Bedlam basketball: Save the All-College
The All-College staged its annual December doubleheader Saturday night. Two good games. Not great, but good. OU-Houston, OSU-New Mexico.
The event sold 5,303 tickets. The upper bowl of Chesapeake Arena wasn’t even used. Black curtains closed it off.
Time was, an OU/OSU doubleheader in downtown Oklahoma City was big stuff. The All-College left its tournament format in December 2001 and staged a doubleheader. That year, 13,648 paid to see OSU play Ball State and OU play Texas Southern. Those are not marquee opponents, but in December ’01, OSU and OU basketball packed a punch. That was the heyday of the Kelvin Sampson and Eddie Sutton eras.
The next season, the Ford Center basically sold out — 18,304 — to see OSU play Brigham Young and OU play Michigan State. In December 2004, another crowd of more than 18,000 was on hand, for OU-Tulsa and OSU-Gonzaga. As recently as December 2006, more than 15,000 paid to see OU-Tulsa and OSU-Pitt.
But the crowds have been dwindling. Here are the year-by-year numbers:
December 2001: 13,648 to see OSU-Ball State, OU-Texas Southern.
January 2003: 18,304 to see OSU-BYU, OU-Michigan State.
January 2004: 9,760 to see OSU-SMU, OU-Princeton.
December 2004: 18,202 to see OU-Tulsa, OSU-Gonzaga.
December 2005: 17,522 to see OU-West Virginia, OSU-Tennessee.
December 2006: 15,229 to see OU-Tulsa, OSU-Pitt.
December 2007: 13,135 to see OU-Gonzaga, OSU-Oral Roberts.
December 2008: 8,502 to see OU-Virginia Commonwealth, OSU-Rhode Island.
December 2009: 8,681 to see OU-UTEP, OSU-LaSalle.
December 2010: 10,625 to see OU-Cincinnati, OSU-Alabama.
December 2011: 5,303 to see OU-Houston, OSU-New Mexico.
The decline corresponds with two developments:
* The end of the Sutton/Sampson eras (though Blake Griffin’s two years certainly gave the Sooners a nice jolt);
* And the arrival of the Thunder, in summer 2008.
Truth is, this isn’t an All-College question. It’s a college basketball question. Both Lloyd Noble Center and Gallagher-Iba Arena have been hard-pressed to be half-full since the Thunder hit town and their own fortunes have withered. The All-College is collateral damage.
Message Sent Successfully
Be Sure to Check Out Our Top Headlines
- 90847Oklahoma weather: Severe storm updates
- 38051Oklahoma devastated by second round of twisters
- 25585Oklahoma tornadoes: 'It took it all'
- 23461Oklahoma State football: Limiting Wes Lunt's transfer options makes Mike Gundy look bad
- 13823Oklahoma City tornado so large, may not be recognized, officials say
- 12196Several kids pulled out of Oklahoma school rubble alive
- 11468How to help tornado victims
- 10241At least 51 die in Oklahoma tornado, official says
- 7978Oklahoma weather: Crews work to clear storm damage in Oklahoma City as the state braces for severe weather Sunday.
- 7892Fatal fire: Two arrested in Oklahoma City death of 7-year-old boy
Back to share with a friend form.
Add More Recipients