Poll: Most students are not attending Temple sporting events
The Temple News surveyed roughly 140 students to find out if they are attending sporting events.
More than half of Temple University students have not attended university sporting events during the 2022-23 academic year. The figure is roughly similar to the 66 percent who answered “yes” when a survey from The Temple News asked if they have ever attended a Temple sporting event during their time at the university.
The Temple News surveyed 141 students about their engagement with Temple Athletics, their preferred sporting event to attend and what could be done to improve student interest in sports.
Temple Athletics has struggled to gain consistent attendance at sporting events in recent years, potentially due to low performing teams or lack of promotion, but some of its latest efforts indicate the department is attempting to improve student engagement.
On Jan. 31, Temple Athletics announced that they will be partnering with Coca-Cola and Togethxr, a platform aimed at promoting equality for women in sports media, to encourage attendance at women’s sporting events. This partnership comes during the 50th anniversary of Title IX, a civil rights law that protects against sex-based discrimination in activities that receive federal funding.
“When it comes to promoting games I feel that certain teams get more attention than others, the womens’ teams get very little attention,” wrote an anonymous student who responded to the survey.
Sixty-one percent of students who have only attended a men’s sporting event. Thirty-seven percent shared that they have attended both a men’s and women’s sporting events and only about 2 percent said they have only been to a women’s competitions.
Almost 48 percent of student respondents have not been to a men’s sporting event during the current academic year. Of the respondents who have been to a male sporting event, 43.5 percent went to a football game and 34.8 percent have been to a men’s basketball game. Approximately 7 percent have attended a soccer match and slightly more than 1 percent have been to a crew meet.
Seventy-seven percent of respondents stated that they have not been to a women’s sporting event this academic year. Of the 23 percent who have, roughly 15 percent went to a basketball game. This is significantly higher than the 3 percent who said they went to a field hockey game.
Following those figures was lacrosse, gymnastics and fencing at about 2 percent. The lowest was rowing at 1.5 percent and volleyball and cross country were both just less than 1 percent
Sixty-one percent of those who participated in the survey shared that basketball is their favorite sport to attend, followed by football at around 28 percent. Every other sport scored drastically lower. Gymnastics and soccer both received about 3 percent of the answers, while volleyball, rowing, lacrosse, field hockey and crew all were attended by roughly 1 percent of respondents.
“Men’s Basketball will be the most supported since they actually play well and are men,” wrote an anonymous student who responded to the survey. “Hopefully Temple will be able to one day find a way for students to encourage seeing the women sports because as a women who has played sports my whole life, having a supportive community in the crowd goes a long way.”
Twenty-three percent of respondents said they don’t attend sporting events because of a lack of interest and time.
“Another issue is time,” wrote an anonymous student who responded to the survey. “A lot of the games I would like to see are on days I need to study for classes. I think another thing is lack of turnout too, not many people are willing to go watch a team in an empty arena it just isn’t as fun.”
When asked what the university could do to encourage students to attend more sporting events, 74 percent said the teams must perform better. The other 26 percent thought more social media promotion would be helpful.
Temple teams have struggled in recent years. After Temple Football finished the 2015-16 season with a 10-4 record, the team only won three out of 12 games during the 2021-22 season. Similarly, in 2010, Temple’s Men’s Basketball had a 76 percent winning rate, which has now dropped to roughly 58 percent as of the 2022-23 season.
Temple has launched some efforts to promote sporting events including running a TikTok account, distributing flyers and having giveaways at games.
“I think if there was more hype around the games in general on campus people would be more persuaded to go,” wrote an anonymous student who responded to the survey. “For instance I always like the idea of basketball but I forget that they’re happening.”
Social media promotion may have worked with Temple Men’s Basketball’s recent home game against Houston. After promoting the game and giving away 6,000 t-shirts to fans at The Liacouras Center, Temple had a sell-out crowd for the first time since 2020.