Poll Question Tuesday: Why Has GIA Been So Empty?

Written by Kyle Porter

Last week, Mike Boynton fired off a pretty interesting tweet (side note: It’s fun to see the difference between his Twitter account which is clearly mostly run by him and Mike Gundy’s, which is clearly mostly not).

Anyway, the tweet was about home attendance, which obviously stirred the pot and sent folks on both sides of the aisle running in the direction they were already leaning to.

And GIA has been empty. Like, “wow that’s really empty for GIA in the post-Sutton era” empty. I’m curious about why. Obviously, there are reasons like the Thunder which will never go away but to me, this goes beyond that.

“I know that there’s a great contingent of basketball fans for Oklahoma State University,” Mike Boynton told the O’Colly. “We have a team here that’s trying to represent them in the right way, playing really hard, having some success. I want our guys to know that they’re appreciated.”

So leave your comments and thoughts in the comments section below and we will discuss throughout the week.

  • Pokeinchief

    Like it took years to burn the program down, it will take years to build it back up. Winning cures everything.

    Unfortunately… BigXII play is going to be rough on the good guys, I’m afraid. Hoping for the best, expecting really bad.

    • kspokesfan

      The Shockers are going to destroy us this weekend. I really want to be there. I will be in Stillwater but not sure I can make the game.

    • OKsailor

      They played hard against A&M but didn’t have enough weapons. Now that everyone is back, it’ll be interesting to see them against the Shockers and in Big 12 play. If they can continue to play hard D and win some games, people will want to come watch. We came to a couple games last year including the destruction by WVU, I’m sure we will come again this year. I agree that playing hard and tough and winning a few will win people back.

  • OrangePepper

    #1, #3, and #4 are reasons we don’t go. Plus the last few years have we have shifted our money and time to the Thunder for season tickets.

    • David


      • OrangePepper

        Yep. You nailed it.

  • Doc Holliday

    We really have to ask this question? Holder should be ashamed of what he has done

    • Chris Baker

      I’m not sure Holder could have set the basketball program back further if he had actually tried. I had to be drawn to buy tickets when I went to OSU, now they can’t give them away. Time for the rest of Holder to follow his foot that’s already out the door.

  • Buckaroo

    NO ONE CARES….That’s why.

  • Wayne from Forty One

    Holder tore it up with his lack of committment, Ford burned it up with incompetence and some scandal, and Underwood blew it up by building our hopes up then getting us indicted. Boynton is going to have to realize the only way he’s getting people in there is to win and to be clean. Its going to take time.

  • oSuJones

    This article and most of your comments are unfortunately a bunch of BS. I can’t afford it or else I’d be there, but guys…its simply going to a great arena to watch a basketball game. We have over-politicized EVERYTHING in today’s society and are manufacturing reasons to have fake outrage. I have watched every game on TV so far and have enjoyed it. Foolish comments like “its going to take time” “Holder ruined it”…..folks its just enjoying a couple of hours watching a fun sport. Get over all of the other stuff. Life is short

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  • Gallagher? I Hardly Know Her!

    Lots of distrust after quite a few mistakes by Holder et al. I enjoy going to the games, the reason I don’t go as often as I’d like is due to crappy opponents and poor timing of games (I did go to the Monday night game against Charlotte and regretted every minute of it, except for the Averette dunk). The reason I don’t have season tickets is because PRICES INCREASED this year. AFTER THIS COACHING CHANGE (?!?!). $500 for a pair of season ticket to sit in the corner of the 300s with all 0 of the other fans there….. I love the Pokes and will get single game tickets whenever possible, but that’s just absurd.

  • David

    1) Lack of consistent success since Eddie
    2) Thunder
    3) Ticket prices

  • Erick

    They need to make the fan experience better as well. Give the fans a reason to go. For instance after every osu win take your ticket stub to Eskimo Joes for free chilli fries. That would easily get a 100 more fans in the seats.

    • Wayne from Forty One

      They could go ahead and start beer sales, that might help

  • Iceman

    All of the above should be a choice along with “Football disappointment made me disinterested in OSU sports in general”.

    • Saucy Takes

      Fair weather fans is a fact of life. Whether it be basketball friends and in some cases family that’s just how people are if it doesn’t Benefit you or make you really excited it becomes s burden

      • Iceman

        Exactly. The program has just generally has not been very good as of late and convincing people to take multiple hours out of their day to go watch a team who probably won’t do anything exciting is never going to be a winning equation.

        Personally, I just don’t like basketball and won’t ever really be a fan who has any interest in going to the games much (although I of course root for OSU) but I think there’s a good deal of interest shift based on different sports success. I’m just curious how much football being disappointing is confounding the already present issues with basketball.

  • Chris Baker

    When I went to OSU in the early 00’s you had to be drawn in the lottery just to buy student tickets. At some point this has to fall on Holder. I’m not suggesting we have a top 25 hoops team this year, but we do have a 7-1 team whose only loss is to #7 aTm. Mike B. is doing all he can do on the game side of it, Holder needs to fix this issue now, or retire and make way for his replacement, whom we’ve already hired. I appreciated the good things Holder has done (get credit for TBP’s donation is about it), but it seems like it’s time for him to ride off into the sunset.

