TCU Volleyball Draws 3rd-Largest Crowd in Program History

  0 Braden Keith | October 21st, 2017 | Big 12, College - Women's Indoor, News

The whole of the TCU varsity athletics program is rising, following the growing reputation of a nationally-#4 ranked football program and its 2012 jump to the Big 12 Conference – one of the NCAA’s ‘power 5 conferences.’

As is often the case with a jump to mid-major to a power conference, interest in the high-visibility sports aren’t the only to have benefited – the smaller, ‘Olympic’ sports, are also seeing a rise in prestige and prominence.

In a Wednesday loss to Oklahoma (3-0, 25-18, 25-16, 25-21), TCU welcomed a crowd of 2,248 to The Rickel – which made for the 3rd-largest home crowd in program history. In the process, senior Kaylee Smith became the 7th Horned Frog to reach 2000 career assists.

For the TCU volleyball team, however, the enthusiasm is nothing new. Horned Frog fans have always done well in supporting this team – they ranked in the top 25 in 2010, before the move to the Big 12 was announced – with 1,319 fans per game. The next year, they ranked 19th nationally with 1,734 fans per game.

On the 2017 season, TCU ranks 31st in average attendance with 1,473 fans per game and 22nd overall this season. That actually gives them an average attendance that’s 109% of the ‘official’ stadium capacity at the University Recreation Center – one of 7 teams to achieve a higher-average-attendance-than-capacity this season nationally.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that this means that TCU should weigh moving its volleyball team permanently into a larger facility, like the 6,800 seat Ed & Rae Schollmaier Arena. The current facility is purpose-designed for volleyball, allowing fans to be closer to the action, having no overhead video board to interfere with play, and creating an intense atmosphere without the extra caverns that are inherent to larger arenas typically designed for basketball. There is a value in scarcity of chairs – creating a sense of demand that is self-perpetuating. Fans arrive earlier, and become more invested in the product on the court, in such a high-demand atmosphere.

While TCU might do well to explore a renovation to the 14-year old facility to increase its capacity somewhat, filling a division 1 building of any size to its capacity on a regular basis is a feat to be appreciated.

TCU is 9-10 overall this season, though just 1-6 in the Big 12. The fan enthusiasm hasn’t yet translated to the court, but it might serve as a useful catalyst. The team next plays on Saturday against #24 Iowa State in Ames. They’ll return home next week to the Forth Worth faithful with a match on Thursday against West Virginia.



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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and co-founder of Braden's first foray into sports journalism came in 2010, when he launched a swimming website called The Swimmers' Circle. Two years later, he joined as a co-founder. Long huge fans of volleyball, when Braden and the SwimSwam partners sought an opportunity to …

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