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Friday, February 23, 2007

Shreveport-Bossier not sports towns? I beg to differ

You hear a lot about Shreveport-Bossier City not being "sports" towns. Well, you wouldn't be able to tell it by Friday night.

As I was driving back to the office on I-20 from covering the Huntington-John Ehret boys basketball playoff game I noticed the lights were on at Independence Stadium. The state high school soccer championships were being played there.

The lights were on at Fair Grounds Field, too. A Bossier Parish Community College game was being played there.

At the CenturyTel Center, the red-hot Mudbugs were beating Rocky Mountain.

At the Huntington game, the gym was at least three-fourths full with probably about 700 in attendance. I have to believe there were at least that many at three other local gyms hosting first-round games.

There were also three local baseball tournaments going on, and a big softball tournament is also taking place.

Of course, it's impossible to tell just how many people were out enjoying these events. But it wouldn't be a stretch to say thousands.

Not a sports town? I beg to differ.


Blogger BigTimeTigerFan said...

Shreveport may be celebrating some high school sports in the area but in the areas of professional sports the only team we have recently embraced is the Mudbugs.

The Swampdragons were a colossal disaster bringing the end to a proud franchise called the Captains. We can't blame the loss of the Captains solely on the Swampdragons as attendance was slowly fading year by year. Now we have a Sports team barely averaging attendance in the 10's.

The CFL tried their hand in what is arguably football country and placed their bets in Shreveport. They should have known better than to expect people who rarely leave the comfort of their armchairs to watch a football game to make a dent in attendance at Independence stadium.

The CBA brought professional basketball to town and eventually folded after attendance failed to meet expectations.

Our AF2 team may have signed a rehabbed Quincy Carter but when the season starts will the attendance still hover around 100?

I am not denying the lights were on at Fairgrounds Field last night but I am willing to bet there were only slightly more fans than players.

The Huntington basketball game featured a top 10 ranked basketball team with state aspirations and the gym was only 3/4 full?

We have the biggest NFL game here in quite some time we can't even sell out the game. This area is a split between Cowboy and Saint's fans, the game was a showcase opportunity for the nation to see what a sports town we were yet the gate was 6,000 less than capacity.

The only stall worth examples of sports excellence in this area have been the Mudbugs, the Independence Bowl, which thanks largely in part to the OSU fans was near capacity for the first time since LSU v. Notre Dame, Evangel football and Southwood girls basketball.

If you want to call Shreveport/Bossier a sports town I won't argue with you if you mean the number of "fans" who click from channel to channel on the weekends. But if you want to base your argument on attendance then Shreveport/Bossier is nowhere close to being called a sports town.

11:34 AM  

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