Student section exceeds expectations

Jonathan Ferris
Staff writer

 

The CFSB Center, which holds 8,600 fans, hosted six straight sellout games this season. || File photo

This record-breaking season led to huge crowds at the CFSB Center, ending the days where students could walk in right before tipoff and grab a seat.

“The energy brought by the students this season in selling out six consecutive home games was tremendous,” Morris White, marketing and promotions director for athletics, said.

“I think it really helps the team when the place is packed and everyone is cheering for them and this year that’s been at home and away games as we’ve had great followings travel with the teams,” White said.

When the Stampede announced it would be printing tickets for the remaining home games, students rushed to join. The Stampede eventually stopped accepting new students for the rest of this year after membership numbers soared from 70 to nearly 500 in one weekend.

File photo

“It was awesome to have 500 sign up this year, but next year I want to see a couple thousand Stampede shirts at every basketball game,” White said.

White attributes much of the Stampede’s success to the basketball team.

“It was really easy (to get students at the game) once we got into basketball season because Coach Prohm and his staff do such a great job of preparing the team,” White said. “We didn’t have to work too hard to convince students to come to games when there was such a great product on the court every night.”

Despite the success of the cheering section this year, White still has plans to grow the section and wants to see the Stampede carry over to more than just basketball.

“We want to see Stampede members attend baseball and softball games this spring and we really want to have bigger crowds at football games next fall along with women’s basketball, soccer and volleyball,” White said.

The Stampede will continue to offer an attendance-based points system. For each Stampede sporting event, students will have the opportunity to check in and collect points just for coming and watching. After students attend a certain number of events and accumulate enough points they receive a prize. The Stampede offers several different levels of prizes, increasing in value as students accumulate more points.

“The idea behind the points system is to get more students out to all sporting events,” White said. “Our whole goal is to create amazing atmospheres for out student-athletes and coaches in all sports.”

In addition to supporting the teams, White said giveaways and opportunities to win free items will remain a big part of the Stampede.

“We are always looking for more and better prizes,” White says. “We love to do giveaways and we’re looking for a lot of community support through sponsors to be able to do that. I know college students like free things and I want to make every effort to provide more of those opportunities for Stampede members next year.”

White said he is not going to be content after one hugely successful season.

“We always want to be improving and getting better so students are going to see some positive changes in the Stampede for next year,” White said. “We’re looking at printing all the football tickets at once for the Stampede as well as doing a few other things to help out our members.”

White said he hopes to continue to see the same support from students and fans and looks forward to growing the Stampede.

The Stampede plans to have returning students sign up for next year before the semester ends and will be announcing how to do so in the coming weeks.