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Conference affiliation SHOULD have NOTHING to do with the future of a new arena in my opinion. We've been playing in some rather large arena's ... even in the darkest days of the program. Old Kiel, the Arena, the Checkerdome, New Kiel, Savvis ... call them what you want but we've found ourselves in those places ever since I can remember. We're still going to be in there no matter the conference or if we're and independent. What does conference affiliation matter at that point?

Even if, heaven forbid, we went down in conference stature, which, frankly we will because we don't play football and football rules the NCAA roost, how are we going to play in a 20,000 seat Savvis? Again, to me Savvis is sterile .... its a pro place where the emphasis is on the high-spending fan who has tons of discretionary dollars to throw away. Pass his ass. Have some scantily clad waitress bring him water-down, over-priced drinks to his seat so he doesn't have to get up. Watch the dance team with their thongs hanging out. All to cloud the fact that the product on the floor or field sucks. Cheapest seat for the Wiz at the MCI center .... $40. They year 2003-2004 .. no Jordan ... about the only reason to go to see the Wiz to begin with. Think the prices will come down now?

I don't believe an arena is tied to conference ... my opinion is that a home court arena is tied to sruvival. A home court advantage gives you maybe four to five wins a year. When the program is basektball-dependent, and making the NCAA means a huge cut of CBS' billion dollar NCAA payout, four to five wins are essential.

Gonzaga. Xavier. Dayton. Villanova. Notre Dame. Yes.

Depaul. Saint Louis. Seton Hall. Georgetown. St. John's. No.

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david's right. The yes schools all seem to be going in a direction I would want to go. Okay, okay, Notre Dame is a little off kilter from that list but all have either moved out of pro facilities or built newer, updated campus haunts in which to play. The Apollo at Temple is another faclity I can think of. Despite two "Spectrums" down at Broad and Patterson, Temple folks built another one in Philly. And I did mention Villanova.

The no schools have not. And I think they have suffered for it. And will continue to suffer for it. My opinion, that is all. Some others have on-campus sites where they play the bulk of their games that need upgrades ..... St. Joes, Boston College, St. John's Duquesne and others .... but they don't seem to be in the movement that we are. St. John's only plays its "large" games at MSG ... others are in an antiquated gym on campus. DePaul did some games like that. So did/does Georgetown. I am certainly not advocating that for SLU if that is the old West Pine Gym. I saw us play William Penn there years ago. Zip. Nada. Zilch.

I said in a very old post that there are only a certain few things a school can control as far as its destiny is concerned. One of the keys one, again my opinion, is the atmosphere in which one plays. Home court advantages are usually worth four points on a betting line (not that I'm advocating that). There has to be a reason and I want that as well.

Four to five wins last year would have put us in the NCAAs, yes?

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Tag, I'm all for the new on-campus arena but I think your logic for it does not quite match up with the facts (at least in the case of SLU). By analyzing a team's history of wins home v. away, SLU has one of the best home court advantages in the country in Savvis. Despite the lack of energy for most SLU games there, the pro-style arena is a tough adjustment for a lot of opposing players who have experienced few games in such a place. Depth perception at the basket is an adjustment. What the on-campus arena brings is enthusiasm for the program and this is something that we sorely need.

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i will believe we will have an enthusiastic and LARGE student fan section consistently when i see it.

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>i will believe we will have an enthusiastic and LARGE

>student fan section consistently when i see it.

I've thought about it Roy and the point is valid: i.e., if very few students currently make it the few miles down Market Street to Savvis, what makes us think that hordes will suddenly have enough ambition to walk 3 blocks or so to the games at "on campus" venue? Who can say but I have visions of a pre-game, "on campus" pep-rally with the students marching thereafter en-masse to the Biondi Dome to play Marquette, or better yet, the hated Mizzou pussie-cats! Wait, I also see T&T in the rally crowd totally confused. Triangle is a die-hard Mizzou sympathizer but Too is totally enraptured by the SLU student mania ... his split personality is waring inside his divided brain threatening a total melt-down.

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i have come to believe that slu students are generally the biggest warm weather fans the billikens have. if it isnt on espn or if the billikens arent on a roll, they would rather be anywhere but at the game. the blue crew and about 25 other students plus our band are great fans, but the rest really are quite embarrassing as student sections go. heck, in my senior year (81-82) we had as many regular student fans as we do now. and that was making the trek to the arena then with a team that would be ranked about 289th in the country.

