Opinion

Why aren’t students going to Miami football games?

Last week, the Canes broke into the top 10 in the AP poll, coming in at No. 8. The team is on an 11-game winning streak since Nov. 2016, with notable wins against FSU, Syracuse and Georgia Tech this season.

They’re sitting comfortably atop the ACC Coastal division and have a clear path to the ACC Championship Game in early December. Why, then, is it so hard to fill the student section at Miami home games?

What’s needed is a culture shift; a true change in students’ priorities. To bring about such a shift, we need to increase awareness of UM’s football history and traditions – and keep winning.

Students should want to spend their Saturdays at a football game. They should feel like being at the football game is the best way to spend their precious time. This is because the sense of community and school spirit fostered by attending a home football game is unique. Though the university has other sports teams, none have the same atmosphere as football. At the most storied football programs across the country, students attend games because they feel that they are more than just spectators; they feel like they’re participating in the legacy.

This is what UM needs to build and promote. Category Five’s fan zone is a game-changer with free food, giveaways and the hottest commodity at Hard Rock on a Saturday: shade. Despite the hard work promoting traditions and making game days more enjoyable, there needs to be more.

Any attempts to shift culture should start with students. The goal would be exposing students to the legacy of the football program and allowing them to feel like they’re participating in the continuation of this legacy, not just watching from afar.

This could be done by inviting former players to participate in activities on campus, such as pep rallies, autograph signings or screenings of noteworthy games. The university could also offer discounts at the Rathskeller or bookstore for having a game wristband, or host screenings of Billy Corben’s 30 for 30 films.

These opportunities would serve as long-term investments. If students have positive experiences at football games as undergraduates, they’re more likely to continue following the team after graduation.

While building more awareness of game-day traditions and the program’s history may spur greater attendance, the only surefire way to achieve a culture shift is to keep winning. Not everyone views going to a football game as a moral obligation or important part of being a student at the University of Miami, and that’s okay. But our continued success will bring a greater number of students on board, hopefully enough to finally fill the student section.

Dana McGeehan is a senior majoring in history and media management.

October 23, 2017

Reporters

Dana McGeehan


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

So what’s UM getting with this recruiting class, among players already committed, most or all of who ...

On the eve of the early signing period, the new University of Miami defensive coordinators met the m ...

The early signing period is finally here and the Miami Hurricanes’ class is, at least for now, disap ...

Photo Gallery: UM football availabiilty | Tuesday, December 18, 2018 … Click to Continue » ...

Zach McCloud said he never doubted whether he would return to the Miami Hurricanes for his senior se ...

Feelings of depression and anxiety rise during the holidays, but there’s plenty you can do to keep u ...

The Foote Fellows Honors Program offers students added flexibility to pursue multiple academic inter ...

Commencement speakers share gems of insight and wisdom as more than 1,000 UM students graduate in tw ...

During a news conference Wednesday, a UM medical team talked about the clinical findings after exami ...

Your one-stop shop for University of Miami fall commencement information. ...

Things have changed in Coral Gables since the end of the regular season, but there will be a familia ...

Canes and Houston Baptist play at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Watsco Center. ...

The No. 24/23 Miami women's basketball team will begin play at the Florida Sunshine Classic in ...

Hurricanes Name Banda, Patke Co-Defensive Coordinators; Promote Simpson to Associate Head Coach ...

The Miami women's basketball team is ranked in the top 25 of both major national polls this wee ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.