Football + Fans = Atmosphere

Charlotte students play vital role in creating the excitement around 49er football

| November 16, 2016
Students leave the 49ers matchup against Rice. Photo by Chris Crews

Students leave the 49ers matchup against Rice. Photo by Chris Crews

49ers football has come a long way.  When 19 of the seniors being honored this Saturday came on their official visits they had to wear hard hats to look around the football stadium.  Now they are two wins away from going to a bowl game.

This season Charlotte has struck gold on the road, snagging their first conference victory against FAU down in Florida.  They then went into a hostile Marshall environment and came home victorious.  After a bye week they traveled to Southern Miss and brought back yet another win to the Queen City.

The only time the Niners have won at home was against Elon back in September.  However, there have been two games in Jerry Richardson where the 49ers lost by only one point, those games being the 27-26 loss to FIU and the 22-21 loss to Rice.

Six years ago, students on the Charlotte campus did not have a football team to cheer on. These players, especially the senior class, have put in all they can to build the foundation for a successful football team.  Their efforts can be seen throughout this season having already claimed four wins, coming back from the 2015 two-win season.

Regardless of what anyone says, the 49ers are a solid football team. No team in recent FBS history has gone from starting a program, competing in FCS and jumping to FBS as quickly as Brad Lambert and the 49ers have.

Last season Charlotte scored 210 points the entire season. With two games remaining, the 49ers have already posted 257 points against their opponents. The defense has made stops as well, allowing 344 points this season.  This stat includes a matchup against a now No.3 Louisville team, in which 70 points were given up.

With Hasaan Klugh at the helm of the Charlotte offense, the 49ers have become a competitive  team and are two wins away from being bowl-eligible.

It’s time to create the football atmosphere around campus. The football team is doing their part, now the students need to step up. Just like our football team didn’t pop up over night, the atmosphere won’t just appear on campus either.

There are two areas that one could possibly blame: student awareness and student participation.

The Sports Marketing Association does an excellent job creating awareness of athletic events. From Tailgate Tuesday’s to dorm storms and sending out text reminders, students are informed about when football games are occurring.

I believe the problem stems from lack of student participation.

Each game there are 4,500 free tickets allocated for student use, however on average just over 3,000 seats are used.  For a school that enrolls over 23,000 undergraduate students that is pitiful.

In order for Charlotte to become a “football school” students must invest. This means showing up to tailgates and then going to the games.  If an electrifying atmosphere is created within the stands of Jerry Richardson, then maybe the 49ers could have pulled through in those one-point games.

This Saturday it’s time students show out and back the Niners in their bowl pursuit.  Go online, take two minutes and reserve your ticket to the game.  Then after you reserve it, show up to the game.

The equation is simple.  Football + Fans = Atmosphere.  Do your part, Niner Nation, and add the fan base to the equation so Charlotte can have the football atmosphere it deserves.

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Category:Football, Sports

Kathleen Cook Kathleen Cook is the sports editor of the Niner Times and from Wake Forest, North Carolina. When the junior communication major/journalism minor isn't covering the 49ers, she enjoys spending time with her family, friend, and dog. Kathleen can also be found cheering on the Panthers every Sunday and rooting for the Washington Nationals.

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Comments (3)

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  1. Anon says:

    Here’s the actual problem, strict IFC for fraternities on campus. If you look at big football schools (where students participate) the schools greek life is allowed to have fun. Setting strict alcohol rules, and kicking off every fraternity that doesn’t follow them leads to less “fun” surrounding games. There have also been stricter rules at tailgates such as no wooden structures (tables, corn hole) no personal tents (many fratenities have bigger and better tents then those provided) and campus tailgate workers complaining to the tents that play their music too loud). Since fraternities are the main ones throwing tailgates in the designated tailgate field, it only makes sense that they are the ones that draw a large crowd toward the games. Unfortunately however, as soon as the tailgate is over, rather then going into the game, most people at the tailgate field go home. Charlotte has never been a football school because it never had the sport, but there is a direct correlation between fraternities and participation. If you allow the games to be fun, people might actually want to go.

    • ninerfan49 says:

      Right on! Also, the so called ‘sports marketing association’ is doing such a terrible job at marketing the athletic events. Signs just inside the campus will not do any good attracting crowds. How has not one billboard been put up? I’ve spotted NC State football and UNC football billboards near the campus, but not one Charlotte 49ers Football billboard. Also, the person or team in charge of making promotional videos and posters for these athletic events needs to fired ASAP. They are doing such a terrible job with the graphics and editing. I’ve seen way better designed high school football posters. Also, a well maintained social presence will help marketing the events so much.

  2. Stephen - Class of 2009 says:

    I agree. As an alumnus, I always hear complaints about the AD not getting the word out from current students. It was up to them to get the word out about how big the Rice game was.

    This is the first time I have heard about the tailgating restrictions for students. I always assumed by walking by that area as I walked in that you guys were having a blast. My “tailgating” experience during my time on campus was playing Power Hour before each basketball home game.

Kathleen Cook Kathleen Cook is the sports editor of the Niner Times and from Wake Forest, North Carolina. When the junior communication major/journalism minor isn't covering the 49ers, she enjoys spending time with her family, friend, and dog. Kathleen can also be found cheering on the Panthers every Sunday and rooting for the Washington Nationals.

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