And Gable Said...

Feb. 10, 2009

IOWA CITY, Iowa – The Cedar Rapids Gazette recently ran a story touting the attendance at the home dual meets of the nation’s top ranked wrestling program, the Iowa Hawkeyes. It’s been on a steady climb upward since the hiring of Tom Brands with this year’s average bolstered by the record-setting crowd that cheered Iowa’s victory over Iowa State in December.

What didn’t make it into that story were some comments from former UI Head Coach Dan Gable. We thought we’d share those today prior to the Hawkeyes’ dual meets Friday against Purdue and Sunday against Minnesota. Both matches will be contested in the home of the Hawkeyes, Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

“We can do better.”
Dan Gable said when asked about the Hawkeyes’ average of about 8,000 fans in the stands per dual meet.

From the blog written by J.R. Ogden, the sports editor of the Gazette and the author of the story that appeared last week:

And Gable said ….

As a follow-up to my story on the rising attendance at Iowa wrestling duals, Dan Gable had this to offer:

“We can do better.”

Gable returned my call too late to get full comments in the newspaper version of the story, but what he had to say was interesting – if not predictable.

When told the average attendance was more than 8,000, he said “that means there is a lot of empty seats.”

That’s true, of course, but Iowa wrestling is a big deal in Eastern Iowa and all of Iowa. There’s no wrestling venue that can do better.

But at 8,000, that mean’s Carver-Hawkeye is half empty – at least – most nights. So Gable’s challenge to Hawkeye fans near and far: Come to a home dual, fill the place every time.

Is he dreaming? Probably, but this is the same guy who wanted 10 national champions at every NCAA meet.

Why not think big?

Fans of the Hawkeyes can purchase their tickets to this weekend’s dual meets online by clicking HERE. They can also make their purchase over the telephone at 1-800 IA-HAWKS or over the counter at the UI Athletics Ticket Office location in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.