USC will hold its annual Spring Game today at the Coliseum, beginning at 1:30pm, to the tune of a $10 gate per person. While it may be a petty fee to see the Trojans play a glorified game of two-hand touch, spring games are about more than just the game.
No, I’m not going to go into some sappy romantic cliche that likens spring games to team moms giving T-ball teams their postgame hot dogs and Doritos. This is more than that, as it’s a way for fans to get the taste of the fall, and the gameday feeling one time before summer kicks in and the longing for Saturdays start to really kick in.
The Trojans will take the field this afternoon in Cardinal and Gold jerseys. The enormous video board will display the action in high-definition, while the band cues up Tusk and the Song Girls twist and twirl in their iconic white sweaters. It’s a USC gameday, in the middle of April, yet nobody goes. Why?
Are the Dodgers that much of a factor in April? No, considering the average Los Angeles resident only follows the Dodgers on Opening Day and in the playoffs, should they make it. Is it the NBA that is taking away fans from flocking to Coliseum? A case could be made this year, with the Clippers tipping off at Staples Center just an hour before Matt Barkley throws his first pass, but that’s not it either, nor is it the Kings, whom the media has forgotten exist.
So what is it? Why can’t the Trojans draw fans in for spring games and fill the Coliseum like schools in the SEC and Big Ten do? The argument that Angelenos have more to do than attend sporting events just doesn’t work here, as if that were the case, USC would have never averaged roughly 90,000 fans for regular season games during the height of the Pete Carroll years.
Is it the price? This year the game is $10, which is less than it’s been in the past. Schools like Ohio State and Penn State offer free admission, but USC has to recoup money from the Coliseum Commission for using the facility, which hopefully is fixed when USC takes over the building. But is $10 really going to be a hurdle, when regular season games are five times that? It shouldn’t be, when you consider that USC held two open practices on the last two Saturdays, entirely free, for a crowd that’s been of a similar size.
We are Reign of Troy want to hear from our readers, as to why so many USC fans do not attend the Spring Game, in comparison to fans of Ohio State and Alabama, who fill their respective stadiums, eager to see their teams play an absolutely meaningless game. Leave your comments below with your thoughts, because this needs to be settled.