“PACK THE STANDS NIGHT ” DRAWS FANS
The draw: a free “Phin Fans” t-shirt, a free first bag of popcorn and the chance to see a basketball rivalry game.
SCC hosted its third annual “Pack the Stands” night to incentivize attendance in a matchup with Northwest Athletic Conference (NWAC) North division rival, the Bellevue College Bulldogs, on Jan. 24. The Phins played from behind most of the way but managed to keep it close, trailing just 31-30 at halftime. The Bulldogs pulled away over the course of the second half to prevent any hopes at a last-second comeback and won 74-61.
“I would think we were probably close to 400 people (at the game),” said Steve Eskridge, SCC’s athletic director. “We had a few more people at last year’s event, but we weren’t far off that number this year.”
At tip-off, the crowd was still pretty spread out, but over the first ten minutes of the game, it filled in quite nicely. The stands definitely were not full, but there was not much space between groups. SCC’s jazz band played during halftime and full timeouts, while both teams had cheerleading squads leading their section of the stands.
The early stages of the game featured a lot of good pressing defense by both teams, and the crowd really started to get into the game on the momentum-changing turnovers and layups.
Quite a number of SCC student-athletes from other sports were at the game, including multiple members from the softball and baseball teams.
Although the crowd as a whole was clearly pro-SCC, there was a very boisterous contingent of Bellevue fans: a handful in one group about five rows up in the center of the bleachers, with others spread around elsewhere.
At halftime, selected fans got to participate in a couple of shooting contests. One student managed to hit a half-court shot, winning himself a $50 gift card from SoccerWest.
Partway through the second half, as Bellevue started to extend their lead into double digits, the significantly smaller Bulldog contingent started to become the louder voice in the stands. Not many fans left early, but the late stages of the game were filled with minor applause for the SCC baskets and raucous cheers when Bellevue scored or stopped the Phins from scoring.
By Ed Strong,