  • Okstate2011

    Give the students free tickets and fill the entire lower section. It’s not like you’re going to lose money on the empty seats. The students will spend money at the concessions.

  • stepdaddy

    If OSU will simply fire Holder season ticket sales with go through the roof and OSU will win a national championship! Mystery solved!

  • KCOC10

    1. I don’t think the school did well igniting the student’s interest. A lot of these kids don’t have memories of OSU basketball greatness. Also, Boynton was an uninspiring hire and there’s a lack of star power on the team.
    2. The veteran fans are hesitant about getting their hopes up, with good reason. This then rubs off on the newbies.
    3. Whatever seats aren’t sold yet for season tickets should be getting discounted for the students. Once the arena is getting filled again you can back off/raise prices. There’s no point in trying to rake in the money when the supply is so high. Plus lets not forget this is a college sport. If the alumni with money aren’t clamoring to get in, open it up more to the students. That’s much better than a giant empty arena.
    4. Game times are tough for a lot of people. This is made a lot harder to drive out on a weeknight when it’s for a mediocre product. I’m not trying to speak ill of the players. I’m more referencing the drought in conference championships/tourney wins/etc. Driving out to inconvenient times is made a lot easier when there is an anticipation of a strong finish in the post-season.

    • Pokeinchief

      1) I was at OSU from 1998 until 2002 and never missed a home game. Going to the game was the highlight of my week. Kids at OSU have no idea how great it was back then. I’m not even a big basketball fan, it was about the experience.

      2) Isn’t this the case for almost all OSU sports?

      3) Agree.

      4) Ding, ding, ding. Driving an hour either way, especially on a school night with my three kids, freaking sucks. I’ve thought about going a few times over the years, but haven’t pulled the trigger.

      1 & 4, I wonder if there is a life stage argument to be made here. The last real glory days of OSU hoops (that I can recall) were back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. The students who were maniacal basketball fans back then are now creeping toward middle aged… and honestly, I have crap to do besides spend 5 hours watching a mediocre product. Kudos to the kids working their butts off, however. I want them to be great.

      ETA: The Ford days of undersized guards firing up ill-conceived 3’s set me back a ways. Growing up watching Eddie coach stout defense then watching Ford’s crap… it about killed me.

  • Aaron

    For me the Lamont Evans thing completely turned me off. I chose option 4 because it was the closest to this. Finding out that the program had a dirty coach after the completely uninspiring coaching hire killed it for me.

    I’ve watched a few on tv, but I’ve just completely lost it for OSU basketball. My senior year was the Final Four with Tony Allen, et al. It feels like lifetimes ago and I just can’t get myself interested.

    Now that we’ve moved back to Oklahoma and are within reasonable driving distance, I’ll probably take the kids to a game, especially since they’re just starting to really get in to competitive basketball. I just can’t buy season tickets. Way too apathetic. And I hate it.

    • David

      Lamont Evans is a legitimate complaint.

  • Winning Comment

    Porter, remember when you were in college and students had the option of sitting along the side instead of behind the goal? Bring that back. Create incentive for kids to show up, wait in line, and make it a badge of honor that you arrived early enough to get “the good seats”. That’ll bring the rowdy back.

  • FreeDrop

    Illinois & Underwood play Austin Peay tomorrow. I’ll be interested in that final score.

    • Arkady Vachon

      right now we have a better record than Underoos does, they’re on a 3 game losing streak atm, apprently it was a squeaker vs maryland that saw Brad throwing hissy fits, and abusing clipboards and trash cans lol

  • Sean Murphy

    We have got to get the students in the building. They are really the only fans who can regularly attend those Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday night games. Stop charging the students for tickets period.
    The worst Thunder game is 100% more exciting than any CBB game.
    Alumni have been soured by the one and done sleaziness in College Basketball. If players can’t be loyal to their school for more than 2 semesters than how can you expect the fans/alumni to embrace and support them?

    • David

      Simply not true at all. NBA isn’t a better product than college basketball. It just has star power and everybody on the Thunder bandwagon is awe struck by three of them playing in Oklahoma.

  • Arkady Vachon

    Boynton and boys are going to have to keep at it, keep working, keep pulling in wins. I suppport them but a rebuild takes time to do, gaining confidence does to.

  • Will

    Option 4 should include “Black cloud caused by FBI Investigation”.

  • RGB

    The ticket prices are crazy. “Travesty” Ford era burned me out on OSU basketball

    • David

      Yeah, season tickets are insanely overpriced.

  • David

    Judge the arena this Saturday.

  • Concerned Cowboy

    Reasons for such poor attendance, in no particular order:

    1) Three coaches in three years
    2) Haven’t been relevant since the mid-2000’s (only one won tourney game since 2005(!))
    3) Thunder
    4) Other endless entertainment opportunities that people prioritize (concerts, everywhere)
    5) Poor pricing for good seats / season tickets
    6) FBI cloud
    7) Picked to finish last in conference

    Winning some big ones going into conference and at the beginning of conference play would bring some folks back.

