Ford Center crowd great, but not huge
The crowd at the Ford Center on Tuesday night for the OU-Purdue Elite Eight game was great. Seemed louder than any Thunder or Hornets game ever did, and much louder than any college game I’ve covered at the Ford Center.
But attendance was just 11,529, some 7,500 below capacity. Why was it not a sellout? Why wasn’t the Ford Center packed to the brim?
Some blamed the 9 p.m. start for the similar Sunday crowd, but that argument lost its luster when the same size attended an 8 p.m. Tuesday tipoff.
I think it has to do with location and demographics. A large number of OU women’s fans are older Oklahomans — not that there’s anything wrong with that. These Sooner fans feel a connection with Sherri Coale, a small-town Oklahoma girl, and her team, which like much of women’s basketball is a throwback to a basketball they knew 40 years ago, before dunks and posturing were all the rage.
Those fans are in their comfort zone at Lloyd Noble Center. Free parking. Easy parking. Familiar surroundings. Downtown Oklahoma City isn’t like mid-town Manhattan. But any urban downtown can be daunting to someone who isn’t familiar with it. Where to park? How much will it cost? Is it safe?
Message Sent Successfully
Be Sure to Check Out Our Top Headlines
- 22176Oklahoma tornadoes: The 'Big Dog,' the little boy and the hug that triumphs over tragedy
- 12149Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms drink in success of 'Hangover' series
- 10702Oklahoma tornadoes: Woman meets the military officer who shared the clothes off his back
- 8951Oklahoma tornadoes: Thunder reverses the role, takes a turn at cheering on the community
- 8805Hobby Lobby argues case before federal judges
- 8651Blake Shelton's "Healing the Heartland" televised tornado benefit set for Wednesday at Chesapeake Energy Arena
- 8107Story behind the photo: Family members describe desperate search for one another after EF5 twister
- 7311Finding Addyson – One family's struggle in the Moore tornado
- 7062Oklahoma tornadoes: Sooners bring back some smiles to Sydney Angle's teammates
- 6971UPDATE: Search continues for boy, 17, missing in Uncle John Creek in Kingfisher
Back to share with a friend form.
Add More Recipients