A few issues ago, The Lumberjack assistant sports editor, Jacob Terrill, wrote an article about football’s ticket sales.
Attendance for all NAU home games are low — not just football.
After that fact was uncovered, I could not help but think, “What the heck do people do out here?”
Being a California native, my family loved sports. On the weekends, we were watching our siblings do their thing if we weren’t playing ourselves. Off days were spent at the beach or watching an Angels game.
Now, northern Arizona does not have beaches nor a professional team of any kind, so how are there not more people at NAU’s athletic events?
This was a very close-minded thought. I have been here for three years, and I’ve learned that outdoors is where everyone wants to be. For some hiking, biking and slacklining are a lot more interesting than sitting in the Walkup Skydome to watch a losing team.
The culture is different than what I’m used to. My culture back home quite literally revolved around sports. If you attend a game at NAU, there are very few local families attending. The crowds consist largely of students who get in for free and leave at halftime.
A huge university with beautiful facilities, fun quarterly events and halftime shows is at the heart of the town, and the stands are extremely vacant. Why?
I’ve had to understand that just because I know and expect something a certain way does not mean it is wrong. The interests here are vastly different. If the Lumberjacks played like the University of Alabama, people would travel to see them play. The stands would house more than just the typical fans.
Tucson and Phoenix are only a few hours away, yet each of them are pouring in with people to support their local universities. We’re in the same state, and many people are originally from those areas. So I ask again, why?
Northern Arizona is much different than its southern counterparts. People come up here to take a break from that business. Flagstaff is treated like the John Candy movie “The Great Outdoors,” and people do not think twice about missing whatever game NAU plays.
Just because attending NAU football, soccer and volleyball games is not a priority in Flagstaff does not mean our town is inactive. Flagstaff locals are the ones running, climbing and jumping outdoors.
Why sit in the stands when there are plenty of ways to be active?