The Eleven Warriors Web Report Discusses Why Ohio State Basketball Fans Aren't Showing Up to The Schott

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ramsdude456's picture

The Schott always has been not only overbuilt for all but the biggest occasions, but poorly designed and managed for college basketball even with the students now down on the floor, but publicly reduced Student ticket #s because our Athletics dept somehow needs even more revenue. We built a shiny new NBA wanna be arena that was all about $$$ when we needed a renovated St. John Arena.

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buckeyearchie76's picture

I am in Cincinnati.  But, if I lived in Columbus or close, I would attend most basketball games--winning team or not!  However, I encourage anybody to go to the Schott and sit in the upper sections and just see for themselves.  It is a horrible view of the game.  You must constantly stare at the replays on the scoreboard to find out what happened.  Tell me that is a fun way to watch a game!   And very rarely has the atmosphere been electric there---except for the Indiana, MSU, and Wisconsin games.  I was in school during the St. John's Arena era and almost every game was a sellout and always an electric crowd.  I know, I know, that is an era in the past.  But, it was a fun era as well.  Too bad that this team can not get more support at home.  But, can you really blame most fans for not wanting to be closer to the action.  GO BUCKS!   PS---great hire to get Chris!

Louis Haynes

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brutus0717's picture

Unnecessary.

"We gotta go win this next game and make the State of Ohio proud!"-UFM

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allinosu's picture

Hard call. I called it St John's my whole life and was corrected on here and was glad to know. Hoping he feels the same.

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buckeyearchie76's picture

You and I share the same thing--it has always been St, John's to me.  So, now I have to erase a lifetime mistake and be correct.  You can call it anything you want.  But it sure was more exciting and enjoyable than this piece of crap they play in now.  GO BUCKS!

Louis Haynes

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brutus0717's picture

Fair enough.

"We gotta go win this next game and make the State of Ohio proud!"-UFM

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Buck61's picture

Top row upper deck, center court for Penn St, is $28 plus fees, top row upper deck behind the basket is just $10 plus fees. The $10 sounds reasonable, not the $28

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hetuck's picture

Now add $10 for parking, $8 for a Donato's pan pizza, etc. 

Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.

Vince Lombardi

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showgunz1408's picture

Seems like the attendance numbers are a huge factor here. Over the years some of the players didn't seem like they wanted to be there, why would the fans. Seniors show no emotion or "want to". Minus AC of course but he wasn't the go to guy.

If its the atmosphere not providing noise and cheer in the right place i blame whoever designed the Schott. 

Bottom line= gets players that want to be here and the fans will too.

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bsk33's picture

Have you watched the team this year? They have an entire team of players that play their butts off. Plus they have an emerging star in Keita Bates-Diop. Holtmann and the team are doing their jobs.

I play, coach stays. He goes, I go.

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showgunz1408's picture

Haha, i see how you felt i was bashing this years team. Yes, i've watched this team and they are 10x more interested in playing than teams past. My point was at a Football school you need consistency, i don't mean one good year where NO ONE expected this team to be this good. Now next year if this team is balling like they are now and fans still aren't showing up then theres a problem. Difference between the two years would be expectations.

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bsk33's picture

I would love to go back in time and somehow prevent the Schott from being built and thus pumping that $ into rennovating St.John Arena. But it isn't going to happen. The best we are going to get is 1-2 non-conference games a year, which Holtmann seems game for it.

I do think they could try to make the upper bowl experience a little better. The lower bowl isn't a terrible experience at all, especially against good opponents. But the tickets can be pricey and hard to come by, even when see rows and rows available at some games.

But the upper bowl is just awful, even if you only pay $10 or less for your seat. The seats are never going to be great, but they could do some stuff to make it better. Maybe actually give away tee shirts and mini basketballs (70% of the lower bowl goes crazy when they give free shit away). They could send Brutus up there or some members of the Pep Band. Maybe place some replay tvs in strategic places.

I am sure someone smarter than me can come up with other ideas. I realize you get what you pay for, but I cannot help but think of Elaine stuck in Coach while Jerry is living it up in First Class while I am stuck in the Upper Bowl. Maybe some folks will get that Seinfeld reference.

I play, coach stays. He goes, I go.

