View Full Version : Arena Questions

01-01-2008, 05:15 PM
This is maybe a question that has been discussed before and I apologize if that's so. I have been wondering, though, why the Zags only schedule one game a year at the Arena. In years when there are tourney games at the Arena, I understand that there are bylaws which would prevent the Zags from playing a tourney game in a venue that they have already played a certain number of regular season games. What about years like this, though, when there are no men's tourney games in the Arena? I was at the Memphis game last year and the energy in the building was electric. I'm not saying that they should play all of their games there. I love the Kennel and seeing them play there but why not have 2-3 games at the Arena? It would seem like 2-3 games would give the Zags an opportunity to bring in some big name opponents, allow more of their fans to see them play in person and also line their own coffers a little bit. I don't see the downside. Can someone help me understand what I'm missing?

01-01-2008, 05:23 PM
My understanding is that Few just doesn't like giving up the home court advantage of K2 (more familiar shooting backgrounds).

01-01-2008, 05:35 PM
You talk to any player, and they will tell you that Spokane Arena is a terrible place to shoot in. It was built for hockey. Derek Raivio throughout his career struggled massively at the Arena.

The Memphis atmosphere was electric because there were so many students in the building. I am afraid that there is going to be a real sterile atmosphere on Saturday for the UGA game. I mean, it was sterile for the Utah game, but at least it was a familiar setting for GU's players and shooters.

01-02-2008, 07:03 AM
It has been sold out for quite some time. I think the crowd will be a good one-especially if they tear Georgia apart.

Angelo Roncalli
01-02-2008, 09:17 AM
Gonzaga has to rent the arena, pay the promoter, then doesn't receive any revenue from concessions, etc., at the arena. If the school has to pay for student seating (remember, 1200 free student seats in the MAC), then it just isn't a very good deal economically.

01-02-2008, 09:22 AM
Washington State had the same problem when it played games at Joe Albi, where it got nothing--it was financially like a road game.

01-02-2008, 10:02 AM
And season ticket holders do not like to have to pay more money to watch a game in Spokane when they fork over big bucks for the MAC.

01-02-2008, 10:34 AM
A couple of notes: I totally disagree that the Memphis game was loud because of all the students. There was a fairly small student contingent in the end zone. For once it was the pent up excitement of the non-students, waving the towels, that really made the noise. In my memory it was a loud as K2 for say the UW game.

Also, if it is bad shooting for us its bad for the other guys too.

This Arena question has been argued back and forth before. Primarily for community relations it might be wise to have a couple of games a year in the arena - since there is a real or perceived local unrest about never getting into K2. (I don't want to start another neener..neener....neener if you were just smart enough you could have bought tickets too, but now eat your heart out discussion) The key to having an electric game like Memphis last year is to schedule a real top opponent. Not Slipperyrock - ask WSU this year.

01-02-2008, 10:54 AM
Roxdoc is correct. The crowd really stepped up to root for the Zags. I hope they hand out the white towels to wave. It looks pretty good on TV.
The Cougs should bring in a top team for one game instead of the 3 game turkey they had over Thanksgiving. They would fill the place just like the Zags do.

01-02-2008, 11:29 AM
Would those non-students have cheered on the Zags like they did against Memphis if the students weren't there to inspire them on? If Memphis came into Spokane Arena this Saturday, would it be as loud and inspired? I kind of doubt it.

The circumstances of that Memphis game also went way beyond a normal marquee game. The Zags had to win that game to have any chance at being an at large NCAA team. It was do or die. If the game had been played in November, it would not have been as meaningful.

Also, while it is also true that other teams have to face the same building from an offensive perspective, Gonzaga has traditionally been a team that it is more dependent on its shooting and offense than many of the teams they play. I'm not saying this is a reason why the Arena should be avoided, but it is yet another reason why it kind of sucks to play there. The real reasons to avoid it are what Angelo talks about....economics.

Then again, if it's the only way Gonzaga can bring elite teams into Spokane, I suppose there is no choice. Also, it does give a chance for non-season ticket holders to see a game without having to beg to get into the MAC. It does have its benefits.

