Got a chance to talk to some of the big time faces behind this forum for SCU’s newspaper. Hope I got to represent you all well for the Santa Clara community at large!
Nicely done! Hopefully, more voices and different perspectives will result from your article.
Well done, Thomas! Go Broncos!
Very nice article and Bronco Baseball is just around the corner. I hope we can see more with mens basketball but at least the women are doing well and as I said baseball starts soon. GO BRONCOS!!
Nice article @TD_24 !
If you ever get the chance to go down the rabbit hole of SCU Men’s Hoops History, then I think you’ll find some really interesting stories. There were several times where SCU was on the precipice of breakthrough notoriety. In the 1950s, SCU made it to the Final Four, losing to perennial powerhouse Kansas. In the late 1960’s, two years in a row, SCU lost in the regional championships (winner went to NCAA final four) to the most formidable (and eventual champs) UCLA led by Lew Alcindor (who later changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabaar). In more recent history, our squads led by Steve Nash were quite good (3 NCAA tourney appearances), but unfortunately we just were not able to capitalize on that success and the program drifted into mediocrity.
The one MAJOR difference that I observe between SCU Basketball of yesteryear and the program of today is the level of student engagement. When I was just a young kid attending games in the 1970s, through my student years at SCU in the late 80s/early 90s, through about 2005ish (maybe earlier), student attendance was quite high, even for games vs. mediocre opponents. Heck, there were even student “characters” who were sort of unofficial cheerleaders in the stands (look up LizardMan and the Corky Nelson Club).
It seems now that most students are quite apathetic, though that isn’t true across the board of course.
I think you, and other passionate younger fans like you, would get a kick out of those “old days” stories that might perhaps inspire some to revive the passion that we old farts saw and experienced in our heydays.
Let’s not forget 87-88 and 88-89 NIT seasons. The Broncos were oh so close, but LMU with Hank and Bo were so tough–but we played them better than anyone else IMO.
As for student support…I will be a broken record here…but times have changed since this was the Valley of the Hearts Delight, when the biggest game in town was SCU v SJSU or Stanford. The interests of students are far more varied and, more importantly, they want to see a winner. Broncos have lost, what, seven to eight generations of students and alumni to perennial mediocre basketball?? Losses like San Diego at home leave a stench that has a longer and more lingering waft than the sweeter smell of a win against Gonzaga. Don’t blame the students, blame what has happened and is still happening on the court and larger macro forces at play.
Not just limited to SCU basketball either. As other local examples like Stanford football or the SJ Sharks have shown us, you don’t have to suck for that long for the crowds to stop appearing. There’s way too many sports to watch and things to do in the Bay for casual fans to stick around unless the team is winning.
The only antidote to apathy that works reliably is being good. But the best way to mitigate downside in the interim, I think, is to make it an easy option for locals looking for entertainment.
Right now the base ticket price for the Pacific game at SCU is $19. It’s over $80 to sit courtside. And this is to watch SCU take on one of the worst teams in the country.
I’d drop the tickets to no more than $10. For Pacific, maybe tickets should be $5, honestly. You’ve got to turn the lights on and run the concessions regardless. So pack in as many local families looking for something to do as you can.
Speaking of concessions… there’s only one stand and it took all of halftime to get a drink and hot dog.
I think our food vendor would make this near impossible to overcome, but what if there were taco truck food options available for better variety.
Part of the new age live sports sell is the experience off the court.
Or, gosh forbid, an advanced order or app order option, with runners to deliver the food to seats, rather than forcing people to stand in line.
This could work pretty nicely. Basically have a trimmed down version of The Bronco (or whatever the campus junk food joint is called now) menu with a designated pickup spot and a text message system to let you know when it’s ready. For folks who don’t want to download an app, you could get 4-5 of those electronic kiosks for simple ordering with a credit card.
Tapingo used to be what I used to order food from my phone for on campus dining. I always wondered why they didn’t have it in the arena. Apparently they got bought out by grubhub, but nonetheless there really should be something similar at Leavey. Its 2024…
I’ve thought about this more than I should have over the last couple of days (slow week), and sorry for hijacking the thread - it was a great article.
But I think it would be cool to “secure a perimeter” of Leavey where you could scan your ticket outside of the arena and have outdoor bars and grills surrounding the arena, either by Cowell or the walk up from the sand volleyball courts. At halftime it would hardly be any effort to run outside and have your choice of drink and cuisine.
Again, pipe dreams but model it after what the earthquakes do on one of their end lines.
too much logic and work for Santa Clara infrastructure for all these ideas haha!
Great exposure for the forum and die hard Bronco fans. There is also a long running blog about Mens Basketball from the Keating days forward that has a big following you can check out.
1978 , my freshman year we stood in line to purchase cheap student season tickets. Crowds were great for my 4 years. Even if success wasn’t
Yeah, 1977-78, the season right before you arrived, was a pretty good success at 21-8. And then the season after you graduated, 1982-83, Broncos finished 21-7, followed up by 22-10 and 20-9 seasons.
But to your point, the students, collectively, would attend games even when the team was having a mediocre year.
I remember seeing Nevada Reno in Toso. Edgar Jones , Michael Gray, Johnny High. I believe they may have been in the WCAC at the time