Texas Southern University played a home game this past weekend against Southern and fell just short losing 31-24. The game kicked off Friday November 1st at 8:00pm. In my eyes, the most interesting part of TSU’s season is the lack of support from local fans.
Because of an arrangement entered into by the city of Houston, Harris County and the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority in April 2010, TSU and the Dynamo became co-tenants in the 22,000-seat, soccer-specific stadium that is less than 10 minutes east of the university. TSU made a one-time payment of $1.5 million toward the building project and received a 30-year lease to use the stadium.
In addition to being able to have fans purchase tickets through an electronic system, the arrangement brings TSU financial benefits it did not have. The school will receive all of the revenue from sales of game tickets, merchandise at the stadium, television rights and game-day sponsorships, and 16 percent of gross revenue from concessions.
With all these measures put into play, TSU has had the very lackluster attendance from fans in support of their team. For TSU’s homecoming against Alcorn State, attendance was a mere 4,582. On Friday’s close game against Southern, attendance was only 6,406.
The homecoming attendance was an embarrassment to both the school and the community. I read articles from media outlets covering Alcorn State and each article mentioned how low the attendance was during TSU’s homecoming.
With Grambling receiving national attention for their lack of facilities and equipment to perform against the competition, TSU fans should be grateful for the opportunities afforded to its student-athletes. The greatest gift fans could give the players is their support. Create a hostile environment for teams coming to Houston and an atmosphere that would lure future prospects to the school.
As a former collegiate athlete, when visiting schools trying to decide where I would sign my letter of intent, local fan support played a big part in my decision. I’m sure TSU’s attendance is having an adverse affect of future recruiting for the school. The only way to turn this around is by supporting the team. Take advantage of the new stadium and bring pride back to Texas Southern University.