To combat low attendance numbers at home basketball games, the University of Akron is offering to give students up to $20 on their campus card accounts if they attend the last three home basketball games.
According to a report by Vavel, each student in attendance will receive $5 on their student card for each game attended, but the offer only stands so long as 800 students attend the games. Students will also receive a $5 bonus for attending all three games. If attendance does not reach 800 students, those who attended all three games will still receive $5.
Akron has tested this type of giveaway before, as the university ran a competition this past fall in conjunction with the football season that saw one student receive a semester’s worth of free tuition.
The sparse attendance at Akron basketball games could be the result of a small on-campus population. Only 14% of Akron students live on campus with the remaining students all living off campus. The need for students to commute in for games, coupled with unforgiving winter weather, made regular attendance at the games rare.
Not surprisingly, however, the promise of free money has seen student attendance at the basketball games improve. In Akron’s recent game against rival Kent State,the university set a record for student attendance at 1,200.
Of the many functions that the campus card serves, ticketing and event attendance is certainly one. While providing students with free money on their campus card accounts will likely not be a viable option for every institution, it represents an interesting solution to a problem that a number of universities face.