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0H-10's picture

Cannot disagree with this^ but I always take my sons and live in Canada so it is a costly weekend trip for a game. IMO & that of my sons- the Schott sucks for 'fan experience' and participation/atmosphere. Watched far more games at St. John and would again. If the game's at the Schott, I'll watch from home.

o||||||o

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ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

Sometimes, these things take time.  Attendance declined as the on-court performance of the program declined.  Now the team is good again (much more quickly than most would have expected) - perhaps it takes time for everybody to realize it.  There could be a number of reasons - maybe people haven't fully switched their attention from football to basketball yet...maybe the winter weather we've had here has played a factor...maybe people simply weren't expecting a good season for the team and thus haven't been paying attention.  Maybe being in the top 25 now will help - it's something tangible that a fan can see and think "OK maybe these guys are good."

Also, the Schott is just too big.  It feels too big and too corporate.  The environment, most nights, is not great.  It can be great when it's a big game - like having a highly ranked team coming to town.  But when it's one of the non-conference scrubs in November/December, or one of the lower-end Big Ten teams in January/February...you don't feel the excitement.  It doesn't come across to me on TV at least.  If you're not filling up the Schott, then what do you have to lose if you were to have a smaller arena that's set up much better for basketball?  

Class of 2010.

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2PuttBogey's picture

I'm still waiting for anyone to explain to me how the Kohl Center can have 17,000 plus fans in an arena the size of the Schott and be considered one of the best environments while the Schott can't be?  Is it because of the design of the building or because of the general attitude of fans towards basketball?  The Schott while even in a down environment draws over 12,000 that would almost be a sellout at St John...so touting how St. John was always sold out isn't a great argument.

It seems to me we have a lot of fans but in reality need more people to be supporters.  Its easy for fans to show up when the team is good...we need supporters who will be there regardless.

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BuckeyeBen7.7's picture

This is a great point. I've been pretty much neutral on the Schott because I'm not old enough to remember the Bucks playing in St. John's but this is a great point. The Kohl Center is undoubtable one of the toughest places to play in the Big Ten, and arguably in the whole country. So if the buildings are so similar as you say (I've never seen it in person, so I'm gonna take your word on it), then why is the such a huge discrepancy?

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ZeroDimension's picture

I got a chance to go the Kohl Center circa 2005 or 6,  It was Matta's second year... I was in Chigao, and decided to drive up for the game after work(not checking the weather report).  I was actually terrified of not getting a ticket because they were always sold out.. 

I got to ticket office outside arena just after tip off... I figured I would have to scalp.. they had tickets... It was upper bowl.. not quite at the top but close.. and it did look alot like upper bowl at schott..  There was a 5-6 minute stretch where Terrance Dials was unstoppable I was almost embarrassed for wisky... They did come back and win that game...  

... the lady at the ticket office, actually told me.. wisconsin had a website they hosted, for an official ticket exchange... Where season ticket holders could easily sell tickets to other wisconsin fans... At the time.. I mentioned this to another big basketball fan at Ohio State to find out if we did anything like that... He actually wanted to smack me when I said it.. and he really tried to push for OSU to get something like that... They site was easy to use but it appeared but it showed me wisconsin was trying what every they good to make sure there stadium stayed filled(commitment to the program). 

it took me 6 hours to make the drive back to chicaco.. there was a blizzard while I was at the game... from no snow to being terrrified driving back behind a semi truck... and the North bound lane of that freeway were closed!   Always check the weather report.. lesson learned... 

One Shoe

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stxbuck's picture

This. tOSU isn't a hoops school, and the football attendance is fan/alumni/locally driven-not students tOSU could probably sell out a 9K arena consistently, but the demand isn't there for an 18K arena-students or otherwise. Not everyone at tOSU is a hoops fan-HS sports draw fans as a social event, college hoops-not so much.

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BucksHave7's picture

Seriously?  We finally crack the top 25 in 3 years and we are discussing filling seats?   Let’s concentrate on winning he next game.

BucksHave7

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BuckNutChicago's picture

Not sure why the DV's here.  I agree.  Attendance is something to discuss, but I'd like to hear more analysis of the play on the court.  Why is this team effective?  What has KBD done to change his game?  JT is playing like his hair is on fire, what is different?  What is it going to take to keep it going?  Instead we get 4 minutes of attendance and wacky schedule.  If nothing else, it is entertaining.   

