Thursday, April 19, 2007

"College Town" Atmosphere Rising in STL?

Even though we have many fine universities in the St. Louis area, most people don't think of us as a "college town". And while we don't have an NCAA Division One football team, we do have Division One men's and women's basketball teams in the St. Louis University Billikens.

And soon, St. Louis will have Division One men's and women's sports played at an on-campus facility. Do you think that will change the atomsphere of college sports in St. Louis?

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Meh, sports are for people who don't have any interesting things to do of their own.

stlmark said...

I think it will make a huge difference. The students will be able to walk to the game! How many students can afford a car? Not many I would guess. The average age in attendace at Bills games must go down to bring some excitement and energy.

Rick Bonasch said...

Thanks stlmark, I agree with you. We don't have a family connection with SLU. Or SLUH. We didn't grow up here or attend high school or college here.

Through work, I've met a number of great people affiliated with SLU. Around town, we've met lots of SLUH and SLU grads, all great people.

We've watched the long term development of the SLU campus as part of the revitalization of Midtown St. Louis. SLU's commitment to St. Louis makes them one of our city's greatest assets.

We casually follow SLU basketball and have attended a few games. Along with many other St. Louisans, we understood but were disappointed nonetheless, when St. Louis product and SLU freshman Larry Hughes left SLU for an NBA career. Kudos to Larry Hughes for his success in the pro game.

Even though we have no personal connection to SLU, it's still our home team on the college level. When SLU advances in touraments or plays against out of town opponents, they represent St. Louis and build awareness of our community.

Increasing success at St. Louis University, both academically and in sports, can surely only be good for our region.

bburnes said...

Rick,

I think the new campus facility, Majerus hiring and other ancillary upgrades will have a major impact on the St. Louis sporting scene. There is no NBA team in town. In the Spoonhour days, SLU was in top 5 in the country in attendance. This is a huge development, albeit 25 years late in coming.

My only concern -- beside Majerus' health -- is the small capacity of the building. Back in 90s with Spoon, ave. attendance was in 16,000 range. Last year the Bills averaged about 9,300. The new facility's capacity of 10,000 greatly undersells the market potential.

By the way, thanks for the nice U and Uhigh grad comments.