The college basketball teams at UCLA and Texas were forced to play in front of a nearly empty stadium after suffering slow starts early on in the season.
Bruins head coach Ben Howland could be on the search for another job if the UCLA basketball team continues to perform below expectations. The Bruins went into preseason ranked at number 13. They have since lost three of their five games, which is where they stood on Saturday, facing Texas at Reliant Stadium in Houston.
But with the Texans having an equally slow start, the game churned out a potentially record number of empty seats at the neutrally located stadium. The stadium holds a total of 43,000 patrons; only 2,797 fans attended the game. The Texans have also suffered three losses, which could explain the sparse turn out.
The arrangements to play at the stadium were made when both teams were projected to do well. The game was also scheduled to be televised nationally. While the Bruins managed a close 65-63 victory, fans still called it a "horrible game."
"This was a horrible game," one fan wrote on a Yahoo blog. "It was so bad even my sofa was empty!"
"All in all, the game was proof that not all close games are good games," sports writer Jeff Eisenberg commented on The Dagger. "UCLA made enough mistakes to lose on Saturday. Texas just tried a little harder."
The attendance numbers, according to one user, included the teams, team staff, concession workers, and other team affiliates outside of fans. But despite the low numbers, other fans blamed it on the organization stating that there was little interest in all college basketball games early on in the season.
"The NCAA has to learn that except for a few golden Basketball programs that no one cares about college Basketball this early in the season," one fan said. "The season should start till right after Christmas."