On Monday, UTEP had one of its best, and loudest crowds. It was a nobody opponent, as far as name recognition goes here (Northeastern U.), and it was in a rinky-dinky, third-tier tournament (the CBI, not to be confused with the prestigeous NCAA and the also-ran NIT).
Why, all of a sudden? The Don was fairly quiet all season. Then rafter busting for Northeastern?
Could it be that ticket prices were $10, and more (real) Miner fans could afford to go? I think so.
This puts UTEP's athletic department on kind of a spot. They need money to operate (new turf in Sun Bowl is overdue). Attendance in football is so-so. Attendance in basketball, when the audits come in, will likely show, as usual, that crowd intinial estimates were didn't match money intake. Football will likely show that, too.
Bet that The Don will be sold out, or nearly sold out, for Wednesday's and the "if-needed" April 3 game(s) in the best-of-three CBI finals vs. Oregon State.
At least Oregon State is a name, and is coached by President Obama's brother-in-law. But mostly its because the Miner fans, who have been the true, loud, cheering Miner fans, can afford a $10 ticket.