Spring sports attendance woes


Jonathan Brown

The WHHS Nuthouse came out in full force for many of the fall and winter sports, including boys football. Spring sports are pushing for this same level of attendance at games.

Screaming and cheering. Fans are what make the sports worthwhile for the athletes that play them. But what occurs when there is no cheering during games or when there is no one around to support them? Currently in the 2018-19 season as well as previous seasons, spring sports have significantly lower attendance rates than the fall and winter seasons at WHHS.

In the winter, WHHS charges for their junior varsity and varsity girls and boys basketball games held on campus. During the season, the teams had a total of 62 games. Over the 62 games held, 3,160 tickets were sold. In the spring, WHHS charges for their junior varsity and varsity boys and girls lacrosse teams as well as at the boys volleyball games. Currently, around the middle of the spring sports season, only 350 tickets have been sold.

At this time for winter sports, WHHS managed to sell 877 tickets, a difference of 527 tickets compared to spring sports (about a 60 percent ncrease). The majority of ticket buyers in the crowd in the winter season seemed to be both students and parents. But in the crowds of the spring sports, the majority of the ticket buyers are parents of the students participating in the game.

Winter sports get public recognition as the season contains popular sports like basketball, being the primary box office attraction at WHHS during the season appears to attract more fans.

The winter sports give the students a place to hang out. The majority of students that come to the games are going to hang out with friends while supporting their classmates that are athletes.

Olivia Busche, ‘21, favors attending winter sports games over spring.
“They [spring sports] are more individualized sports, so unless I have one person that I am supporting, I’m less inclined to see that sport,” Busche said.

During basketball season, there is more frequent knowledge of times and events. There are fundraising actions that the teams and the student body come up with to support the teams financially.

Ryleigh Sanborn
Ticket sales at spring sports games are significantly less when compared to winter sports games. This could be caused by a lack of spirit for these sports, or the preoccupation of students with their studies.

While these initiatives do not completely disappear in the spring, there is less action coming from the Nuthouse concerning sports like lacrosse, rugby, softball and volleyball. There is less publicity being gained through announcements and the WHHS Athletics Twitter account. Therefore, it appears that boys and girls lacrosse games’ attendees primarily are parents of the player.

“On the announcements they don’t really talk about spring sports like they do fall sports. They don’t talk about having a game every Friday and they don’t have a student support section like they do football and basketball. I just feel as though the school doesn’t know they are happening because the school doesn’t talk about them,” Busche said.

Toward the end of the year comes the stress of preparing for exams and AP tests. When considering why she would not be attending games, Joanna Acio-Alele, ‘20, said, “I have no time with homework and none of my friends are going.”

More and more students are staying in and focusing on their grades during this time.

The Nuthouse has begun to acknowledge the achievements of the spring sports. Placing more focus on when games occur and the results can lead to bringing out larger crowds. Acknowledging when teams make accomplishments can lead to students wanting to know more about the sport.

Coaches and players on the team can continue to encourage their fellow students and faculty to come to the games. Promotional items such as entertaining fundraising activities can lead to the high attendance rates.

Varsity Tennis coach Taylor Brannon mentioned the idea of a double header event in the future.
“I think two of the bigger spring sports especially now right here in Marx stadium, you get lacrosse and track and baseball and if we get a double header or something like that, that will get the fans to come over to the tennis court or vice versa. And I think that would be really good. there might be a collaboration in the future between coaches,” Brannon said.

Ideas like the one Brannon presents is just one of several that could be embraced to improve spring sports attendace. Ultimately, it is up to the WHHS community to come out and support it as much as they can.