This Football season our Panthers have maintained the number 1 spot in their conference, C-USA East. With a perfect record of 4-0; Our only loss to the University of Miami outside of the conference game lineup. All of the games show amazing performances from Butch Davis and student favorites Stone Wilson, Thomas Owen, James Morgan, and Sage Lewis, who have lead the Panthers to their best season since 2011. So why aren’t students showing their presence during home games?
All FIU students receive free tickets to every home game, and faculty and staff receive discounted tickets to attend. Our stadium, the Riccardo da Silva Stadium holds 23,500 fans, allowing almost half of our student body to participate. The halftime show includes performances from our Golden Dazzlers and the FIU cheer team, both part of our award-winning FIU Spirit Team.
When asking students, staff members, and other FIU athletes the answers on why attendance for games was so low varied immensely. For some students, it’s the Panther’s past seasons and the stigma that it brings. In the past, the team gave a performance that disappointed many and keeps them from giving the team a second opportunity. For others, the sanctions imposed during the actual tailgate prevent them from coming because they don’t find the appeal of just attending the games. For some FIU athletes, the food choices and installations were the main culprits. The food options provided leaves a lot to desired and have steep prices, while the seats of the stadium can become uncomfortable after some time sitting down. The most common answer from students was “I don’t know.
FIU and their student body have the potential to support the Panther’s and witness one of FIU’s best season and a possible bowl game win. Showing support to our team not only helps the Panther’s game but also supports students and shows the university our desire to get involved. So grab your school ID, your favorite clear bag and head out to a Saturday night game, you won’t regret it!