Cal Poly football is big this season. Ranked No. 5 in Division I-AA, the Mustangs have a 5-1 record and students are eager to show their school spirit.
Saturday night marked the 28th annual Horseshoe Classic rivalry game between UC Davis and Cal Poly. An abundance of students in green shirts and painted faces anxiously waited – in line that is.
Students began arriving an hour before kickoff with the knowledge that the uncompleted Spanos Stadium would be filled to capacity. By 5:15 p.m. the line of eager fans, moving at a snails pace, wrapped up South Perimeter, around the corner on Cuesta Avenue and past the Cochett Education Building.
The Mustangs had an exciting come-from-behind 23-17 victory over the Aggies, which hundreds of Cal Poly students didn’t see, unless you count the ones in the trees outside the north end zone; not exactly the seats students expect when they go to see their team play.
A lowly 8,435 spectators were able to attend this year’s Horseshoe Classic compared to 9,387 in 2004 and 8,588 in 2002. The delay in construction of the new East Concourse seating has wreaked havoc on attendance all season long.
Hundreds of students were turned away at the gate after waiting for nearly an hour to get in. The game had already begun by the time many, still in line, figured out that there weren’t enough seats and started to look for alternatives; choosing trees, stairways and bush-obscured spots behind the fences.
No one from Cal Poly athletics bothered to tell the students that they weren’t letting anyone else in.
The game sold out of general admission tickets on Oct. 3, but Cal Poly kept 1,000 additional general admission tickets available for students at $15 a seat. However, most students that were unable to get in opted for their own, free method of seating.
The East Concourse seats, still looking rather sparse, are supposed to be completed by Oct. 21 in time for the Homecoming game and should allow for 10,000 spectators, a number that may have been exceeded Saturday night.
With the growing success of the Mustang football team, more students and the general public will be trying to attend the games in the stadium that, even with the additional $4 million renovation, can’t hold enough people.
It’s time for the students to show Cal Poly that they are proud of their football team and that they deserve to see them play from inside their stadium.
Editorials reflect the opinion of the Mustang Daily.