Throw Down the Gauntlet


This post begins a series of guest posts by Ryan Koechig, as he takes a deep dive into Drexel’s attendance issues.  At its root, the vision of this series is in lockstep with the vision of this website: To find research based solutions to the ills of the Drexel program, and provide some light entertainment on the way.  I sincerely believe that Ryan is the best Drexel fan for the job, and look forward to these posts as much as any reader may.  ~dc



Ol’ Thanos was an idiot.

How else can you describe someone who traverses the galaxy, leaving a trail of destruction, for a bunch of rocks that reduces the universal population by 50% (this, of course, is impossible. Everyone knows the population of the universe is zero. Alas, we’re dealing with artistic license here, Mr. Scorcese’s views notwithstanding), costing him “everything,” when there is an object that would have allowed him to take out closer to 55% with no need to wear a jaunty glove? What is this object of such immense power, you may be asking (especially after reading that last sentence)? It’s the men’s basketball program at Drexel University. 

The graph above shows the 5-year rolling attendance for the men’s program. That large spike centered around 1990 comes from “home” games played at the Palestra (Three Palestra “home” games in 87-88 season, including a Tuesday in January game against Marist that drew almost 7,200 fans!). I’ve delayed myself in getting this article out as I’ve hoped I’d be able to find info to remove these Palestra games to focus solely on games played at Drexel’s on-campus, home gym. I haven’t, and the OOC schedule is already over, so we go with what we’ve got. Generally, you can see a fairly slow, but stable growth rate in attendance from the early 80s up until 2015, and then…


The highest single-season DAC attendance was during Snub 2:Selectioncommitteescrewyou in 2011-12 at 2185/game, six years later it was 989/game. The throwing of the gauntlet is to get this thing turned around, and actually beyond where we were in the past. The DAC is one of the smallest gyms in D1 and Philly is one of the largest cities in the country with lots of local Drexel alumni. The DAC only seats about 2,500. Drexel’s highest season average only amounted to 87.5% capacity and our 5-year rolling average has maxed out at about 75% capacity. There’s a problem here. So this is the first in what is planned to become a series. I’ve categorized every DAC game from the 2002-03 season on, and hope to be able to dig up more data so I can go further back. We’ll take a look at some variables as best we can to see what gooses attendance (I’ll save the obvious for last) and look at what other schools have done. In the meantime, those of you still making the trek out to the DAC for every game, enjoy the extra legroom while it lasts.

For now, Thanos can satiate his homicidal mania for stretch-out space by throwing athletics a bone and showing up to the Drexel Ticket office. He can have my old seat.


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