not an excuse.

So you won't buy that there's a correlation between knowledge and interest? If you didn't like sports or basketball before you entered college, are you really going to be suddenly motivated to go to games while you're there or after you leave? And with the Billikens basketball program, it's not like we're talking about the "in" thing (as if most of the students at SLU care about being in the "in" crowd).

I rooted for my high school football team, have some basic knowledge about the game of football, and played in the marching band (because I was in the band and that participation was part of the class), but during my one-and-a-half years at Lake Forest College, covering two football seasons, I went to exactly one LFC football game, and that was because a friend of mine was going to root on a fellow student playing in the game. Moreover, soccer (which I've never really been interested in) was the big thing at UM-St. Louis, where I got my degree from, but I NEVER went to a soccer game there (or anywhere, for that matter, though I actually did watch some of last summer's World Cup games!). I didn't care about homecoming and it's connection to a particular soccer game.

Many of the basketball fanatics posting on this board seem to think that attending SLU obligates one to be interested in Billikens basketball and support it, but I don't buy that reasoning. If a SLU student or alum likes basketball, he or she probably ought to get behind the Billikens (although I don't follow or root for the UMSL Tritons at all, though I did once play in the pep band at basketball games while I was at UMSL), but let each person make his or her own choices and priorities. If the SLU men's basketball program would win more, I suspect that SLU students and alumni who are interested in basketball will buy in. I just don't think that the number of those people comes anywhere close to equaling the total number of SLU alumni in the St. Louis area.

(Yeesh! When was the last time I wrote a post this long on here?)

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Not much to quibble with here, but the NHL was locked out for the first part of the 1994-1995 season until early Jan 1995 (the 1st in the new Kiel Center).

This is true...however, the majority of SLU's sellouts that season came AFTER the lockout ended - and the Blues were a hot ticket that year (Mike Keenan's first year). Not to mention the 15-18k+ SLU crowds from the year before at the Old Barn.

When the team is good, people (alumni, casual fans) start to pay attention. They will typically wait for a game that looks good on paper (i.e. vs a team they've heard of) to stick their toes in the water, and if all goes well they buy into the program and start attending games regularly. It doesn't matter how (un)friendly the coach is, or how well the other STL sports teams are doing.

A winning SLU program will have no trouble selling out the bulk of the season schedule.

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This is true...however, the majority of SLU's sellouts that season came AFTER the lockout ended - and the Blues were a hot ticket that year (Mike Keenan's first year). Not to mention the 15-18k+ SLU crowds from the year before at the Old Barn.

When the team is good, people (alumni, casual fans) start to pay attention. They will typically wait for a game that looks good on paper (i.e. vs a team they've heard of) to stick their toes in the water, and if all goes well they buy into the program and start attending games regularly. It doesn't matter how (un)friendly the coach is, or how well the other STL sports teams are doing.

A winning SLU program will have no trouble selling out the bulk of the season schedule.

+1000

Even if Roy won't bet.

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