Home court advantage is an important factor in the success of a college basketball team.
Attendance for the Seton Hall men’s basketball season peak- ed last season at the Prudential Center on Jan. 3 – 10,701 fans were in the building as the Pirates knocked off No. 6 Villanova, 66- 66, in overtime.
The 2015-16 campaign is expected to be another strong year for sales with season ticket renewals being a strong contributing factor, according to Joseph Rix- on, assistant athletic director for Ticket Operations.
“We are into the high 80th percentile for season ticket renewals,” Rixon said.
“Which is exciting because the industry average is around 80 percent, so we are thrilled anytime we surpass that number.”
Students are not overlooking the fact that their team plays home games at a professional arena, as noted by graduate student Erica Genabith.
“I think the Prudential Center is a really unique place to be,” she said. “It’s something I encourage my friends who are not from Seton Hall to come see because it is so unlike anything else you could go to.”
For student season-ticket holders, there is an incentive to attend every game.
Students who attend every home game will receive a complete refund of $100. Only about 10 percent of them achieved perfect attendance last year, but that number could rise as efforts are being made at Seton Hall to make getting to the game even easier.
“This year students can make a reservation on the S.H.I.P.S app for a bus, which will help us assure we have enough transporta- tion for every student each game,” said Bryan Felt, senior associate athletic director for development & external affairs.
“We also have introduced the Reply Buy ticket program so students can purchase a ticket for a game via text message, making it easier for them to attend games.”
Fans who might not want to commit to a full season of games have the option to strategically pick the contests they want.
The “power pack,” which was designed to feature the Hall’s marquee matchups, includes homes games against Georgia, Wichita State, DePaul, Villanova, Georgetown and Xavier.
The other option is “pick your own,” where buyers can choose any six regular season games at The Rock.
On the other hand, the women’s basketball team, which plays home games on campus at Walsh Gymnasium, is seeing the benefits of a first-place finish in the Big East and a trip to the NCAA Tournament a year ago.
The buzz from last season is carrying over into the new year, as season ticket sales for the women’s team are up almost 30 percent from this time last year, according to Rixon.
While attendance numbers are up in Walsh, the turnout could be greater, according to Genabith, who works as an intern in the graphic design department for the team.
“There’s such potential for huge women’s home games,” Genabith said. “One of my projects for my graduate school class is about getting more fans – especially on campus – to come to the games.”
Matt Zeigafuse can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. edu or on twitter @mattzeigafuse.