May 17, 2012
FORT WORTH - For the second year in a row, TCU men’s tennis created one of the strongest home environments in all of college tennis and boasted one of the highest attendance figures in the nation.
Playing its matches at the beautiful Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center on the campus of TCU, one of the finest facilities in all of collegiate tennis, the Horned Frogs had an atmosphere of fun and fanfare that attracted thousands to its 12 home matches.
TCU finished the year with the third-highest attendance in all of college tennis, welcoming 4,692 fans through the gates of the Friedman Tennis Center during the year. On average, 391 fans made their way to a TCU match.
As the spring weather was in full blossom, the month of April brought the most fans to the Friedman Tennis Center as a remarkable 1,900 purple-clad tennis fans showed up to four home matches.
In the season finale against New Mexico, 755 people spilled into the facility and were treated to free food from Salsa Limon Tacos, Pizza Inn and Silver Fox Steakhouse. It was the fifth-highest attended match in all of college tennis for 2012.
“We are very proud of our attendance numbers,” TCU coach David Roditi said. “We have the best group of volunteers of any tennis program. The ‘Keep it in the Purple Committee,’ are wonderful TCU fans and tennis enthusiasts from around the community, deserve the credit.
“Along with our TCU marketing department, we are showcasing just how much fun college tennis matches really are. Most fans that have just watched college tennis for the first time have realized how exciting the college format is and are coming back for more. Being loud and cheerful is highly encouraged!”
At all home matches this season, players and fans had the opportunity to interact with each other as players ran through a tunnel of fans during player introductions. Between singles and doubles, fans made their way to the Bartzen Varsity Courts for a chance to win prizes.
The Frogs utilized an ultra-unique setting for matches moved indoors due to inclement weather. Chairs were placed on the center of the five courts in the indoor facility, giving fans a chance to get up and close to the action at the indoor facility.
Throughout the year, all fans were treated to free pizza from Pizza Inn and Pie Five Pizza Co., as well as other promotions. Numerous giveaways were available for fans and massage chairs were present at one match. Twice, live music was played during the doubles portion of the match. Approximately 25 local businesses in Fort Worth were involved in some way this year with the program, reiterating the city’s commitment to TCU athletics.
Another exciting aspect of TCU tennis is it is one of the few programs in the nation to have ball kids at home matches, known as the purple ballers. These kids help speed up the match and alleviate an extra task for Frog players.
Numerous TCU sororities served as hosts at TCU matches, making the matches an event for students and families alike to enjoy. Coupled with live music or just music being piped through the Friedman Tennis Center speakers, TCU created an environment such as one that would be found at an NBA game. During the match, the music is not turned off at the Friedman Tennis Center.
With seven returners and three newcomers for 2012-13, the next season at the Friedman Tennis Center promises to be even more exciting for fans and student athletes as the Frogs enter play in the Big 12, one of college tennis’ premiere conferences.
“Going into the Big 12 Conference will only make our crowds bigger and our goal is to have the largest crowds in the nation,” Roditi said. “Nobody can argue we have the most-beautiful facility to enjoy a college match in the country!”