Go Buckeyes!!!

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Notthatguy's picture

Ummm...weather wouldn't have anything to do with attendance, would it?

I would've sent a check but I already sealed up the envelope...

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Deadly Nuts's picture

The Schott is a decent walk for most students.

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bsk33's picture

Nope. If you watched the clip, they discuss the fact that only 12k showed up for the Maryland game last Thursday.

This game followed the huge win over #1 Michigan State. And the weather was actually really nice for January (in the 40s). Plus the game had a pretty good time slot: 7pm on a Thursday night.

I play, coach stays. He goes, I go.

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tcm1968's picture

Should have played in Nationwide for a few years and then either did a major revamp or complete knock down and rebuild of St John on the current St John site. The Schott is a bloated concert venue. St John 2 should have been about 12K and built for basketball. Schott just feels so disconnected from the University.

Also doesn't help that I assume people are buying tickets and not going? Otherwise how do you explain the lower bowl empty seats that are never for sale??

But who knows maybe they get the chance. Believe Schott is almost 20 years old and most arenas start hitting their shelf life not much after that..

Go Bucks!

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Thurdsty's picture

I think an Arena District type atmosphere would definitely bring in more people to watch the b-ball team.

Behold the chunky whoop ass.

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jpfbucks01's picture

"Should have played in Nationwide for a few years and then either did a major revamp or complete knock down and rebuild of St John on the current St John site."

This wasnt really an option back then as the timelines didnt work out

OSU decided to build a new arena back in mid 90's and broke ground on the new arena in March 1996. 

The referendum that was voted down by tax payers for what eventually became Nationwide area didn't take place for another year in the spring of 1997. This was a the 5th time voters had decided against a downtown arena. Voters previously had rejected tax issues for arenas and stadiums in 1978 (65 percent), 1981 (79 percent), 1986 (53 percent) and 1987 (56 percent). In May of 1997 it was 56% against. 

So when OSU decided to replace rather than upgrade St John's, the city of Columbus was showing no inclination to even build a downtown arena.

So at that time, (1994-95), had OSU chosen the path to significantly remodel/rebuild St John's, their only real option for a place to play would have been Convention Center Battelle Hall which was then still called the Ohio Center with a hoops capacity of just over 6500 non permanent bleacher seats, hardly a realistic option.

Nationwide didnt even step up to provide the bulk of the financing until June 1997, or about 18 months OSU had broken ground on the Schott and didnt break ground until May, 1998 or only about 6 months before VCA opened, and didnt open until Sept of 2000 nearly 2 years after VCA had opened.

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rblackbu's picture

No magic at the Schott, that arena has always done a disservice to the hoops program. PLEASE bring back ST. JOHN ARENA!!!  A 13k seat arena feels about right for a college hoops basketball game, not 20k + arena. It’s old school arenas that help make college hoops special. Fight on Perry Carter!!

"When you help someone up a hill, you get that much closer to the top yourself..."

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Buckeye Colin's picture

^^^ This. I covered a Buckeye Wrestling match in November there and the atmosphere is still amazing. I would buy season tickets yearly if they moved back, and I know a lot of people would do the same.

"My idea of a good hit is when the guy wakes up on the sidelines with train whistles blowing in his head." - Jack Tatum

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OSUbioengineer's picture

Speaking as a recent graduate, I would say it comes down to the culture of the student body. We haven't been good since 2014 so an entire 4 classes have gone without experiencing the success. Football is obviously built into the schools DNA and dominates Fall semesters, Basketball is kind of an after thought. If we obtain constant success I would expect the attendance to increase as more students expect a good game and consider the game as an event that can be fun. It doesn't help the stadium is a little off campus, but with Uber and Lyft that really isnt a factor for college students today. Another huge factor is the price of tickets, anything more than $10-20 is asking a lot for kids that may be on the fence of going, pretty ridiculous if you ask me. I also agree it should be in St. John for proximity and environment. 

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bwherbert's picture

A few points of relevance (imo):

1.) The Scott (to me) seems large for a college basketball arena, especially for an area where basketball isn't (and never will be) the #1 sport. I echo the sentiment for a St. John's rebuild. St. John's capacity is ~13k. If the men's team were still playing there, we would instead be discussing how the team was pulling in near-sellout crowds.

