Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Owls play to an empty nest

The Fighting Owls football team won their third game in a row Saturday, October 4th, 27-14 over Texas State, but no one was there to see it.

FAU returned to their new home, Lockhart Stadium, and found it just as empty as Pro Player Stadium was in the previous three years.

The attendance was just over 4,000 for the game, a laughable number considering FAU announced an attendance of 12,000 during the first game of the season.

Athletic Director Craig Angelos has since stated that the “12,000” is inflated because ticket sales were used instead of actual attendance.

We can probably assume then that 4,000 is about average for actual attendance for the season.

So where was everybody, and does FAU even care?

Well, for starters, there was a Marlin playoff on the same day and 60,000 people were on hand to support them.

All right, but there are around three million people in the tri-county area so there should have been plenty more to come to the Owls game.

I am not saying that all of the people in South Florida are Owl fans or even football fans for that matter, but in the same context you cannot tell me that all Owl fans are Marlin fans and went to the game.

Another reason for the low attendance can be attributed to tailgating.


I am glad you asked.

It seems as though some of our fraternities love to tailgate at the Owl football games. Unfortunately, that is all they like to do at the games.

At halftime I came out of the press box for some fresh air and a car blasting music could be heard in the parking lot. As I went to a higher level of the stadium to investigate, other people were also wondering why this group of people were still in the parking lot partying.

Last time I checked FAU was not the top ranked partying school in the country, so I guess it is because of where we hold our parties.

Add these two reasons to the fact that we do live in South Florida and with the water there are plenty of things for a person to do on a Saturday afternoon.

That brings us whether FAU really cares.

Howard Schnellenberger and the Athletic department sure do.

You see there is this whole thing about FAU trying to get its football team to Division I-A. To do this the Owls must have at least 15,000 people in actual attendance at their games.

An audience of 4,000 people just does not cut it for the NCAA, and I do not think we can sway them with our “football in paradise” slogan.

Actually, for me, “football in paradise” should mean playing in front of sold-out crowds everyday.

What about the players?

When FAU practiced on Friday before the game at Lockhart, the players were visibly excited. They had been on the road for three weeks and were happy to see their names on the field for a change.

They were also excited to hear someone cheer for them instead of boo them. The fans that came accommodated the players and game them what they wanted. In return FAU played hard and moved closer to a playoff berth.

What has FAU done to get fans at the game?

The team has been marketed with billboards and ads in the newspaper. Tickets have been given to the YMCA for members to bring their children. President Brogan even toured campus with Schnellenberger and Hootie (you know, the Owl) to try and get students to come to the game.

Most importantly, the team has won. This three-game winning streak is the first in team history. Their 4-2 record matches the total of most wins in a season for the team. Quarterback Jared Allen has broken the season record for passing yards and touchdowns, while Roosevelt Bynes and Anthony Crissinger-Hill are competing for the season record for receiving yards and touchdowns.

So what does FAU do next?

All they can do is keep winning and hope that sooner or later people start to show up.

Maybe if they make the playoffs, 60,000 will be on hand.

Don’t hold your breath.

What can you do? You can start by going to the games. Then tell your friends and have them tell their friends. Word of mouth can do wonders.

Lastly, if you are an Owl fan, you can hope that FAU will continue to try and get fans to come to the games instead of realizing that football may be costing more money than it is worth. In that case they might scrap football all together – a plan that will hurt the university as well as the players.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

Do you have something to say? Submit your comments below
All UNIVERSITY PRESS Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *