Local events need local support

Published 10:25 am Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Over the past week I was fortunate to have many events to occupy my time as a sports writer. The USTA Tennis Classic of Troy, Troy University football, baseball, and soccer as well as many high school football games. The one thing I noticed about all of them was the lack of unaffiliated support.

All of these are great event that our community is fortunate to have and the lack of participation was, to be honest, embarrassing.

There will always be a core group that will support anything that comes through town but as some of the polls on The Messenger’s website suggest the vast majority of residents don’t support anything.

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In the polls How many Troy home games will you attend this year and Have you attended the Pike County Fair? both had overwhelming responses in the negative. And these are just two examples of many.

As a lifelong follower of all things Troy, it grates at me that with so many great things happening and hard working people to produce the events that the community is so apathetic towards nearly everything.

Many of these events were either extremely affordable or free.

The Tennis Classic of Troy pitted many highly ranked players from around the world that this area will likely never have the opportunity to see again. Grace Minn, who lost in the quarterfinals, came in raked the fourth best amateur in the world. Some have played in and even won matches in the US Open.

This was a great opportunity for the people of Troy to experience something unique to our area. There are only 12 $50,000 USTA tournament held nation wide each year and we are lucky to have one.

Troy Trojans football deserves more than the 19,000 or so that were on had for last week’s Louisiana-Monroe game. This is a five-time FBS (Division I-A) conference champion. Only 11 schools can claim a conference championship each year and Troy has done it five consecutive years.

Single game tickets for a Troy game are $15-24. I promise whatever you’re doing that you feel is more entertaining at home costs more than $15.

Louisiana-Lafayette just broke the Sun Belt conference record for single game attendance for a game between two conference teams with 32,823.

The largest crowd to ever witness a Troy game no matter the conference affiliation … 26,574.

While most of the larger attendance numbers can be blamed simply on market size, to see many leave town to attend other venues is confusing.

Once upon a time, communities backed the projects their fellow citizens’ worked so diligently to bring them.

Now, as almost a hindrance in their own personal agenda, planned sporting events and social gatherings come and go with as much intrigue from locals as a weekend homework assignment.

There should be a sense of pride no matter the occurrence.

These events bring money, people, and recognition to our town and without the enthusiasm of its patrons the town will lose them.