2.) Home entertainment centers have become much more advanced and affordable. Why spend hundreds of dollars (tickets, parking, food) for my family and I to sit in nosebleed seats when I can watch the game at home on my 70" Samsung LED with 4k resolution and Bose surround sound? It's really no comparison. There's also the time commitment......sitting in traffic before and after the game. Why do these things when I can watch the game at home, not travel at all, and still have time to do other things?

3.) There's still apathetic outlook on the basketball program....last season was brutal and fans aren't ready to get their hopes up (yet).

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Ohio Guy in Jersey's picture

I am mystified by OSU fans when it comes to hoops. People bitch about the Schott, but that doesn’t explain all the empty seats with a winning team, a fun team. I just took my family to Rutgers and sat in the second to last row. And I’m taking my kids to MSG on Saturday. People say they want a winner and players who care before they’ll show. Well we’ve got that kind of team. Time to go support the team, Buckeye Nation.

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osu78's picture

If they want to fill the Schott with students they could drop the price to students and sell them season tickets for the price of 2 or 3 games. Make it cheap enough and they will come. It's not like they would lose a lot of money at the expense of filling seats. Maybe even give students a break on concessions as well.

They could also give away tickets to local charities / groups to encourage attendance and build a fan base.

Their fixed costs are the same no matter how many people show up and has to be the biggest cost for a game, so why not do some things to increase attendance and build support for the program?

Strive at all times to bend, fold, spindle and mutilate.

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Hockinghillsbilly's picture

People pay big $ for bad seats at the Shoe, so blaming bad seats at the Schott doesn't hold water. OSU is a football school.

Hockinghillsbilly

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Buckeye Bill's picture

Given the fact that a large number of lower level seats remain empty for entire games, maybe they could allow attendees holding nosebleed seats to move down to the vacant seats in the lower levels after the first TV timeout (with the knowledge that they will be required to move out if the ticket holder shows up). Or, if seats are unsold, randomly "award" them to upper level attendees showing exceptional team spirit throughout the game.

At the least open up the unsold tickets at a heavily discounted rate to anyone holding an OSU student ID.

"Bring back St John"

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SJA4Life's picture

Building the Schott was arguably the worst decision in the history of OSU athletics. Renovating St. John may not have been the answer but they could've built a large, multipurpose arena with game environment in mind in the design (The Kohl Center, Dean Dome, and even the Breslin Center are examples of larger arenas that feel intimate). 

There's nothing intimate about the Schott. It's a generic NBA-like "multipurpose arena" that can be configured for many things but none of them well. I was at the 2008 NIT game at SJA and it was louder than any sell out game at the Schott. Unfortunately when they had the chance to rectify the problem they opted for dumping more money into that arena instead of working on funding a new one.(and don't give me anything about "it's only 20 years old". So was the Richfield Coliseum when it got replaced.)

Until OSU can figure out a way to renovate the arena to make the seating a more intimate environment, you're not going to see a huge demand for tickets outside of a few big games a year. The Shoe is a bad comparison due to both the difference in amount of games per year and the fact that the environment inside the stadium gives the ticket value. No such value exists for Value City Arena. 

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buckjunky's picture

For people complaining about the Schott and wanting to go back to St. John's Arena, did you ever sit in the top balcony seats at St. John's.  They are far worse than the upper bowl seats at the Schott.  Unless you were in the first 4 rows (lower section of the balcony) at St. John's the seats were terrible.  I liked St. John's but it was time for something different.  The major flaw with the Schott is that it designed for hockey also creating too much distance from the court on all sides.

buckjunky

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ZeroDimension's picture

I hate to say it... but maybe the answer is CGI for TV purposes... 

I will say OSU basketball and the admin over the years have always done weird things that seemingly discourage people from going to games...   I know it has improved a lot and I credit Matta for that... I think he really fought hard to make changes... I mean REALLY REALLY HARD.

During my days,  the games were at St. John (Lynn), remembering the first name always helps me avoid making the last name plural for some reason.. Maybe that will help others... But as a freshman, I scored lower tier seats.. a year  later and with a better GPA(because we were told that mattered with ticket selection), I was moved to the last row in the Upper Deck of St. John.   Why you ask.. well  the team went from being Ok to good my first  year, to having Jimmy Jackson coming the second year....   So you might say demand increased, and upper level students with better GPAs got your seats.... That is not what I saw....   

