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Letter: Marriott Center needs to put the students back to front and center

Published: Thursday, Nov. 29 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

BYU forward Nate Austin (33) is tripped up in the lane during the first half of the NCAA basketball game between BYU and Cal State Northridge, Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012.

Ben Brewer, Deseret News

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Growing up, I fondly remember attending energetic Brigham Young University basketball games at the Marriott Center. The atmosphere was electric and the main source of the energy came from the students, prominently located front and center.

Saturday, I went to the game and felt like I was at a geriatrics version of the former Marriott Center. What happened? It didn't take long to figure out. The once prominent student section is now relegated to a lone side section behind a basket. Not only are students tucked neatly out of the way, there were far fewer of them.

How could the students not be given front and center seats? Oh, right. I forgot — money.

But let's consider the economic case. The reason high-paying alumni like to attend games is because of a winning tradition. Cut the electric environment that creates a huge home court advantage and we will have less success. Less success means less people who want to pay big bucks to attend. Plus if you look around the bowl of those high-paying alumni, 30-40 percent of the seats are empty, while the upper bowl is packed.

Let's put things right by moving the students back to front and center and give our team the home court electric edge that produces wins.

Natalie Hickey

Mapleton

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