SPORTS OPINION | UCCS athletics needs to improve the fan experience for upcoming year

UCCS athletics used to involve students during half-time at games to create a fun environment for students to be in, but UCCS doesn’t attempt to encourage student involvement anymore.

More students attended the games and entered the raffles to be able to compete for a prize, and UCCS athletics needs to bring fan experiences like this back. Morgan Klein, who wrote an article through the CU Boulder Alumni Association, shared the “Bluff Clap,” which was a tradition during games to get the crowd excited.

UCCS had a similar traditional cheer where the MC would shout, “UC” and the students and crowd would shout back, “CS.” This no longer an ongoing tradition during games. It’s a simple gesture that students appreciate.

I enjoyed watching basketball this season, but the wait during half-time felt slow because there was nothing going on. The UCCS dance team has made a name for themselves performing at multiple games, but UCCS can go further. They put on great performances, but they last no more than five minutes. Then, everyone sits there and waits for the buzzer to signal the start of the third quarter.

It’s boring when you don’t have something happening in front of you.

There are two things spectators want when going to a sporting event: a good game and entertainment. All sports at UCCS lack these qualities. With a 15-minute half-time period, there is an opportunity to open the floor for students to participate in challenges and to engage the crowd.

Students also need an incentive to attend games. Offering free T-shirts or free merch will increase attendance and make it more fun to cheer for the Mountain Lions. Even during time-outs and half-time, prizes can be thrown out into the crowds.

The best thing UCCS athletics can do to create a fan experience is listen to students. Ask for their vote on what they want to see at games. Ask what they need to get them to support their team and university.

Being a student at UCCS, I have some suggestions of my own.

The skybox is a fun area to watch the game from, and clubs or organizations should be encouraged to rent the skybox for a game. I hardly see the skybox get used, so that area could be promoted to bring more spectators and a better experience.

Numerous surveys go out throughout the year offering gift cards for students to fill one out. UCCS athletics could join the trend and send a survey out to students to get their opinions on how to improve the experiences they provide.

Students want their voices to be heard and they have great ideas. College is supposed to be a fun experience and part of that comes from extracurriculars, which includes attending sporting events. The athletics department needs to ensure entertainment for students to attend.

With the spring semester ending, this is a great time for UCCS athletics to make changes and come out stronger during the fall season.

The crowd at a lacrosse game on March 24. Photo via Scribe Archives.