COLUMBUS (WCMH) — With Thad Matta no longer at the helm of the Ohio State Buckeyes Men’s basketball team, we take a look back at how the team’s success impacted turnout at the arena and sales at local businesses.
Since the 2010-11 season, the Buckeyes have been earning fewer and fewer wins.
At first, it appears fans were still giving Matta and the team a chance to turn things around, with attendance holding steady for the first three years of the slide.
However, attendance finally began its freefall during the 2014-15 season and, like the team’s record has not recovered.
Businesses say, today, basketball merchandise sales don’t even compare to the university’s football counterpart.
At College Traditions, only about a dozen basketball jerseys are available, all with the number 1 on the back.
The store’s owner Kelly Dawes says they are a few years old.
When she checked her inventory, she was actually surprised to find she sold a single jersey in May; which was one more than she thought she would have sold.
With regular T-shirts touting OSU Basketball, and 14 other collegiate sports, there is little other demand for basketball themed merchandise.
The same can be said at Across the Field, another vendor of OSU merchandise.
Unlike College Traditions, Across the Field does not sell jerseys of any sport. However, they are a drop off/pick up location for basketball tickets.
According to the manager Chris Rayo, fewer and fewer people have been stopping in on game nights to pick up tickets over the past few years, and that has translated into fewer sales as well.
Ultimately, both Rayo and Dawes are hopeful the next coach sparks fan’s interest in OSU Basketball once more.