By Astrid Poei
Ryerson University students just don’t want to cheer for their teams.
But low fan turn out may be the result of the high number of Ryerson students who commute, says Derek Isber RyeSAC vice-president of student life and events.
“Fan turn out at Ryerson is actually fairly low. Some of it is due to low school spirit — we have a very high population of commuter students with only about 1000 in residence out of 16,000 students,” said Isber.
On Oct. 30, Ryerson Athletics chartered a bus to transport residence students to a men’s hockey game at Lakeshore Lions arena.
According to Jane Brown, athletics manager of marketing and communications for athletics, hyping the game against the York Lions was an attempt to fuel the “Tri-Sport” rivalry between Ryerson University, University of Toronto and York.
The bus, which could have held 40 people if full, only had four on board when it left for the game.
Prior to game day, posters promoting the event were placed on every floor of residence, the RAC and sports recreation boards in Jorgenson and Kerr Hall; on game day fliers were distributed.
“That bus cost $150, so that was really unfortunate,” said Brown. “We’ll try it again, but if we don’t get a better response, we won’t do it a third time, that’s for sure.”
Brown also says that low fan turn out could be due to team win-loss records.
“It’s easier to promote winning teams,” she said.
“I think students can use it as a form of entertainment — the same as going to a movie or going to a Leafs game. Everybody has to take some down time from studying and work and other responsibilities. But seeing your teams get beaten is not as entertaining as seeing your team win. So I think the more that we win, the more fan support there’s going to be.”
“It’s a vicious cycle. We have low fan support, therefore we get low funding for the team,” said Isber. “And the low funding causes them to not do as well as they could, maybe creating less fan support.”
Athletics Director David Dubois, who was at that game in which the Rams dropped a 5-3 decision to York, says that they just need to target the right students.
“We just need to find that group who are interested in hockey, and I’m sure there are people out there and once we do and we find the right approach,” he said. “We’ll be fine.”