My best friends dad(who really had a lot to do with my love for OSU basketball, he took us to almost every game from the time I was in 5th grade through High School).  And we even went to alot of the women's games.  I still will watch the women when they are on TV... Side note... I also grew up in basketball household, so every Thursday and Saturday for away games or if I didnt get to go with my friend... I watched OSU basketball.. I loved that Thursday/Saturday schedule.  It really helped you plan around the games( Having games all different days during the week, hurts attendance I believe).  

OK... I got off track.. but that same friend's dad...  when my buddy and I were complaining about our seats for that second year... His Dad told us... his company got more lower bowl seats... And Maybe it was just me.. but when I looked down at where I was sitting my freshman year... There were no longer students there, but old people(like me now)...  I still hold a grudge over that... And I am not the only one... But it was also one of the reasons I loved how hard Matta fought(behind the scenes... to get the ADMIN to really start to care about basketball, beyond how they could use it for football offseason entertainment purposes(unless there was a good year coming up and they could then exploit the hell out of it for money).  

A lot of progress has been made, but I still believe OSU admin looks at basketball as a nice to have, and doesn't do enough planning, they just react when the team is good... but as we all know.. when you try to do things just in time.. it is really too late...  If you want fan consistency.. you dont wait for a good season and then decide to try to accommodate  accordingly... There has to be consistent planning(and I am not even asking for anything close to football, but it just can't be an after thought). 

In sum, yes a lot is on the fans... but the Admin at OSU has notoriously screwed the real fans over when it comes to basketball way too many times... and all too often it feels like their efforts are conveniently as they see fit for the moment without the long term good of the program in mind. 

One Shoe

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bsk33's picture

For people complaining about the Schott and wanting to go back to St. John's Arena, did you ever sit in the top balcony

seats at St. John's.  They are far worse than the upper bowl seats at the Schott.

Agree to disagree.  It was definitely steep, but I still felt like you were more part of the action than at the Schott. Maybe the extra 6,000 seats has something to do with that.

I play, coach stays. He goes, I go.

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TheGhostofAlexanderLilley's picture

It's the PRICE of tickets. The OSU Men's basketball team, up until the past few weeks, has not been worth the price of admission for years! I can drive up 71 North 2 hours and see the best basketball player in the world in LeBron James for the same price it costs me to go watch subpar college basketball (again, up until the past few weeks as this team has come around). It's been a no-brainer. Couple the exorbitant price for the level of product the Schott is selling with the fact that the venue itself is stuffy and cavernous and ill-suited to collegiate athletics and you have a recipe for low attendance. Cut the prices by 33 percent and they might sell out the place. 

Always go for it on 4th and short inside of your opponent's 40

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jpfbucks01's picture

Arena schmena, ticket prices inflation is driving this in almost every sport.

in the 1978/79 season you could buy mezzanine tickets in St John's for $2.50.

Even adjusted for inflation that same ticket should cost around $9-10 today.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, the dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 3.49% per year. Prices in 2016 are 268.0% higher than prices in 1978.

In other words, $2.50 in the year 1978 is equivalent in purchasing power to $9.20 in 2016, a difference of $6.70 over 38 years.

instead to see an OOC team and sit in the equivalent mezzanine seats at VCA it costs a minimum of $46 even behind the damn basket. That's 350% above the inflation adjusted price

If the tickets were more realistically priced more people would come and the supposed lousy arena would be hopping again.

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jpfbucks01's picture

people also for get that when the Bucks had crap teams back in the St John days they didn't come to the games then either.

in that 97-98 season when Mike Redd was lighting things up but otherwise the team was garbage, most home games St John was only about 1/2 to 2/3rd full ie 7-9K, they had only about 4 games all year in which they put even 10K in the seats.

I liked St John's atmosphere better too. but even in bad years at VCA OSU is still at the 13-14K range for most games. The first year the VCA was open they averaged about 17K a game,,coincindentally they also went to a final 4

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Buck61's picture

Our family were long time season ticket holders, had seats in St. John, Section 7A, basically center court Row 20, cost in 1994 was $17.50 per seat. Today those seats would be considered premium seating, to sit near mid court on the other side of the court is now over $600 for a season

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2PuttBogey's picture

Those are now $1,400 for the pair not including premium parking (optional).

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