GoPokes TV: Holder Disappointed In Attendance

Oklahoma State athletics director Mike Holder used the words "depressing" and "disappointing" to describe the attendance numbers for Cowboys home games the past few seasons..

Oklahoma State basketball fans sent a pretty clear message to Cowboys athletics director Mike Holder the past two seasons. They were not happy with the OSU basketball program, and they showed it by staying away from Gallagher-Iba Arena.

OSU’s average attendance dropped dramatically each of the last three seasons, from 10,397 in 2013-14 (21-13 record) to 7,897 during the 2014-15 season when the Cowboys were 18-14 overall.

But the average attendance fell another 2,000 to 5,857 this past season – in which the Cowboys’ record was 12-20 overall, including an 8-8 record inside Gallagher-Iba Arena (the third-most losses in 78 seasons of play in the historic arena). Only the OSU basketball teams from 1965-66 (3-10) and 1971-72 (3-9) lost more games in a single season since the school opened the arena in 1938.

Probably more than anything else that led to Holder’s decision-making process that led to OSU and Travis Ford parting ways Friday.

Holder shared with a few select media members, including Robert Allen, how disappointing it was to walk into Gallagher-Iba Arena the past two seasons.

“I think any of us who came into the arena were affected by it. I really don’t know how to classify it. I don’t know if it’s depressing but it’s like nothing I’d seen in a long time,” he said.

“To walk into the building and not see it full of life and fans and energy, that was disappointing. I felt for the players, I felt for the coaches, and I felt for the fans who were there who cared enough to still show up that they didn’t have more of their brothers there to join them.

“Hopefully this new start will invigorate the fan base and give them a reason to buy tickets, and start showing up in numbers again. Because whoever the next coach is, he needs to have that energy in the building. It’s crucial. We’re never going to be what we should be or could be without the fan base showing up en masse,” said Holder. 

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