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Last month I made a presentation for a class aimed at persuading my fellow students to attend more games. For this project I did research which consisted of sending out surveys to about 35 schools across the country asking about each school's student attendance. In my research I found that on average schools with on campus arenas attracted had higher attendance rates. One school that is a great example of this is Holy Cross. While they have made the NCAAs the past few years, they still play in the Patriot League and probably aren't on ESPN until their conference tournament. They play in an on-campus arena and average close to double the student attendance of SLU with a little more than a third of the students that SLU has. Gonzaga, though they have achieved greater success and sees more TV time than Holy Cross and maybe SLU for that matter, plays in an on-campus arena and averages more than twice then SLU average with about half students SLU has.

I think that with a combination of an on campus arena and a successful team, we will see more SLU students at basketball games.

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I am not that far removed from my student days, and I still know several current students at SLU. The student support is actually significantly better than it appears to the outside observer. The problem is partially due to the poorly designed student ticket system. For a nominal cost, students receive a free assigned season ticket (just like you and me). These tickets begin in the lower level area immediately behind the easter basket and extend all the way up to the top of the lower bowl (below the kiel club). Essentially, the university is spreading out a few thousand students over an enormous professinal-style seating area. This set up is not conducive to a good student section. Student support has not been good, but it is not as bad as it appears. I cannot fault the average student who does not elect to sacrifice Wednesday evenings (prime study time, campus club meeting time, etc.) and Saturday afternoons (weekends are invaluable in college) to take a bus to sit in a cavernous NBA arena watching an average college basketball team play before a bunch of rich old white guys. It just is not that exciting. If, however, the teams plays in a true college atmosphere on-campus, then student attendance should improve four or five-fold.

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it is easy to be an attending viewer of a winner. a real fan is there thru thick and thin. it should be even more so for a student that doesnt have the everyday distractions and other obligations of us old guys yet.

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other than about 4 games last year, we never approached 1000 students at a game. a number of games i could count the less than 100 students from floor up to the keil club.

i never missed a billiken home game when i was at slu and i worked full time hours plus took my 15 hours per semester and commuted to slu from new athens, illinois.

i find it hard to believe that of the thousands of slu students, only a hundred or so have the ability to skip 2 hours of "prime study time". i would bet on most game nites that you would find more students watching mtv's real world than at the billiken game. SAYING THEY ARE studying sounds like a convienent excuse to me. if they truly are studying, fine. but i doubt it is porportionately different on non-study days or nights.

i am betting that unless we are a top 25 team by the time the biondidome opens, the same 200- students will walk the 4 blocks that they now ride to the kiel for.

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The Cincy (ESPN) and Louisville (#2 at the time) games were the only regular season games to reach 1,000 students. Charlotte came in third at around 700. I would guess that the NIT game against Minnesota also eclipsed 1,000 but since that was not an official home game I didn't see those numbers.

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david, on your 60th birthday, I will welcome you to the "rich old white guys" club. You will see that they are not a bad group. Hope you make it, bud!

By the way, if enough of those "rich old white guys" contribute the millions that Fr. Biondi is seeking, all of the "young and the spoiled" will be sitting in a pretty impressive campus arena in another three years or so. I can't wait!

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I don't disagree, but these days about 60% of the student population is from 100+ miles from St. Louis. These students didn't grow up watching SLU basketball, and they are not likely to become fans unless there is an exciting environment and an above-average product. We have not had either since the Larry Hughes year.

Have any of you been to a home soccer game? The soccer crowds draw much better student crowds than the basketball games, yet very few college students follow college soccer prior to attending SLU. Why do the students support the soccer team? Because the team is good and the venue is on campus.

After we hit the real world we quickly lose our appreciation of the typical college student's lifestyle. The typical college students' world--particularly the world of underclassmen--includes the college campus and the bars and fast food joints one or two blocks from campus. We will average 1,000 plus students/game in an on-campus arena.

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i was an illini fan until the day i hit the slu campus. i couldnt have told you who was in the starting lineup the year before. but when i registered for slu, i became a billiken. the slu student that says otherwise should go to school elsewhere.

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Rich old white guys are the bread and butter of every good program. I aspire to be one someday, and I hope you are around for my 60th to enjoy it with me. What this program lacks, however, is a healthy mixture of poor, but loud and enthusiastic young guys.

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then dont defend our apathetic students david.

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I wish we had 100 times better student support. I wish every student shared the same passion for SLU basketball that most of us do. I cannot, however, fault any person for not sharing the same interests as me. If a student isn't interested in SLU basketball or has other higher priorities, then he or she isn't a bad person or a bad student. Some students spend their free time attending or participating in university musicals, volunteering for university-sponsored activities, or participating in other university events. Those things don't interest me, and they may not interest you, but that doesn't make us apathetic toward SLU. If the university wants solid student support for their basketball program, then they need to take the steps necessary to improve the product. Part of attracting students to games, particularly students who did not grow up following college basketball, is to create an exciting environment. An on-campus arena should help create this environment.

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