  • Forever 14

    Ain’t nobody paying big money to see a cover band. Maybe once they’ve had a few hits and had some airplay somewhere besides their hometown college radio station.

  • Ty Webb

    I honestly just don’t care about our basketball program anymore. The Lamont Evans fiasco was the tipping point for me and I assume most fans. Apathy

  • AustinCowboy

    I think it’s pretty clear we have a ton of petty, spoiled, fair-weather fans that don’t truly care about OkState. These kids and Mike Boynton have done nothing to not deserve our support, we aren’t as good as previous years but we’re also not as bad as everyone makes out (half the roster are sophomores!). Also, let’s stop bashing on Gundy, this man has brought this program to new heights and recruits GREAT for the area. I have lived in Stillwater and now stay in Austin and it’s no comparison where most 16-17 year old kids would rather spend their college years living! Yet we still continue to contend and are a top 20 program this decade! As Cowboys fans we need to show up and continue to support our colors and our school!

  • Kris

    I had season tickets since Hamilton’s first year. Let them go Ford’s last year. Have one now with a buddy. I rarely missed a home game, went to sweet sixteens and both Final Four’s. I was a diehard.

    Then it became no fun. Holder took advantage of my long time loyalty by increasing ticket prices significantly. I used to be able to take kids to see Pete and stand where Country came out of the locker. Now I am treated like dirt and told I am a threat to safety if I want to go to the lower level. Hell, I have to show a ticket stub to go sit in my 200 level seat even when the gym is empty.

    When you have lost me, you lost a diehard. Flame away that I should support no matter what. It used to be family and now it is just business. Then Underwood told us he loved us, for one year. We were told how much we needed to get behind him. So forgive me if I am a little skeptical of Boynton.

    I plan to go Saturday. Will be my first game. Hope to see a good game. Holder and the program blew it with many loyal fans. It takes a while to build family and trust.

  • dooley23

    Success? We’ve beaten teams with a combined record of 19 – 39. I would bet we end the year as a bottom dweller in the Big 12.

    Holder destroyed the bball program, and you hired Mike Boynton. I’m sorry,
    But he doesn’t exactly fill the program with excitement especially after the controversy

  • Jason

    We are embarrassing in attendance even by mid major standards. I can’t go bc I’m a HS coach but watch them often. I’m taking my team to watch a game. What do other teams do to attract non alumni fans? I’m alumni but I see other teams that get followed by just average joe fans.

  • Lucas

    Hired a coach no one wanted, assistant arrested by the FBI, best player suspended, and picked last in the big 12….

  • Adam Krejčí

    Holder has strip mined the basketball program in order to build a football program. The problem is that the basketball program isn’t winning anything, and the football program isn’t winning anything important. If the football program is a 9-3 kind of program every year, then it’s time to invest heavily in basketball again. Unfortunately, not hiring Gottlieb (TWICE) has really inhibited attendance (no matter how you feel about Gottlieb as a hire).

  • Tyler Warcup

    Option 5……… TICKET PRICES

  • Daisy Dew Ashford

    We have been attending…Go Pokes!

  • Usetobe Cowboyfan

    Holder has made it a habit of over paying coaches that are mediocre. ( Gundy, Ford,…)

  • JLH2311

    If Mike Holder is not going to invest money in the basketball program neither am I

  • Cowboydroid

    Pretty OBVIOUSLY the coaching hire. If Underwood was still here, there’d be 6-8000 at these games.

  • Diane Way

    I live three states (to the north) away, but if i could be there, I would. I LOVE basketball, think the athletes (and the coaching staff) deserve the support, and enjoy the whole college basketball game atmosphere. I have to believe that if students were given better seating options and ticket pricing, they would be there. Finally, it seems to me that the TV coverage for most games has to impact attendance. I can watch most games from my home in South Dakota. Maybe attendance on weeknight non-con games against lesser opponents suffers because more “less than fully invested” fans can just as easily watch from home and will be in there once conference play begins.

    In any case, I do find some of this animosity directed at a coach who hasn’t shown anything but effort, professionalism, love of the university and his athletes, and integrity really sad. Maybe there is more/less to him that he is showing, but until there is evidence that he is anything but “loyal and true” to the program, I believe that he, and is staff, and certainly his student athletes deserve the support of Cowboy students and fans.

    Just my two cents. #gopokes

  • Barrett Reed

    Free tickets. It’s one of the best ways to get people back into the gym. At least do it for one season. Gain fans’ and students’ interest back, while also winning or playing close games. If things go well for a season, slowly increase the price of tickets the next season. Ticket prices are going to have to follow the performance of the team eventually, but for now, just get people interested again, i.e Free Entertainment.

  • Jd Brown

    loss of enthusiasm due to the Holder/Underwood debacle coupled with ticket prices that don’t match the product

  • Craig

    I can’t speak for others, but personally the Holder/Underwood fallout takes the cake.