Fordham, Duquesne…we need to talk
Sad stat I stumbled upon this morning while searching home attendance numbers for A-10 teams: both the Fordham Rams and Duquesne Dukes are averaging fewer than 1,000 fans per game.
Insert: sad face emoji + gun emoji.
There’s no way to sugarcoat just how embarrassing that is and how unacceptable that should be for a basketball conference like this one. Sub-1,000-fan games are low-major stuff. They aren’t the level the A-10 strives for and quite frankly aren’t even an acceptable level for conferences like the CAA (who has zero members averaging under 1,000 fans per game) or the MAC, who has just Northern Illinois in the sub-1,000 category. Fordham’s abysmal 782 fans per home game is not only the worst mark in A-10 men’s hoops but would rank 6th among the women’s programs.
We’re talking Patriot League and MEAC stuff, which quite frankly may be where programs like Duquesne and Fordham belong.
There, I said it.
Even in their post-Jim Crews hell, Saint Louis is drawing just under 6,000 fans per contest. La Salle, during a 9-22 season, pulled 2,492 fans per near-guaranteed loss.
The fact is, not only are both Fordham and Duquesne the only teams to average under 1,000 fans per contest, they are the only teams in this hoops-loving league that are averaging under 3,000 this season, making their volleyball-esque crowds a huge black eye on a conference striving to prove it’s among one of the best college hoops conferences in the country.
Look, I get how this works. I’ve seen enough conference realignment to know conferences aren’t kicking out schools for low attendance. But if teams and fanbases like Fordham and Duquesne can’t prove they care enough about basketball to be here, the A-10 may not need to kick out teams, because they’ll be adding more schools when the programs trying to prove they are high-major basketball jump at opportunities to join other likeminded teams that actually care about the sport (say goodbye to schools like Dayton, VCU and SLU).