Free beer and food draws over 1,000 fans

    Kudos to anyone involved in upgrading the Nov. 7 home water polo victory over UC Santa Barbara into the gala that it was. The team not only played an exemplary game, but fans were invited to a free barbeque beforehand put on by the fraternities and sororities to sip complementary kegs of Karl Strauss in the beer garden. This is the kind of support that UCSD needs to regularly boost its lacking crowd numbers and energy.

    Additional elements like the beer and barbeque are introduced to an athletic event, and the relative benefits of attending are increased. The energy of that crowd is boosted, thus giving the home team a significant home field (pool) advantage.

    Why do we consistently ignore the pattern of fan energy production at UCSD? Is it asking too much to establish a more consistent upbeat atmosphere at sporting events? Nov. 7¹s water polo match was an exemplary reason for upping the standard at these games.

    By 5:15 p.m., the lawn adjacent to Canyonview Pool and the beer garden in the southeast corner of the pool deck was swarming with fans preparing for the game. At the same moment that the national anthem was finished, the kegs were absorbed and the barbeque crowd had largely migrated toward the game. An immediate four-goal lead sparked Triton fans into an uncharacteristic roar.

    Members of the Sunset Club team, a largely UCSD grad team, lined the front row of the beer garden and led boisterous chants from their reserved seats. Fans appeared interested and significantly more in tune with what was occurring in the water than at some of the more competitive matches of the season that were not equipped with fan-friendly services.

    Rumors circulated before the game about a bikini contest scheduled for halftime, but it was apparently called off in the 11th hour for unconfirmed reasons. Sure enough, halftime passed and the only contest was the one where fans have a minute to try to land a mini-ball in an intertube floating in the middle of the pool (which nobody could win in two rounds).

    There was an effort at redemption between the third and fourth quarters when a small group of ladies appeared before the bleachers; however, something was lacking from what one might have expected of a bikini contest. Perhaps it was the contestant dressed in a sumo wrestler costume, or the general lack of bikini.

    “”It was too little, too late,”” said senior Sean Doonan of the display.

    But the message here is clear: fans are more responsive and interested in multifaceted athletic events. Give something more than the game and get a fan that is more than just another person in the crowd.

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