Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Embrace the full spectrum of sports

Anuja Manjrekar

Many students often think of UT’s rich football culture when talking about sports. However, as football season comes to a close, we can continue to take advantage of UT’s broad range of sporting events. Students should follow sports teams outside of football to validate their hard work and maximize the Big Ticket expense for those who purchased it.  

While students often buy the Big Ticket to exclusively attend football games, UT’s non-football sports teams also enjoy incredible success. The football team deserves support and recognition for its skill, but other teams on campus should not be excluded from the conversation.  

For example, Texas’ women’s basketball team is currently ranked first in the Big Twelve and is seeking to attract more attendance this season. Similarly, the volleyball team has also strived for increased attendance. The sport has steadily gained popularity, and head coach Jeritt Elliott wants to build an audience that matches this growth. 

Ananya Venkataramaiah, an international relations and global studies junior, explained her experience attending different UT games. 

“I see a lot more people show up at men’s basketball instead of women’s basketball,” Venkataramaiah said. “And I think our women’s team is actually better than our men’s team, which is ironic that people don’t show up to those games.”

Potential audience members like Venkataramaiah may find the stigma around women’s sports discouraging. However, UT hosts women’s teams with great records and performances that can be just as fun to watch. 

This is especially important for Big Ticket holders since ticket rates sit at around $200. Attending a variety of games expands students’ opportunities to take advantage of the ticket since football season alone doesn’t financially justify its purchase. 

For students who only attend football games, missing just a couple of home games could mean they only use the Big Ticket for one or two events per semester. 

“I only used (the Big Ticket) once to go to one home game,” said informatics sophomore Tanya Arya. “Might as well use the $200 ticket that I bought. Maybe next semester I’ll go to more games.” 

Since the next semester is still ahead of us, those who already bought the Big Ticket should consider going to other sporting events like volleyball and basketball and supporting both the men’s and women’s teams. Many of these sports occur later in the fall and mostly in the spring. Increased attendance could help bolster performance with a positive and energetic atmosphere that benefits both attendees and players.  

The benefits of attending these games are reaped by everyone involved, but some sports teams often play on weekdays, inconveniencing students and potentially discouraging attendance. Arya explained that this contributed to why she and her friends haven’t attended many games this year.  

“Other sports games are during the week and not during the weekend,” Arya said. “So it’s just hard to fit into the schedule with classes and other extracurriculars.”

Attending weekday games can be difficult since students have so many other important commitments. This reality likely contributes to the reasons football is one of the most popular sports in college since it is primarily played on Saturdays. 

However, many other sports games also occur on weekends. Men’s basketball games occur on different days of the week, commonly Fridays, while women’s basketball games are common on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The majority of volleyball games are on weekends as well. While attending every UT-affiliated game is impractical, the ability to set aside time for football proves that students could reasonably set aside time for other sports.  

The Big Ticket’s cost warrants a broader perspective that could maximize students’ investment and spotlight equally deserving sports. Even if students are not Big Ticket holders, diversifying attendance will contribute to a more inclusive and vibrant sports culture on campus.

Narwekar is a philosophy and economics sophomore from Coppell, Texas.

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