Changes coming to EagleBank Arena?

GMUgemini

Hall of Famer
Without beating this dead horse too much (And obviously completely agreeing) many of these topics I've discussed with Zack Bolno or with friends who have. From my understanding they have tried doing a lot of student engagement, but obviously with the pandemic and losing, it becomes very difficult. We were told that attendance actually increased one year with some of these efforts.

Post pandemic, hopefully they will look to implement some of the new ideas like the selling beer idea. I'd encourage you to mention some of these suggestions to someone as well, as it would only help push the message if more people ask for specific items. A friend and I have a running list of grievances on this stuff so they are aware of a lot of these things to fix. Ultimately it boils down to the product on the floor, but there are always enhancements to do even regardless of that and the more we comment and ask, the more likely they would implement or consider.

ASU has a student committee that does student engagement. And it’s their job to increase student attendance at ALL the sports, not just basketball.
 

DJ3

All-American
I am going to assume you are being funny but obviously I can't hear tone on a message board. Regardless, I assure you I did not hear about any plans for football.

(are we at that point of the offseason already? haha)
Yes trying to be funny. Fail lol
 

GMU1983

Starter
⭐️ Donor ⭐️
I know this is heresy but sometimes Doc Nix kills the crowd. For example monster dunk other team calls time out and instead of feeding the crowd with jacked up speaker music or just leaving the crowd alone to yell and scream he jumps in and plays a song that kills the energy. He is great on everything else but what I am trying to say is the students, cheerleaders and the band are not in unison. Am I making sense? Anyone else notice this?
 

sleeperpick

Hall of Famer
I know this is heresy but sometimes Doc Nix kills the crowd. For example monster dunk other team calls time out and instead of feeding the crowd with jacked up speaker music or just leaving the crowd alone to yell and scream he jumps in and plays a song that kills the energy. He is great on everything else but what I am trying to say is the students, cheerleaders and the band are not in unison. Am I making sense? Anyone else notice this?
It is heresy but I agree. Doc nix and crew are amazing like 75% of the time. But that other 25% can be painful... specifically the scream singer that had way too many solos in 2019, the fact that his song selection seems to be pre planned and doesn’t match the game tempo sometimes, and they are rarely in unison with the cheerleaders or dancers.
 

Patriotsince81

All-American
⭐️ Donor ⭐️
Seems like the roster changeover has slowed down and we are getting into that slower time of the off-season.
Our attendance has been shit for years and even at our peak the arena was pretty quiet. So I was wondering what easier changes could be made to put more butts in the seats this coming season.

We have an exciting new Coach, winning always helps attendance. I expect he’ll be all over social media hyping/promoting up home games. I also believe he’ll probably be more involved with the local sports media promoting the product. We need fans to come “rock with them”.

I think the school needs to do a better job of student engagement. I’m older and I don’t honestly know what that looks like in 2021. I don’t know if they need promotions or selfie stations or what. Ha I may have just made up something called a “selfie station”.

Mason Basketball needs to become more of an event, than just a basketball game. There is an energy that comes with a loud exciting game. We already have one of the best pep bands in the country. It doesn’t help that half our attendance sits quietly on their hands or is too old to stand up without their walkers.

I understand both sides of this issue but I think beer should be sold at concessions. I think it would help bring in some money into the school and may help bring in some fans that wouldn’t typically come, along with livening up the environment. I hate drinking socially in the green room and then walking to my seat without continuing to indulge in a beverage or two/three. VCU has now sold beer for 3 years in their arena I’m sure that’s a big enough sample size to pull the pros and cons from. They even have a local craft brewery produce black and yellow cans for the games.

Thats all I got, I’d just love for EBA to be so packed that the school has to remove those covers on the sides and so loud the big donors up front have to take their hands from under their butts to remove their hearing aids.
I hope to see a fundamental shift in the philosophy about what the game day environment is supposed to be. The no fun police need to go. I want it to be uncomfortable for opposing teams. I'm not advocating for drunken brawls in the stands but it needs to be okay to yell, cheer, and boo officials. Allow signs and creative chants. Don't squash enthusiasm, encourage it. Allow that to happen and I think more students would actually attend games.

I am hoping that since some "experienced" staff have moved on or retired the game time environment will be allowed to become more intimidating for opposing teams. It's hard to have a loud, intimidating crowd when half of it is preteen cheerleaders, scouts, and youth league teams with their parents who leave after their halftime show is over. Have family night at the movies not at a Mason basketball game.

And to the old farts who call and complain about the noise.... I hope the athletic department or EBA staff tells them that if they want quiet to go to the library, the movies, or the opera. It's a sporting event, not a recital.

You already touched on the winning part of the equation. If we are able to replicate what VCU has done and go to the dance 4 or 5 years in a row attendance will take care of itself. Our most recent success was 10 years ago and even that was not a yearly occurrence.
 
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tblack33

All-American
⭐️ Donor ⭐️
Wait, what? Is this real?... This doesn't really happen, does it?
I am fairly certain it does. It may be phrased differently than noise, but I have certainly seen some of our older fans complain about people standing up during a game, that was a one possession game with less than a minute to play....
 

Patriotsince81

All-American
⭐️ Donor ⭐️
Wait, what? Is this real?... This doesn't really happen, does it?
Yes, it does. Several years back a ref made a horrible call. My friend yelled out loudly not to worry about the call, the ref was just having a bad day because his seeing eye dog died. I was a little more blunt and just yelled out that the called sucked. Well, the old folks in front were terribly offended and called to complain. The next day I got a phone call at work from Andy Ruge asking me to "tone it down."
 