01-02-2008, 12:13 PM
zagco: times and tv revenue have changed the financial dynamics but the wsu & UW - albi connection was ended due to lack of interest and alot of complaining. they couldn't draw squat. it was embarassing. that's why it ended. a lot of fingerpointing and so forth but the fact is the seats were not getting filled. lose-lose versus wsu taking it back home and at least filling their stadium w/students or controlling costs in the process. further, the whole pac 10 (then pac 8) shares in game costs & revenues so everyone was losing due to the lack of attendance at albi, making the decision even easier. That's what I remember. fwiw, even bowl revenue is parceled out according to a formula, meaning a portion of usc's "take" goes out to all the schools.

kitzbuel: the arena tix are part of the GU package, so it doesn't cost the season tix holder more to go there. It does cost GU income as angelo pointed out. BUT, the arena qualifies as a "neutral" site to those teams who don't want to get trapped in any team's kennel. We do the same thing, except with WSU because of the terms of our current deal.

Given the circumstances of big schools not agreeing to play in the other team's home gym, I agree with CDC that it's good for the circle to be widened when possible and most if not all those who want to go to a GU game can do so.

as far as I know, we do not go into the home gyms of those teams who won't come into ours, so it swings both ways.

01-02-2008, 12:34 PM
The rich fans are critical. Zagco understands that. His other alma mater, Boise State, has a contingent of the polo-shirt wearing fans too--the kind of fans who tailgate with fancy food and whose wives spend more time socializing in the parking lot than cheering for the team. The polo shirt-wearing male fans sit in their box seats and chat business with their guest.

Meanwhile, the hard core fans, who might be season ticket holders too, sit outside in the weather, wearing their colors, jerseys, hats, and scream their azzes off, stand and cheer, and just generally create a loud roar for most of the game.

Zagco mocks the polo shirt crowd, many of which would disappear without a high quality team, but he does so in jest. He understands the importance and the role of that segment of fans. Gonzaga, however, in his view, has essentially shut out most of its other segments of fans with this laughably small arena and total lack of any general admission tickets. Moreover, in his view, the reason the crowd noise is so sterile unless the students are there en masse, is because the polo shirt crowd just doesn't make noise. They sit and chat and maybe clap now and then. It's the same everywhere, it's just that Gonzaga has built a box seating section for all of them, shutting out everyone else.

01-02-2008, 02:10 PM
Objectively speaking, if the Arena is the only way to get top ranked teams to play us, then let's keep doing it. So few will come into the kennel. I wish more cash profit could come to GU for a sold out Arena.

Personally, I like it because it is the only time I can see the zags play in person, (not counting the free scrimmage) except for driving to seattle sometimes.

01-02-2008, 06:41 PM
Sorry, but you're a little off base.

Season ticket holder here. A few rows behind the bench. Alumni. Definitely an impact on the family budget to buy two tickets, support the Athletic Department, donate to the School of Business and the Great Teachers Fund, along with more than a few other charities in our region. Not rich, no polo shirts (unless with Zag logo) allowed during the game. Those around us, all long time season ticket holders, do our share of yelling, cheering and standing. We are ZAGS. The corporate seats should never be mistaken for Gonzaga Bulldog Fans who have supported our team in quiet times (like when we were the only ones to show up) and in the loud ones. Enough bashing the season ticket holders! Was on the committee to get people to buy season tickets - 18 months spent calling friends and alumni who said they'd just 'wait and see how it all played out'. Some of us had the faith, we ponied up, we have the seats. Sorry some waited too long and are now complaining they can't get in. GIVE ME A BREAK!!!!

Now...for allowing general admission tickets. That is what is done now when the students aren't in school. Those sitting in the Kennel seats are sitting on their hands. Is this what you want every game with general admission? Can't have it both ways, buddy. The Utah game speaks volumes for the disengaged fan - can you imagine what would happen if we really tanked a season or two? (good news, the corporate seats would be empty).