UE Men’s Basketball works to bring younger, larger crowds

2018 season opener draws nearly 4,500 fans to Ford Center Thursday

UE Men’s Basketball works to bring younger, larger crowds

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - It’s a new era for the University of Evansville’s Men’s basketball team and its fans.

In March, we told you UE doubled its ticket sales for this season with the addition of Walter McCarty as the program’s new head coach.

According to school marketing officials, they’ve been hard at work trying to re-brand its home games at the Ford Center.

UE has faced a challenge over the years, in what marketing types call “putting butts in seats.” It’s a common term thrown around in marketing and ticket sales meeting rooms across the country, and the challenge isn’t just here in Evansville. It’s been a tough task for many athletic programs nationwide, beyond NCAA basketball.

Longtime Aces fan, Paul Werner, told us Thursday night that he hopes to see more students in the stands this season at home.

“You never see any students," Werner looked at the section. "Well, it looks to be a little bit more this year than year’s past.”

University marketing officials told us they’ve brought in a new DJ this season to play new music. UE has paired up with local businesses to add new incentives for students who attend games, and they’ve also budgeted for free campus shuttle rides to the Ford Center.

Aces fans tell us having Walter McCarty now is a great thing on its own.

“Oh yea, it’s top notch," Werner said. "For him to come back, that’s worth a whole lot right there!”

The team announced it had 4,497 fans at Thursday’s game, compared to last year’s 3,700 attendance average.

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