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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Girls State Tourney- What's Happened?

Lower bowl for Edwardsville vs. Loyola. 
I went to the girls IHSA State Tourney again this year. I have been to every tourney since 1979. They started in Champaign and moved to Bloomington. In 1997, Galesburg vs. Taylorville set an attendance record. The crowds were so big, the tickets were reserved seats. For the 1997 game, both schools filled their main floor allotment, and had half the upper deck filled to the ceiling. In 1999, when we defeated Loyola in the quarterfinals, the main floor was filled and the upper deck was about half filled.

The last couple years attendance has gone down and down. This year was at an all time low. My job at church for a couple years was to count attendance, so I thought I would do the same this year.

Opening round of Springfield vs Vernon Hills had the biggest crowd of the 3A and 4A tourney games. My count had it at 1003.

The low was for the last 4A game between Edwardsville vs. Loyola. 23 in the upper deck, 91 in both end zones, 126 for Edwardsville, and 136 for Loyola. That equals a total of only 376.

To put the size of the crowds in attendance, there was not a crowd during the weekend in which the Thiel balcony's would need to have been opened.

Everyone has their own theories about why this has occurred, but the bottom line is it has occurred? The girls play just as hard as they always have, they just don't get to perform on the same platform.
Edwardsville fan section.

Loyola fan section.

Concession stand at half of Edwardsville vs. Loyola game.

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