Fan Attendance At Soccer Games


Cami Dahlstrom

The BSM student section at homecoming football game.

A conflict has long centered around fan attendance for high school boys’ sports versus those of girls. The Benilde-St. Margaret’s soccer teams are no different. This year, however, there has been a different plan to increase the number of students in the stands for both boys and girls.

The BSM girls soccer team has always struggled getting high numbers of students to attend games, but the team has tried different ways to attract students to their games this year. “The student section isn’t always the largest compared to other sports, but we’ve been trying to post on Instagram… We are getting more people, but the boys get free Canes and free pizza and they get more fans. We don’t have the opportunity to do that,” senior captain Kayla Smart said.

In future years, the boys want to do more of what has been working recently to draw the students and fans into their recent games. “I think with more promotions, free pizza and free things [we would get more fans],” senior captain Ryan Baird said.

However, the girls don’t have the resources for these promotions currently, but they hope to in the future. “I think that boys do a good job with getting incentives to bring fans in. So I think having more resources will bring in more fans,” Smart said.

I think having more students and more enthusiasm in the stadium would definitely increase everybody’s motivation, and most of the time [it] does make you play better

— Kayla Smart

Other fall sports like girls volleyball have different ways of promoting their sport. “Volleyball gives away pizza at some of their events because some volleyball parents go and buy the pizza… [and they] give it away as an incentive for kids to come to the games,” Athletic Director Jerry Pettinger said.

The student section at away games have an effect on the morale of the players. “I think it does [have an effect], positively and negatively because when I play against another student section, it puts more pressure on me, and I want to perform better,” Baird said.

Student fans cheering on the BSM soccer teams have an impact on the players confidence, they push the players to try a little harder. “I think having more students and more enthusiasm in the stadium would definitely increase everybody’s motivation, and most of the time [it] does make you play better,” Smart said.

The younger players on the girls varsity team are thinking about ideas to gain more fans in their student section for the next few years. “[I would say] better publication of when the games are. I know the boys do free pizza, which I think we did one night and then a lot of people came,” freshman Anna Prange said.

Soccer has never been a popular attraction for fans at BSM, but students have given ideas to increase attendance. “If I’m being honest, soccer is not really my thing…[but] maybe having a halftime show, like the dance team, could bring in crowds. Also free pizza or T shirts,” sophomore Vincent Verrett said.

The soccer program has multiple teams, younger and older, surrounding it, both boys and girls. A lot of younger athletes on these soccer teams come out to support the varsity. “I go to the soccer games because I am in the soccer program,” freshman Delaney Lynch said.

Freshman and some sophomores struggle with the challenge of getting to games since they can’t drive. They also struggle with trying to get homework done and participating in other fall sports. “I’m usually playing in the football games, or I have homework and I can’t get a ride to the other games,” sophomore Tommy Staples said.

Social media is a big part of advertising. Students seem to find most of the game times on social media. People are showing up to more games when there is more advertising on Instagram and Twitter. “Basically everyone in the school has social media, and I feel like more people pay attention to social media than they would around the classroom and around the school,” sophomore Lucas Wurst said.

On the contrary, some other students find advertising around the school to be a better idea to increase the number of fans people are always at school, so they can easily see the signs around them. “Not everyone has social media, and also not everyone follows Benilde sports accounts, but everyone goes to school,” sophomore Bridget Wickner said.