He15man

Specialist
Yes, it does. Several years back a ref made a horrible call. My friend yelled out loudly not to worry about the call, the ref was just having a bad day because his seeing eye dog died. I was a little more blunt and just yelled out that the called sucked. Well, the old folks in front were terribly offended and called to complain. The next day I got a phone call at work from Andy Ruge asking me to "tone it down."
You have GOT to be kidding me. That's hilarious on one hand, but simultaneously one of the saddest things I've ever heard. The fact that our AD not only took it seriously, but seriously enough that they CALLED you... that's insane to me. It's no wonder our game day atmospheres for the past decade have been closer to church or cub scout den meeting environments than an actual college basketball game.
 
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He15man

Specialist
I am fairly certain it does. It may be phrased differently than noise, but I have certainly seen some of our older fans complain about people standing up during a game, that was a one possession game with less than a minute to play....
Completely absurd...
 
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Patriotsince81

All-American
⭐️ Donor ⭐️
You have GOT to be kidding me. That's hilarious on one hand, but simultaneously one of the saddest things I've ever heard. The fact that our AD not only took it seriously, but seriously enough that they CALLED you... that's insane to me. It's no wonder our game day atmospheres for the past decade have been closer to church or cub scout den meeting environments than an actual college basketball game.
On one other occasion a woman in front of me told me that if I really felt the need to raise my voice perhaps I could cup my hands and yell at the ceiling. Welcome to old fart night in section 115.
 

Pikapppatri8

Hall of Famer
⭐️ Donor ⭐️
On one other occasion a woman in front of me told me that if I really felt the need to raise my voice perhaps I could cup my hands and yell at the ceiling. Welcome to old fart night in section 115.

The amount of times I have had security come to my seats and give me the stank eye are uncountable.
 

GMU79

Sixth Man
⭐️ Donor ⭐️
I hope to see a fundamental shift in the philosophy about what the game day environment is supposed to be. The no fun police need to go. I want it to be uncomfortable for opposing teams. I'm not advocating for drunken brawls in the stands but it needs to be okay to yell, cheer, and boo officials. Allow signs and creative chants. Don't squash enthusiasm, encourage it. Allow that to happen and I think more students would actually attend games.

I am hoping that since some "experienced" staff have moved on or retired the game time environment will be allowed to become more intimidating for opposing teams. It's hard to have a loud, intimidating crowd when half of it is preteen cheerleaders, scouts, and youth league teams with their parents who leave after their halftime show is over. Have family night at the movies not at a Mason basketball game.

And to the old farts who call and complain about the noise.... I hope the athletic department or EBA staff tells them that if they want quiet to go to the library, the movies, or the opera. It's a sporting event, not a recital.

You already touched on the winning part of the equation. If we are able to replicate what VCU has done and go to the dance 4 or 5 years in a row attendance will take care of itself. Our most recent success was 10 years ago and even that was not a yearly occurrence.
I may be an old fart (yeah, I know, bad first impression. Sorry.), but I'm all on board with this. VCU, Duke, Mason all in the same breath on intimidating crowd noise would be awesome.
 

Patriotsince81

All-American
⭐️ Donor ⭐️
I may be an old fart (yeah, I know, bad first impression. Sorry.), but I'm all on board with this. VCU, Duke, Mason all in that breath on intimidating crowd would be awesome.
Age is just a number. I know 20 year olds who act like they are 75 and 75 years olds who act like they're 20. Nice to have another passionate Mason fan on board.
 

mkaufman1

Moderator
Staff member
⭐️ Donor ⭐️
On one other occasion a woman in front of me told me that if I really felt the need to raise my voice perhaps I could cup my hands and yell at the ceiling. Welcome to old fart night in section 115.

I think that crowd is in for a rude awakening when people who actually want to win start filling up the seats. Add to the fact that our out of conference won't be snoozefests anymore as well. Maybe Mason will actually host a game against VCU where it means something to both teams for NCAA or A10 tournament position? That lady will probably have a heart attack with that crowd.
 

GMUSSTN

Starter
It is heresy but I agree. Doc nix and crew are amazing like 75% of the time. But that other 25% can be painful... specifically the scream singer that had way too many solos in 2019, the fact that his song selection seems to be pre planned and doesn’t match the game tempo sometimes, and they are rarely in unison with the cheerleaders or dancers.

BACK IN MY DAY the timeouts were all preplanned...some went to the cheerleaders, one each half went to the dance team, and the rest went to the band. If it was a quick timeout called by the other team (so not a media time out) then 9/10 the band was expected to play IMMEDIATELY. They had a big white board that told you which chart to have up so you could be ready to play as soon as the time out happened. So you can't always pick which song would be best when you're trying to get 60+ people to play in unison in under 30 seconds.

Other bands at other arenas have this problem too. Sort of the nature of the beast. I do agree that Doc sometimes features people a little *too* much and stuff can get stale...e.g. why they were playing "livin' on a prayer" until 2016.

I do remember in his first season here at the VCU game we specifically told him NOT to schedule "rock n roll part II" because the VCU fans would eat it up. A quick timeout happened and he didn't have a song picked outbeforehand, so he just shouted that chart up for us to play. It was a disaster. He's much better now.

(Also always a good time to point out that VCU's "fight song" was written by an out of control pedophile who did prison time in Vietnam and that's why major sports teams don't use it anymore, except for them)
 

Old Man

Sixth Man
⭐️ Donor ⭐️
The amount of times I have had security come to my seats and give me the stank eye are uncountable.
That probably has more to do with the government wanting to know where you are at all times, and after talking to you, I don't blame them.
 

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