Off Campus Games, A Growing Trend
Clemson's win over Georgia in the Bi-Lo Center Wednesday night gave Clemson fans a taste of a growing theme in college basketball. More and more non-conference games are being played at off campus locations, especially non-conference games later in the year. This is a tool that I believe Clemson could use to its advantage.
Several schools such as UCONN use an off campus location to draw big matchups. The Huskies played North Carolina this past Sunday in the Hartford Civic Center. Duke has played several games in the Charlotte Coliseum, Maryland uses the MCI Center, and St. John's has used Madison Square Garden almost exclusively. A lot of fans and students are not in favor of this trend, but however it is a useful tool.
It allowed the basketball program to reach out to the Clemson fan base in Greenville, where normally a Tiger basketball fan who works in Greenville may not have had the chance to get to a weekday game. Clemson has used this very successfully and also unsuccessfully in the past. When Clemson played Illinois in the Bi-Lo Center they broke the state record for attendance at a basketball game. However, when the Tigers played in the Holiday tournament in Greenville, it was nowhere near as successful.
Scheduling big opponents better prepares your team for the postseason. In the future, this program under Purnell will be a perennial postseason team. It is a lot easier to attract the big opponents to an off campus site. Greenville has always been very kind to Clemson, just look at the ACC baseball tournament. The attendance record set then hasn't even been approached by other cities. Yes, it is an inconvience for students, but I believe this relationship can really help put the basketball program back on the map in the future.