Bumped. - BN
Well, after the announcement of the "Changes to Enhance the Student Experience," as many others have also stated on BN, I am truly disappointed with this decision.
As an alumnus who was fortunate enough to be on the sideline as a student, as well as an alumnus who up until now has appreciated The Den's contribution towards our home-court advantage, I feel its a real shame and truly an outrage that the students have been relegated to sit on the baseline behind the basket!
Whoop de doo, the students can now take part in affecting the 1/3 of the game they are close enough to the opposing team to make a difference, rather than the entire game (if not clear enough, this is dripping with sarcasm).
As a consolation prize, the admin is adding a whopping 200 seats to the student section and hailing the change under the banner of 'unity.' Yippee!
So, I wondered how this enhancement compares to other elite (or perhaps non-elite) programs...Doing a quick search, I found this article from SI about the Top 5 Student Sections in college basketball.
#5 Florida - 2,500 student seats out of about 12,000 seats total (about 1/5 of the total seats)
Location of seats - 1,000 seats on sideline + 1,500 in upper bowl
#4 Michigan St. - Almost 4,000 student seats out of almost 15,000 seats total (about 1/4 of total seats)
Location - Around 3/4 of the lower bowl (1,500 students) and 1/2 of the upper bowl (2,500 more). Oh, and it looks like their admin actually did what the students (and Izzo) wanted and moved the students into view where the tv cameras would see them... hmm.
#3 Kentucky - 5,000 student seats of the 23,000 seats total (over 1/5 of the total seats)
Location - Behind the basket
#2 Illinois - 1,200 student seats of over 16,000 seats (for a lowly 7.5% of the total seats)
Location - 650 on floor sideline and behind basket + 550 in top level
#1 Duke (duh) -If I'm reading it right, 2,500 student seats of 9,300 total (about 1/4 of the seats)
Location - Undergrads on sideline + Grad students at both baskets + Player family on 1/2 sideline = 3/4 of area immediately surrounding the court! Here is a link to their seating map.
And then New Pauley's enhanced student section:
1,900 student seats of about 14,000 (14% of the total seats)
Location - Behind the basket
So, the way I see it, great student sections either have a significant share of the sideline (preferably, IMHO, in view of the tv cameras) OR they just overwhelm them with pure numbers (i.e. Kentucky's Rupp Arena with a massive 5,000 students and 23,000 total seats).
In Old Pauley, students might not have had numbers (1,700 of 13,000 seats for 13% of the seats), but they at least had the sideline seats. Now, it looks like they won't have either. Way to "create the greatest athletic student environment in all of collegiate athletics."
Thanks for listening, DG and the rest of the admin.