The Chronicle’s View

The Freshman Council of the Associated Students of the University of Utah is trying to do something. It?s trying to organize a group of U students to head to Las Vegas for the Ute football game against UNLV on Nov. 3.

While it?s refreshing to see students attempting to overcome apathy, they are taking the easy way out. How hard is it to convince a group of overworked college students to support their football team when you throw in the fact that the game is in the city of sin?

Sure, the fans will be giving a major boost to players during that game, but their efforts would be more appreciated if they were concentrated where it counts?the home games.

The sad fact is, the 45,634 seats in Rice-Eccles Stadium have yet to be filled during a home game this season. In fact, the average attendance per game has only been 34,065, and only two games this year?one against Utah State and one against Wyoming?have exceeded what the stadium?s capacity was before it was renovated in 1998. Considering that the addition of about 13,000 seats cost $50 million?well, let?s just say they haven?t been getting their money?s worth.

To add insult to injury, the attendance numbers released come from the number of people who paid for a ticket, not those who actually attend. Since many ticket-holders don?t show, the real attendance is even more meager than the numbers suggest.

Fans have no excuse for such a poor show of support. Other stadiums?such as LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, which has 19,366 more seats than Rice-Eccles Stadium?have little problem selling out.

And while last year’s football season had its disappointments, this year?s team has given a great performance?going 5-1 overall and remaining undefeated at home thus far, at 4-0.

When it comes down to it, attendance can affect the game. The players notice the wide-open spaces in their stadium, and it impacts their morale. Of course, the team hasn?t lost any games as a result, but it would certainly help to see their fans come out in full-force.

So for the last home game, against San Diego State on Nov. 10, the fans should put on their colors and make the drive to the Rice-Eccles Stadium. The players need to see support, and perhaps a little appreciation.