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TU Athletic Director Faces Game Attendance Issues

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TULSA, Oklahoma -

This past Saturday at the Reynolds Center, TU basketball had a sold-out crowd, but it was clear a lot of butts in the seats came from Wichita. 

TU attendance is part of my conversation with Athletic Director Dr. Derrick Gragg

"Everybody knows our alumni base isn't that large, so we need more city support," Gragg said.

Only 3 of the past 12 Tulsa Football games have had an official crowd over 20,000.

Other than the school field trip day on the home opener, and last week's game against Wichita State, the Reynolds Center hasn't seen 4,200 hundred fans.  Athletic Director Doctor Derrick Gragg points to one reason.

“The TV deals have changed everything in college athletics, so far more access to the games, so we try to concentrate on what would actually drag someone out of their home in front of their 84-inch plasma TV,” Gragg said. 

Switching to the American has made every game available and forced TU to make changes. 

A marketing campaign "For our City" started this year and also the sales team was making 1,200 hundred calls a week for potential season ticket buyers.  And still, more room to grow.

"Going forward we're going to try and grow our resources and put more into marketing, more into promotions, more into the ticket sales area, because we need those areas to be enhanced and to grow," Gragg said. 

He said he and coaches Philip Montgomery and Frank Haith have made appearances around the city.  Also, he points to the academic success of the athletic program. 

But on the field and court, a 2-10 Football season and 10 and 9 basketball season so far hasn't helped. 

Gragg did hint at taking a page at what OU and OSU do and tour the state to promote the product.

"Maybe some of those barnstorm tours that some of the other schools do, during the offseason, before football starts and get out in the community and get out to Jenks and get out to some of the surrounding cities and suburbs that are close to us and have rallies and talk about our product," Gragg said. 

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