Not long ago, students across campus looked forward to one thing every year, maybe even more than St. Patrick’s Day and Christmas break: basketball season. Basketball nights shut down campus. The University of Dayton Flyers, their brass battalion the Flyer Pep Band, and Red Scare, a mythically rabid army of screaming students: this trinity was second only to the Holy one as a pillar of UD social life and a building block of the community.
Red Scare, the largest student organization on campus, systematically created the best under-the-radar college basketball atmosphere, and it has the trophy to prove it.
With this in mind, it’s confusing to see student attendance at basketball games declining. What happened, or didn’t happen, that caused Flyers to lose interest in basketball? The answer is not immediately obvious, but there are several things happening now that should pique your interest.
The men’s team has played its way into contention for a top-four finish in the Atlantic 10 Conference, sitting only two games behind second place. Two of its closest competitors in the standings, the University of Massachusetts and the University of Richmond, will also come to UD Arena in the team’s final two home games, meaning there is plenty to get excited about.
Meanwhile, the women’s team has won almost everything in sight, going 16-1 in its last 17 games. They are closing in on their second straight conference championship, and are back in the top 25 national ranking this week.
Finally, if sports don’t interest you, get excited about Red Scare. The organization has done a better job this season of creating excitement around the games and offering awesome promotions.
Just look at the great giveaways that Red Scare facilitated for this week’s game against LaSalle: free tickets, free parking vouchers for UD Arena, $250 per person in travel credit to five students, and free concessions courtesy of head coach Archie Miller, on top of a 50-point value for the game.
Take advantage of the fact that students are re-discovering UD basketball and get some free goodies. When you experience the intensity of the student section, you’ll understand why this tradition has stayed aloft for so long.